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Precession Elephant 1Precession Elephant 2

8-axis scan head for high-precision drilling and cutting

Precession Elephant 1Precession Elephant 2

8-axis scan head for high-precision drilling and cutting

Precession Elephant 1Precession Elephant 2

8-axis scan head for high-precision drilling and cutting

Precession ElephantPrecession Elephant 2

The Precession Elephant and the Precession Elephant 2 are the world’s leading scan heads for high-precision laser drilling, cutting and micromachining, specifically designed for demanding applications in mass production.

The new Precession Elephant 2 scan head version offers extra functionality, especially for process control and set-up. The Precession Elephant scan heads can be used with all ultra-short pulsed laser sources available on the market today.

Brief description

Industry-proven scan heads with between 5 and 8 axes for high-precision drilling and cutting applications

Applicaton examples

  • high-precision drilling of customized borehole shapes and taper angles with the highest reproducibility
  • advanced cutting applications with precise edge angle control

Typical process parameters

  • Material thickness:
0.02 - 1.5 mm
  • Hole processing time:
0.5 s
  • Hole diameters:
25 - 700 µm
  • Negative taper full angle:
> 16 °
  • Hole aspect ratio:
> 12:1
  • Diameter repeatability:
< 0.25 % variation
  • Hole diameter accuracy:
< 0.2 µm
  • Hole circularity:
> 95 %
  • Hole position accuracy:
< 1 µm
  • Wall surface quality:
Ra < 0.1 µm
ARGES Precession Elephant front side view

Videos

 

Functionality

About precession scanning

Precession scan heads allow not only the positioning of a laser beam, but also the setting of  the incidence angle of the beam at each point of the workpiece,. For a drilling process, the incidence angle is also called the precession angle. When drilling a borehole with high precision, the inclination of the internal hole surface, the so-called taper angle, can only be produced in a reliable and reproducible way if a precession scan head is used. The production of defined edge angles in laser cutting or laser micromachining also requires the use of precession heads.

ABOUT THE PRECESSSION ELEPHANT AND THE PRECESSION ELEPHANT 2

The Precession Elephant and the Precession Elephant 2 are the world’s first and most used laser scan heads for  precession applications. The heads are designed for high-precision laser drilling, cutting and micromachining applications. They are used 24/7 in production facilities around the world.   
The Precession Elephant scan heads offer maximum flexibility for the drilling of innovative borehole-and edge geometries of differing conicity, taper angles and shapes, and allow the production of perfectly round, elliptical and custom-shaped micro holes. The Precession Elephant 2 is available for ultraviolet, green and two infrared wavelength ranges, each with two different focal lengths.
The scan heads can be used with all major ultra-short pulsed laser sources available on the market today. In addition, the new Precession Elephant 2 makes it possible to monitor the laser process and the laser beam properties during production. The new scan head offers improved particle extraction, beam attenuation control and additional functionalities designed for mass production of the highest quality. Several other options, such as tools for the setting and calibration of the polarization, simplify the set-up of the scan head and minimize downtimes for the end-user.

FOR THE PRECESSION ELEPHANT SCANHEADS, ARGES OFFERS

  • laser-specific customization
  • subsystems that include laser and beam path
  • customer-specific software extensions
  • laser process development
  • sample production

Please feel free to contact ARGES or its distributors if you have any further questions.

PROCESS GAS CONTROL

Process gas control for highest possible processing quality

Process gases such as nitrogen or helium are frequently used in laser material processing to ensure the best possible results.

When using process gases, it is important not only to select a suitable protective gas, but to also consider the flow dynamics aspects, which can significantly affect the processing quality and processing time.

The drilling nozzle of the Precession Elephant 2 has been designed to precisely guide the process gas and, together with the system design and configuration, is an important contributor to ensuring optimum results in laser microprocessing.

The protective gas flows through a channel in the drilling nozzle directly onto the workpiece. Due to the compression of the protective gas, the nozzle exit pressure is significantly higher than the ambient pressure. This underexpanded flow behavior is evident by the formation of a compression structure that is similar in shape to polished diamonds and leads to the creation of so-called Mach discs.

The process gas density is higher within a Mach disc, which results in an improved ablation process in laser material processing.

Through targeted control of the process gas pressure, it is possible to precisely position these Mach discs to suit the specific working distance between the nozzle and workpiece, and to optimize the machining process for each particular system design.

This exact tailoring of the process gas control to the specific application is an important aspect in achieving the highest possible processing quality in laser micromachining.

Specifications

Technical specifications PRECESSION ELEPHANT 2 PRECESSION ELEPHANT
Number of axes 8 axes: 5 axes:
XYZ coordinates XYZ coordinates
Two beam inclination angles Two beam inclination angles
Two polarization parameters
Beam attenuation value
Laser wavelength 343-355 nm (ultraviolet)
515-532 nm (green) 515-532 nm (green)
1020-1080 nm (near infrared) 1020-1080 nm (near infrared)
1500-2100 nm (infrared) 1500-2100 nm (infrared)
Laser pulse energy 300 µJ 100 µJ
Average power 100 W 40 W
Pulse length 250 fs to 20 ps 500 fs to 10 ps
Adjustment of the spot geometry and beam caustic Manual and motorized Manual
Focal length of objective lens 60 mm or 120 mm, second generation 60 mm or 120 mm
Focal diameter 10 to 30 µm 20 to 40 µm
Polarization in the focus Circular or elliptical, with optional electronic control Circular, manually adjustable
Z positioning +/- 1mm electrical, +/- 2 mm manual +/- 1mm electrical, +/- 2 mm manual
Maximum mechanical Z velocity 500 mm/s 200 mm/s
Theoretical Z positioning resolution 30 nm 30 nm
Aperture 26 mm 21 mm
Precession frequency 200 - 600 Hz (12 000 - 36 000 rpm), depending on incidence angle 200 Hz (12 000 rpm)
Max. precession angle (full cone angle) 18° 14°
Field size 0.8 mm to 3.0 mm, depending on nozzle 0.8 mm to 2.0 mm, depending on nozzle
Hole diameter accuracy < 0.2 µm < 0.25 µm
Step width adjustment of hole diameter 0.015 µm 0.1 µm
Cooling Water Water
Purge gas (head/lens) Air or nitrogen Air or nitrogen
Process gas Air, nitrogen or shielding gas Air, nitrogen or shielding gas
Process gas pressure Any, 0 to 4 bar Any, 0 to 4 bar
PROCESS CONTROL OPTIONS
 Customized suction cups for integrated particle extraction with external pressure controlCustomized suction cups for integrated particle extraction
 Through-the-lens vision module with internal sample illumination
 Polarization control for sharpest edges over complete circumference
 High-speed laser stop for consistent edge results on exit surface
 Energy monitor for long-time process stability
 Optical beam attenuator
 Confocal detector
 Plasma emission sensor
 Single pulse energy measurement sensor
 Beam position and profile monitor
SET-UP OPTIONS
Two alignment cameras for beam adjustment
Beam position and beam profile monitoring -
Automatic calibration of the beam position and direction
Safety shutter
INTEGRATION OPTIONS
Available as scan head Available as scan head
Available as scan head, adjusted to your laser source Available as scan head, adjusted to your laser source
Available as scan head with matched
laser and beam path
Available as scan head with matched laser and beam path
Stationary or moveable mounting Stationary or moveable mounting
XY table control
Beam splitter control
Control of external acousto- and electro-optical modulators
CONTROL OPTIONS
User interface InScript® V3 with precession drill nodes InScript® V2 with Spiro3D nodes
Network Controller lib via TCP/IP Controller lib via TCP/IP
PLC Profibus, EtherCAT, 24V Profibus, EtherCAT, 24V
System control System Controller ASC-2 System Controller ASC-2
Inputs (ASC-2) RS232, CAN/CANopen, Ethernet (TCP/IP), Profibus, EtherCAT, digital inputs (TTL up to 24V) RS232, CAN/CANopen, Ethernet (TCP/IP), Profibus, EtherCAT, digital inputs (TTL up to 24V)
Outputs (ASC-2) RS232, CAN/CANopen, Ethernet (TCP/IP), Profibus, EtherCAT, analog outputs (0-10V), digital outputs (TTL up to 24V) RS232, CAN/CANopen, Ethernet (TCP/IP), Profibus, EtherCAT, analog outputs (0-10V), digital outputs (TTL up to 24V)