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August 2019

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Micro Laser Welding for Mold Repair and Tool & Die Maintenance

Plastic injection mold being repaired at CMS on the LaserStar 8700-3 fiber laser welding workstation.

Complete Machining Services, Inc. (CMS) has expanded its capabilities to include micro laser welding for mold repair and tool & die maintenance.

"Over the past 15 years, CMS has continued to target its precision machining and fabricating services to market demands," said a company spokesperson. "Having the ability to accomplish that typically includes the addition of state-of-the art capital equipment." For CMS, that includes 3-, 4- and 5-axis CNC milling machines. In some cases, it might be a new machine, or it can be a slightly used machine equipped with new tooling, controls and software upgrades.

Jeff Dainty, CMS President and CEO. said, "When your business is contract machining and fabricating. you have to have the right tools with the best level of technology to provide the needed high-quality parts manufacturing capability at a competitive cost-and delivered on time."

Dainty added, "Last year we began receiving numerous requests for plastic injection mold repair services. Beyond our MIG and TIG welders, this was a capability we did not have. It was obvious there was a lack of contract precision laser welding services in the area for plastic injection molds, which was surprising because the largest concentration of mold makers in North America resides in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, MI, close to where CMS is located. Coincidentally, my manufacturing manager and I were scheduled to attend the 2018 IMTS show the following week in Chicago, so we went looking for the ideal laser welding systems for mold repair. After researching the laser welding systems at the show, we settled on the LaserStar 8700-3 Series Universal Jig Welding Workstation, a micro welding laser system that was going to give CMS the high-quality capability for plastic injection mold repair."

Gary Paresky, LaserStar Regional Sales Manager, said, "When CMS talked to us at IMTS about expanding their capabilities by adding laser welding for plastic injection mold repair and also tool & die maintenance, we explained that they were going to need not just a laser welding machine, but a workstation that provided the flexibility to handle a wide variety of parts and materials. That meant they needed at least 300-watt capability that could weld aluminum, and that means a fiber laser. YAG lasers are typically 200-watt devices. We directed them to our 8700-3 Series fiber laser welding workstation that provides high-peak power, optimal performance and throughput, and that means high up-time-exactly what a job shop like CMS needs."

Paresky continued, "The fiber laser source on the 8700-3 has a permanently sealed design that protects against dust and dirt, which sometimes is an issue in a job shop environment. It does not require adjustment, has no consumable parts and requires basically no maintenance. The technology of the fiber laser produces a sharp, focused light beam that consistently melts a very small area of metal. The benefit of the technology is that very little heat is generated at the weld point, allowing users like CMS to easily laser weld >0.25 mm from complex, heat sensitive intricate parts."

Dainty said, "Because we needed to maximize the flexibility of the laser welder, we opted to add a number of options to the workstation that included a tower gantry for ease of moving the laser next to the molds, a motorized work table and a camera and monitor to aid in training operators. Fortunately for CMS, we were able to find an operator with experience using LaserStar equipment, so we were able to start putting work through the process right after it was installed. We are now successfully producing mold repair work for a variety of customers on a weekly basis."

CMS provides contract precision machining and fabricating services. Services include 2D and 3D machining, 5-axis machining, custom tooling and fixture design, prototype and R&D machining, MIG/TIG and laser welding, fabrication, assembly services and CMM inspection capability. CMS is ISO 9001-2015 and AS9100-D Certified, ITAR registered and compliant.

For more information contact:

Complete Machining Services, Inc.

10485 Enterprise Drive

Davisburg, MI 48350


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