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Scheper's laser technology advances into new application areas

Performance leap in DIGILAS direct engraving

With 1000 Watts of laser power and multi-beam technology to new dimensions of performance: New machine types with special lasers for new markets, a major order from Asia and five innovation awards in two years confirm the successful developments of the last few years.

More and more companies both in- and outside of the traditional printing industry now recognize the benefits of engraving technical rollers using direct laser engraving. UKP lasers or lasers with spot sizes of 3-4 µm open up completely new markets in the area of electronic printing, Tampo Printing® as well as in security technology. Higher laser performance and better beam qualities enable the productive use of direct laser structuring for increasing numbers of new application areas.

Schepers has now completed its performance leap in the kilowatt class to meet demands for even greater productivity. In addition, the company's new offer now provides acceptable engraving times for customers who work primarily with steel. When steel is processed, nearly twice as much laser power is needed than required for copper – for the same productivity.

Complex physical relationships must be taken into account to manage the performance increase on the roller surface. This know-how has been completely implemented in the advanced DIGILAS Full Control machine controller so that it makes no difference to the operator whether he is using a beam to create the finest grids in copper or nickel, or using four beams to emboss structures in steel that are 1000 µm or deeper.

Schepers' menu-controlled multibeam user interface

Since early 2013, Schepers has offered a new generation of machines for small cylinders. The compact system is based on a highly precise granite bed on which the long proven components are mounted. The complete electric control box and laser are also integrated in the machine housing so that these systems can be supplied as plug-and-play machines. The first two systems have already been sold; the first will be delivered in December 2013.

These systems can be equipped with only one main bearing housing, that clamps a small hollow cylinder on a mandrel. The classical design with main and counter-bearing housings is likewise available. Speeds of up to 4000 rpm are available for small rollers and the corresponding clamping systems.

This means that Schepers can now supply DIGILAS laser engraving systems that can cover a diameter range of 20 mm to 1500 mm, lengths of 50 mm to 10,000 mm and safely span masses weighing from 0.1 kg to 20,000 kg. Every system can be equipped with the best laser for the required procedure and that uses from one to eight beams for production.

Despite all developments in direct engraving, mask ablation/etching also remains very successful. In September, one customer from Asia ordered five DIGILAS systems for this application. The machines will be delivered during the next year.

The outlook for the next few months are good, especially because some customers have already announced that they will order new systems.

Heliograph Holding