Next Scan Technology – NST – enables best of class material processing through the introduction of a new scanner technology to the world scanner for ultra-short pulsed lasers. Ultra-short pulsed lasers by their ‘cold’ machining capabilities provide new opportunities to process a wide range of materials. Their deployment however in large scale production is blocked by the lack of adequately scaled scanning systems. Based on proven engineering concepts and a 20 year track record in the development of optical scanning devices, Next Scan Technology – NST – founders developed and introduced a polygon scanner solution into the market place.
The polygon scanner solution allows for a high speed beam deflection. The NST patent pending technology integrating full telecentric large area f-Theta optics and proprietary SuperSync™ unlock the potential of the newest MHz pico and femtosecond pulsed lasers. An extended range of design options are offered as the scanning platform can be tailored in size, speed, accuracy and control interfaces. The latter enables a discriminating advantage to traditional galvo based scan processes and transfers chemical processes like etching into the world of laser processing.
The proposition NST offers to the industry is the reduction of product manufacturing cost by enabling throughput. Throughput however is enabled by 3 multipliers:
- high repetition rate lasers;
- high scan speeds;
- improved scan size.
The features of high repetition rate and size are being addressed within APPOLO enabling the transfer from mechanical and chemistry based processing into the world of laser material processing.
Reduction of product manufacturing cost will unlock new applications and replace mechanical processes like EDM and High Speed Milling. It will also justify change over cost for wet chemical processes like etching used for patterning of touch screen displays in consumer electronics and high precision tooling (rotogravure and clichés) used in the (security) printing industry. Future markets for this technology include growing markets like medical devices, automotive, and aerospace.
Cost effective manufacturing allows for much higher flexibility in functionalization of surfaces giving companies the possibility to change designs and patterns much quicker than their competition. It also allows them to more efficiently realize smaller orders than before, thus enabling them to access new markets. Finally laser material processing enables manufacturers to add micro features leading to not thought of before product capabilities. Summing up, NST technologies developed and refined under the APPOLO framework enable European companies to gain competitive advantages by being able to
- Address new markets
- Reduce unit costs
- Enable new product features
- Environmental friendly manufacturing