You are here

Electroimpact innovates with variable spot size laser heater

News International-French

5 Nov 2020

The VSS laser + ServoCreel, both patent pending, are two of the recent innovations made by Electroimpact's AFP Group. These fit into their overall AFP4.0 philosophy which has the following tenets: Quality, reliability, performance, and utilization.

Electroimpact Variable Spot Size Laser Heater - Visit AFPMastered.com for more info


AFP4.0 exceeds all previous technology because it operates on these four tenets:

  1. Quality of lamination: The Variable Spot Size (VSS) delivers perfect heat for each individual tow resulting in superior and consistent tow tack even when adding at 4000"/min. Tow end placement is extremely accurate and consistent due to perfect tension and tow tack.  
  2. Reliability of process: Superior tack means no missed tows, especially short tows. The servo-creel is a high performance tension system that assures no slack and therefore no tow twists are possible. Because only the active tows are being heated and because the heat arrives at the moment the new tow meets the nip, there is no chance for a compaction roller wrap.
  3. Performance: The VSS laser and servo-creel enable 4000"/min adds and 3000"/min cuts. These are easily the highest in industry.
  4. Utilization: Utilization follows from great quality and superior reliability. If the quality is perfect, there is no rework. If the reliability of process is perfect, there are no recoveries from process error required. Both rework and process error recovery have been major contributors to poor utilization throughout the industry.  

In the video, you can also notice some interesting things:

At 23s, they slow the video down and you see the individual laser heaters go on-off, on-off while the machine traverses at 3000"/min. This is because the right 2 lanes are laying down 2 strips in this course. Only the active tow is heated. Actuation time is measured in micro seconds (us).  

And at 35s, you can notice stable performance of the servo creel during a very challenging add/cut, add/cut sequence at 3000"/min. The system is perfectly stable and there is no risk of loss of tension in the system.