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Alway staying cool: Innovative and powerful cooling and temperature control solutions

SMC at LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019

Nothing works without light: We could hardly find our way around without photons, which are created by the sun or by electric lights. Light also plays a crucial role in science and industry, often in the form of a laser focussed down to millionths of a millimetre. At Laser World of Photonics, the world's leading trade fair in this field, leading experts will be meeting up in Munich between 24 and 27 July to discuss the latest developments. SMC will be presenting its wide range of cooling and temperature control solutions for industrial lasers at stand 443 in hall A3 at the trade fair. These include new, compact thermo-chillers for 19-inch racks, accurate flow meters and ultra-precise pressure switches with IO-Link connection.

Two in one – with separate temperature range control

Two components have to be cooled when operating lasers: The laser generator and the optical system. Operators previously needed two thermo-chillers for this purpose. This is why SMC developed its new HRL series. It controls two temperature ranges separately, so that it can cool the high-energy generator, which requires a lot of cooling, as well as the less demanding optical system, thus saving a lot of space. This is made possible by two separate water circuits, together with separate temperature regulation. Standard features also include a bypass for pressure equalization and water and DI filters for controlling conductance if deionised coolant is required, as well as an automatic safety cut-out. The HRL-series devices also save up to 50 percent energy, thanks to their speed-regulated compressor motors, fans and pumps, as well as waste-heat recovery.

Cooling – and saving space with 19-inch temperature controllers

Highly focused lasers can machine work pieces in the nanometre range. They require consistently powerful cooling to achieve this. The especially compact new thermo-chillers in the HRR series maintain temperatures between 10 and 35 °C, precise to within ± 0.1 °C – using water or air cooling. With a height of just 310 (399) millimetres, they fit into 19-inch racks and several can be easily accommodated even in restricted spaces. Compared with similar stand-alone devices, they save a lot of space. And all the access points to the thermo-chillers are located on the front, so that they do not have to be removed from the rack when a particle filter has to be replaced, for example, or the circulating coolant has to be topped up – saving even more time and space.

Precise control with compact flow sensors

If you want to cool your laser to optimum effect you must always know how much water or coolant is circulating in the system at any time. The PF3W711 series flow sensors from SMC measure water, deionised water or aqueous ethylene glycol solution flows up to 100 l/min. Their rotating two-line display can display additional measured values as well as the current flow rate. Particularly good for confined spaces: compared to their predecessors, the new models are around 40 percent smaller.

Controls for compressed air – ready for Industry 4.0 with IO-Link precision pressure switches

All the signs are pointing to Industry 4.0, including in the laser and photonics sector. For that reason and for the first time SMC has now equipped its digital precision pressure switches, series ISE70/71, with IO-Link technology. The smart sensors register current pressure values up to 1.6 MPa and the status of the switching output, as well as important diagnostic information and error messages to the SPS. The two-line display of the precision pressure switch can be rotated through up to 336°, showing, for example, the target value (limit value), hysteresis value, highest or lowest value, as well as delay time – entirely as required by the operator. Thanks to their persistent memory the ISE70/71 series also safeguard the data that has been collected, even when the power supply is interrupted.

Trade visitors can find SMC at Messe Munich in hall A3, stand 443.

Picture caption: Two in one: Thanks to two independent water circuits, the HRL thermo-chiller from SMC simultaneously cools the laser generators and optical systems of powerful industrial and research lasers.

Photograph: SMC Deutschland GmbH

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May 15, 2019