Plastic welding using diode lasers has been a mainstream manufacturing process for many years for Marquardt GmbH, manufacturer of electronic drive autorisation systems for vehicles.

It is used in the production of a wide range of parts, one such example is the car key, which today has become more than just an object to start the car engine.

The car key has evolved into a design object which at the same time provides the security functions for the vehicle. In the course of assembling the key’s plastic components, it is essential that the joining process does not affect the component surface, as aesthetics and finish must be maintained and there must be no risk of damage to the sensitive internal electronic components.

The company therefore follows a series of strict production guidelines to ensure consistent joining techniques are guaranteed. The welding process must ensure high weld seam strength as well as a hermetically sealed joint to keep out moisture. High operational flexibility is also crucial in order to allow maximum freedom for component design. A further important aspect is the high dimensional accuracy required on the components after assembly. The welding process should also be controllable whilst keeping the process time as short as possible. Welding using a high-power diode laser from Rofin-Baasel fulfils all of these requirements.

Additional benefits from the laser welding process include the ability to process three-dimensional contours and, due to the small heat-affected zone, very fine welding seams can be achieved.

Laser welding of plastics using high-power diode lasers has become well-established, with more and more well-known companies within the automotive industry, medical device manufacturing industry and others using this as the preferred joining method. The clear advantages in terms of cost, process stability, high precision and weld seam quality mean that laser welding for plastics continues to grow in popularity as more manufacturers discover the technology.

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