Portable Handheld Laser Welding and Traditional Welding

Handheld Laser Welding Machine Vs Traditional Welding

Staying competitive today requires cost reductions, efficiency gains and repeatable part quality that cannot be met by traditional techniques that rely on increasingly scarce, highly-skilled craftsmen. Enabled by unprecedented no-maintenance, high-reliability and low-cost  fiber lasers, laser welding systems have become the preferred welding solution for the manufacturing industry.

Handheld laser welding machines are becoming popular in several part manufacturing industry. They have some advantages and disadvantages over traditional welding techniques. Hence, they have variable applications. This article compared both welding systems, to inform you on choosing the right one for your project. If you have any questions, please contact us concerning the different welding methods.

Laser Welding

Lasers provide contact-free, high-speed metal welding solutions for advanced manufacturing across countless industries.

With fiber lasers, laser welding has become a highly reliable, easily automated process that provides the highest part quality, typically at the lowest processing costs, and virtually maintenance free.

  • High-precision accuracy for joining even small parts
  • Low heat input for minimal distortion
  • Non-contact welding – no degradation in welding quality
  • No current passes through the part
  • Weld dissimilar metals (e.g. Cu to Al)
  • Minimal maintenance – high tool availability
  • Easily automated for high-productivity, high-yield manufacturing

High speed laser welding produces high part yields at low operating costs that results in the lowest cost-per-part.

laser welding machine

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

GMAW or MIG is a traditional technique using a consumable electrode that works well for larger, badly fitting parts.

Fiber laser welding does not use consumable electrodes, requires less edge preparation, is easily automated and is up to 5x faster. Fiber lasers also provide more precision, and lower heat input. 

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

GTAW or TIG uses a non-consumable electrode and provides better process control than GMAW but any filler has to be added separately.

Fiber lasers are up to 10x faster with higher precision, lower heat input, and are more easily automated.

Plasma Arc Welding (PAW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

PAW is faster than GTAW, but much slower than laser welding. Having a large melt pool, PAW is good for badly aligned parts, but creates too much heat for many applications.

Fiber lasers offer higher precision, are faster, and have lower heat input in a non-contact process. Laser Wobble Welding is as effective on misaligned parts and does not require daily maintenance of the process head.

Resistance Spot Welding (RSW) vs Fiber Laser Welding

RSW is typically used for joining two pieces of material that are stacked on top of each other.

Fiber lasers only need single-side access, are much faster, and produce higher-strength welds. Fiber lasers do not require electrodes and eliminate the costs and time for electrode replacement.

Electron Beam Welding (EB) vs Fiber Laser Welding

EB welding provides excellent weld quality and a low heat affected zone. Because the process is in a vacuum chamber, contaminant levels are very low.

Fiber laser welding speed is similar to electron beam, but because lasers do not require part transfer through a vacuum chamber, laser cycle time is dramatically shorter.

1000w,1500w,2000w Laser Welding Machine

Advantages of Fiber Laser Welding Technology

Highest Part Yield

The high stability of the laser power and beam profile of the IPG fiber laser ensures a very repeatable process that delivers the same high-quality weld every time. This non-contact process with no wearing surfaces ensures the last part you produce is the same as the first.

High Throughput

The inherently high speed of laser processing combined with the ease of high-speed automation and elimination of most post-processing steps provide significantly shorter cycle times than competing technologies. Factor in the high-yield process, and IPG fiber laser welding delivers more good parts faster than alternate joining techniques.

Fast ROI

Together with higher-speed and lower-cost processing, the high uptime and availability of the laser welding system enabled by the zero-maintenance IPG fiber laser make for the lowest cost per part welding, and the fastest return on investment.

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