variMODE – Adaptable laser beams, to transform your productivity

variMODE is our latest CW product feature available on our range of redPOWER QUBE lasers over 3kW, allowing users to switch between laser beam profiles in less than 40ms…

….but what does that really mean?

variMODE allows you to tailor your Fiber Laser system to optimise the beam characteristics (including spot size and beam profile), specific to your application, whether that be cutting, welding, piercing or additive manufacture.

This dynamic controllable beam profile, brings significant advantages, enabling processing step changes ‘on the fly’ to improve production speeds and reduce costs.

For a simple no nonsense explanation to beam switching watch our latest video on variMODE and discover what it’s all about in just a couple of minutes.

You’ll receive information on how it works and what the key benefits are; we’ve kept it simple so you can quickly get to the heart of the matter.

variMODE is available within the redPOWER range as an option on all high power QUBE lasers, offering a dynamic switchable choice of laser beams from a 100µm delivery fiber, whilst maintaining spot size.

Based on an internal, all-in-fiber device that modifies the spatial modes in the delivery fiber, this innovative approach uniquely maintains beam delivery through the central core of the fiber, removing the need for complex and expensive additional optical components and ensuring maximum power is maintained across the beam profile regardless of the chosen mode.

This is achieved by controlling the output beam divergence and thus beam quality.   This variability is all controlled inside the laser with no need for any external optics. Fitted with a Ø100µm delivery fiber, the beam quality can be switched from 3.2 mm.mrad (M2 9.5) to 5.8 mm.mrad (M2 17), as shown in table 1.

The lower beam quality 5.8 mm.mrad has been set to match the NA of standard commercially available cutting heads, to ensure that all of the laser power is delivered to the sheet metal and that beam clipping does not occur within the cutting head. The switching time from low to high beam quality is typically 30ms, which is fast enough to be changed between piercing and cutting.

Benefits of VariMODE:

Here are some of the main benefits to expect when using VariMODE:

  • Select in real time the beam that’s best for your process
  • Simple user interface for optimal control and integration
  • Faster process speeds and better cut quality and
  • Improved system flexibility, enabling processing of a wider range of materials and thicknesses
  • ‘All in fiber’ process, negating the need for extra optical components that increase complexity and risk
  • Utilise the full laser power in all modes
  • Can replace zoom focus head, reducing weight and cost

Want to know more?

Read Dr. Paul Harrison’s whitepaper…

Dr. Paul Harrison our Chief Applications Engineer produced the following whitepaper, giving an insight into how variMODE can improve cutting capability.

Laser cutting of sheet metals is a well established production method, with many thousands of cutting systems operating worldwide. In the last 10 years solid-state fiber-coupled lasers such as fiber and disk systems have become the laser of choice, replacing the CO2 laser used in many older systems. In both cases the machines operate in a similar manner, using a cutting head to focus the laser beam onto the sheet metal through a conical nozzle with co-axial high pressure assist gas…

To read the full article: CLICK HERE.

Listen to Dr. Mark Richmond’s webinar…

Recorded in October 2019 this webinar was delivered by CW Product Manager, Dr Mark Richmond and introduces variMODE, a new feature designed to overcome the limitations of previous lasers, giving a more flexible approach to laser processing.

“Using a novel, all-in-fiber technique the output beam quality and mode profile can be selected in real time to optimise the processing for each application. In this webinar Mark looks at the advantages of this approach, and why it has potential to improve the overall productivity of Fiber Lasers for Materials Processing, by outperforming traditional fixed beam quality Fiber Lasers.”

To listen to the webinar: CLICK HERE.