Laser applications concentrated in the past on replacing conventional techniques to gain benefits regarding process speed and process results due to a high intensity of power on a small spot and therefore a low heat input. Even new designs were possible due to the characteristics of laser processes. Beginning with CO2 lasers latest trends show that topics like energy consumption and running cost are getting more and more important, leading to a change in the market to use solid state laser sources instead of CO2 lasers. Reduced running costs on one side, new technologies are under development to increase the quality of the parts produced with solid state lasers, especially in terms of spatters for power train welding applications and edge roughness for cutting applications. These approaches include methods to form and to guide the beam and also to modify the process environment to reduce disadvantages related to the wavelength of the solid state lasers. This presentation will show the state of the art of solid state laser processes and the techniques to improve them to achieve same results compared to known and for a long time industrial proven qualities of CO2 processes, to fulfill customer requirements in terms of maintenance costs and product qualities.

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