Pump Diode or Fiber Laser?
Are you looking for a high power, high performance laser? A laser that in terms of capital outlay, costs less than the rest for equivalent power output? You’re going to buy a pump diode laser . . . but is that the right choice?
Pump Diode verses Fiber
A pump diode laser gives you high performance but it comes at a cost later. All of that performance puts a considerable strain on the laser’s components. The diodes can be temperamental and only last around 6-8,000 hours. The replacement is going to cost you around £6-10,000. If you’re running a full-on 3 shift system, that’s an annual cost on your balance sheet.
Fiber laser diodes last 50,000+ hours. In fact, for some TLM customers, the diodes have lasted for over 100,000 hours with no sign of deterioration. There are no lamps to replace.
Parts, Labour and Downtime
Diode pumped systems are complex pieces of kit. The diode replacement procedure requires significant training so a maintenance call does not come cheap. The replacement diode modules normally include the complete pumping chamber which means the laser rod will probably need replacing as well. The mirrors also need regular cleaning and alignment and occasional replacement.
A fiber laser needs no maintenance, no consumables and no cleaning or alignment of mirrors. So unless something untoward or unexpected takes place, your annual maintenance bill is likely to be in the region of £0.00.
Of course, we mustn’t forget that along with all this highly specialised maintenance on your pump diode laser comes the downtime. You’re not always going to be able to predict when your diode is going to fail. When it does, you’ve got to call the maintenance company, hope they have the part, wait for the engineer and allow time for the repair. We could be talking days – maybe more.
Fiber Reliability and Power
Fiber lasers are renowned for their combination of reliability and power. Efficiency and flexibility may have been slightly lacking in the past but with the development of the latest MOPA technology, fiber lasers are now virtually a match for their pump laser counterparts.
MOPA is an acronym for Master Oscillator Power Amplifier. In MOPA lasers, the master oscillator produces the laser beam which is then amplified by the optical amplifier to increase the output power.
The master oscillator has no need to be extra powerful or efficient; this is all determined by the power amplifier. That’s why MOPA is the most popular way of achieving power scalability.
Through their superior technology and marking capabilities and adjustable pulse durations, MOPA fiber lasers can create custom marking solutions to meet your unique applications needs.
To find out more details on our cost-effective MOPA fiber alternatives to heavy duty pump diode running costs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org