Fiber Laser Role in FPD (Flat Panel Display) Manufacturing
Manufacturing modern FPDs requires a variety of materials, equipment and expert operators to achieve efficiency while still ending up with a high-quality product at the end of the process. Top brands are frequently investigating new ways to approach common aspects of display production to cut costs and improve yields, and fiber lasers are playing an integral role in this area at the moment.
Here is a look at what aspects of FPD manufacturing are being augmented by fiber lasers and what innate advantages this tech brings to the table for this part of the electronics industry.
Fiber laser cutting is a widespread application for this technology which can take on lots of different materials and afford manufacturers impressively consistent results. When it comes to making displays, the cutting power of fiber lasers can be used to do everything from making the stencils for the printed circuit boards (PCBs) which form the brain of the device, right up to cutting the glass which will sit in front of the various substrates.
Glass cutting with fiber lasers is particularly impactful because this fragile material is prone to picking up defects during manufacturing, especially when mechanical ‘contact’ methods of interaction with the material are required. The trend for the production of ever-thinner, larger glass-fronted displays has only exacerbated this issue, since the fragility of the material is amplified further as brands attempt to keep up with demand.
Because fiber laser cutting is a non-contact process, the edges of the panels that are made this way are more uniform and so fewer sheets of glass need to be discarded. Damage is also much less likely to occur, with the precise control of the laser preventing errors and faults from arising. This saves money as well as making the manufacturing process more sustainable.
Etching is another application of fiber lasers which is made use of by FPD manufacturers. Lasers can be used to mark the surface of PCBs, components and other electronic parts found within a display to streamline manufacturing, maintenance and repairs over the entire lifespan of the product in question.
Fiber lasers can also be used to etch colour filters so that the individual pixels of the screen work correctly. Because fiber lasers can be applied to reflective and conductive materials, this makes them able to complete this work without doing damage to any other part of the display assembly.
Other processes like fiber laser welding and even ablation can be used to put together flat panel displays, not only factoring in the display panel itself but also the other structural parts that bring the whole thing together. These processes will no doubt become more tightly integrated with FDP manufacturing as firms get to grips with the possibilities fiber laser tech brings within reach.
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