Gentec-EO Receives Prestigious William M. Steen Award for Advancements in Laser Material Processing

Posted  by GoPhotonics

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Gentec Electro-Optics, a Canadian company specializing in the design and manufacture of laser power and energy measurement instruments and high-power laser beam delivery components, has been awarded the William M. Steen Award for significant developments in laser material processing with its latest innovation in power meter technology: the fastest kilowatt-level power meter on the market. 

To promote the development of new ideas in laser material processing, the Laser Institute of America (LIA) attributes awards for the top idea of the year as adjudicated by a prize-giving panel. This year, Gentec-EO is added to the prestigious list of Steen Award recipients, which includes Synova USA, the NIST, and Samsung

Gentec-EO’s innovation is an incredibly fast laser power meter that can withstand the high laser powers that are typically used in laser material processing. The IS50A-1KW-RSI offers a fast response and low noise level that provide a whole new level of detail in the characterization of kilowatt-level laser systems. These new measurement possibilities will help laser manufacturers characterize their laser’s ramp-up sequence, reduce losses and increase productivity in laser welding, and increase the cutting precision in laser micromachining.

“Receiving the William M. Steen Award is a meaningful recognition for Gentec Electro-Optics. It is another success for this product that adds on top of the sales success we are having with it since its launch. Surely, this is a confirmation that it pays to listen to your customers and to delve into the market needs.” said Michel Giroux

Michel Giroux then added “We really need to thank our laser material processing customers for this success because the IS50 series was much inspired by their requests and feedbacks. Then our R&D team did an amazing creative job in putting all this together and designing the perfect product for this market.” 

Designed for laser material processing

Until now, power meter technologies to measure kilowatt-level lasers all had very slow response times, often in the order of tens of seconds. With such long reaction times, short fluctuations of power would be averaged out, resulting in a false impression of stability in the laser power. It was not possible to acquire precise temporal data about the behavior of a high-power laser beam. 

With a measurement capability that ranges from 0.2 mW to 1000 W and a rise time of only 0.2 s, Gentec-EO’s IS50A-1KW opens up new measurement possibilities such as following the complete ramp-up of high-power laser sources, or tracking fast changes in kW-level laser power. This is extremely fast compared to any competition in the market right now.

When one considers commercial systems in which the laser power needs to be as constant as possible, such as in laser welding processes, the IS50A-1KW permits users to monitor and to address quick shifts in their laser’s intensity. This is of crucial importance in automated manufacturing systems, preventing structural failures of end products while increasing productivity. 

In laser systems where bursts of power are used, such as micromachining complex and detailed parts, knowing the temporal shape of each burst will allow for a more precise control of the process, yielding higher-quality results.

Also, the very large dynamic range of this product makes it possible to measure from very low (under the microwatts) to very high (up to 1000 W) with only one detector.

The integrating sphere’s proprietary coating was designed to handle high laser power density, and its NIST-traceable calibration provides accurate, reliable results.