Nufern reveals first fiber laser offering

Aug. 1, 2007
EAST GRANBY, CT-Well known since its inception as a supplier of specialty optical fibers and optical amplifier modules, Nufern recently made a strategic, vertical move with the debut of its first fiber laser-the NuFIRE laser-at the LASER 2007: World of Photonics exhibition in Munich, Germany.

EAST GRANBY, CT-Well known since its inception as a supplier of specialty optical fibers and optical amplifier modules, Nufern recently made a strategic, vertical move with the debut of its first fiber laser-the NuFIRE laser-at the LASER 2007: World of Photonics exhibition in Munich, Germany.

“Nufern comes from a telecom background, in which it is not uncommon for a systems manufacturer to also be an OEM supplier of individual components,” said Bryce Samson, VP of Business Development for Nufern. “About four or five years ago, it was our customer base that triggered us to move from simply supplying specialty optical fibers to becoming a supplier of more integrated optical amplifier modules; many customers simply wanted to buy a subassembly.”

Samson points out that this business model-although less common in the laser community-does occur, for example, in the case of laser and system suppliers also selling laser diodes on the open market. Samson emphasizes that the optical amplifier module is basically the “engine” of a fiber laser and customers have been driving Nufern to expand that engine into a system offering.

“As with our move from specialty fiber manufacturer to optical amplifier provider, our customers communicated a desire to see a more user-friendly fiber laser system introduced to the market,” Samson said. “The NuFIRE fiber laser is a ‘turnkey’ system, with a simple Windows-based user interface and ultra-fine control over the laser’s pulse attributes.”

NuFIRE is a 200-W ytterbium fiber laser capable of sustained continuous wave or pulsed operation with an intuitive Windows interface that the company says offers the industry’s first visual waveform generator and features four on-board function triggers to switch instantaneously from one custom-shaped waveform to the next. These features-easily accessible even for non-engineers-are all targeted at increasing throughput to streamline the process for companies adopting laser-based materials processing in their manufacturing operations. Initial setup is simple, with a standard wall plug, air cooling, monolithic architecture, 3RU form factor, and remote mountable I/O panel.

With slew rates of 70-W/µs and precision pulse control to 5 µsec rise/fall time, the NuFIRE laser offers precise control of cut and weld quality. A maximum modulation frequency of >120 kHz at full power means that more power can be delivered to the work piece in a given time interval, resulting in higher throughput in the manufacturing environment. Nufern hopes the system’s flexible output capability will allow it to address virtually any application in the 200-W regime.

The NuFIRE laser is powered by Nufern’s NuPOWER fiber, which has high conversion efficiency, superior long-term power stability, and excellent beam quality. In addition to NuPOWER fibers and the OEM NuFIRE fiber laser, Nufern continues to offer both passive and active optical fibers for communications, industrial, laboratory, defense, and even space-based applications.

“Recent feedback from the Laser 2007 show in Munich and InterOpto in Japan has been positive for our 200-W NuFIRE fiber laser,” Samson said. “Looking ahead, customers are already commenting that a 500-W or even a kilowatt system would open up even more applications.”

If the NuFIRE fiber laser is any indication of its future roadmap, Nufern will undoubtedly make sure that the customer gets what the customer wants.

-Gail Overton

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