Laser Processing of High-Density Structures over Large Areas

High Precision – High Throughput – Simultaneous 2-D Processing

The processing of high-density structures over large areas such as laser drilling or laser marking of PCBs requires solutions that provide high precision and high throughput. The combination of multi-axis positioning systems with a highly dynamic galvanometer scanner can address the needs of industrial production. syncAXIS’s simultaneous control of the PI XY stages and of the excelliSCAN galvanometer scan system, the so called XL SCAN method, allows continuous operation over large areas, therefore avoiding idle time and eliminating stitching errors. The ability to extend the field of view by the travel ranges of the stages has the advantage that the optics can be fixed and maintained in terms of accuracy, spot size and performance.

Features of the XL SCAN Automation Solution

  • Extended process area
  • Increased throughput
  • Increased processing accuracy to the micron level
  • No stitching errors
  • Smooth processing with high dynamics and no stage vibrations
  • Automatic laser control, e.g. Spot Distance Control (SDC)
  • Multiple scan heads and workpiece motion systems capability

Laser Beam Steering

Workpiece Positioning

  • XY linear motor stages or planar scanners for high geometric characteristics and high velocity
    >> V-731 High-Precision XY Linear Motor Stage
  • Optional granite support for high accuracy and stability
  • Alternative gantry arrangement with stationary workpiece and moving scan head

Automation Control

System in Motion

Further Industries and Applications that Benefit from the XL SCAN Solution

Schematic Layout of a Standard XL SCAN Setup

The XL SCAN method provides simultaneous and coordinated control of the workpiece motion system, the scanner, and the laser modulation. The control software of XL SCAN automatically splits the desired pattern trajectory into a path for the scanner, a path for the XY stages and the control for the laser spot. The scanner receives high-frequency motion signals for short distances. The positioning stages with long travel ranges get the low frequencies and they enlarge the working area. Both motions are performed simultaneously.

Processing Features

  • Extended Process Area and Increased Throughput

    Conventional methods for processing large fields use a “step and scan” approach, which divides the machining area into individual sections. This piecewise processing is slower and generates stitching errors at boundaries. XL SCAN provides a working area enlarged by the long travel ranges of the PI motion systems and allows fast continuous motion across the extended field without stitching errors.
  • Increased Accuracy

    The XL SCAN method takes advantage of the zero tracking error of the excelliSCAN scan head. In combination with the XL SCAN trajectory planning, the advanced jerk-limited motion control and PI’s motion systems with corresponding dynamics, straightness, flatness, and precision, high process accuracies can be achieved. The process accuracy of the scan head is proportional to the distance of the processing point from the center of the scanning field. XL SCAN enables the scan head to work closest to the center of its FOV which in turn is directly related to accuracy.
  • Simultaneous Control of Spot Distance and Pulse Energy

    Both pulse energy and the spot distance can be controlled simultaneously. Spot distance control (SDC) outputs to the laser either a single pulse or a series of pulses. SDC allows a constant energy deposition per unit length. Triggering a laser pulse is based on the travel distance and is independent of the movement speed and the pattern of the laser path. Curved and straight sections can be processed at there respective maximum speed while maintaining accuracy and maximum throughput.
  • Ramping of Laser Power and Deflection-Angle-Dependent Control

    For certain processing operations, a specific laser power along a path may need to be defined. XL SCAN allows the user to define the power level specifically for different parts of the path. In addition, laser spot size depends on the deflection angle of the scan head. The deflection-angle-dependent laser control of XL SCAN keeps energy density constant and minimizes spot size variations along the laser path.


    Learn more about the XL SCAN motion and control solution

Image Source: SCANLAB GmbH



Automation Platforms for Laser Material Processing

Precision – Throughput – Synchronized Motion

Version / Date
BRO67E R1 2018-06
pdf - 3 MB
Version / Date
BRO67CN 2018-11
pdf - 12 MB

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