Rodenstock engraves optics with excimer laser

Sept. 1, 2003
Munich, Germany—Impression ILT progressive lenses from Rodenstock enable previously impossible individual fitting of optics to optimize vision quality.

Munich, Germany—Impression ILT progressive lenses from Rodenstock enable previously impossible individual fitting of optics to optimize vision quality. To sign the Impression lenses with its trademark "R," Rodenstock uses the ExciStar S from TuiLaser AG (Germering, Germany). In the production facility in Regen (Bavarian Forest) the system engraves about 1500 lenses per day, five days per week in a three-shift operation.

The ExciStar S is integrated in a laser engraving system (MC-Flexc, Laser 2000) to engrave an unlimited mix of characters, patterns or codes without changing the lens aperture. The laser system combines precise mask projection with a high-speed galvanometer laser beam scanning system. The gravure is achieved by replacing the usual f-theta lens with a simple focusing lens. Reportedly, the method is very fast—enabling the use of the full pulse speed of the excimer laser—and economical because a greater part of the laser energy can be applied.

Conventional methods require that each character change involve an aperture change. These systems also require more powerful and thus more expensive laser systems. With the ExciStar S the characters to be engraved are simply generated as a chain of X-Y coordinates in a text file such that every user can easily create and apply his own character set. By appropriately selecting the laser parameters, text heights can be miniaturized to approximately 250 µm. The contrast and appearance of the engraving remains selectable.

According to the company, the laser system can be used in situations where conventional laser products fail to operate, such as on glass, crystal or quartz surfaces, or where they are too expensive or too big. For more information, visit www.tui.laser.com.

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