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What is a MOPA Fiber Laser?

by Joshua Christley
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SMARTmark® VP MOPA Fiber Laser

What is a MOPA Fiber Laser Engraving Machine and How Does it Work?

A MOPA fiber laser is a sophisticated laser system that utilizes a master oscillator and a power amplifier to generate high-power laser output with exceptional precision in controlling pulse parameters. This design is extensively employed in a diverse range of industrial and scientific applications where the accuracy and consistency of laser pulses are critical. The MOPA fiber laser technology offers a unique combination of high power, excellent beam quality, and flexible pulse duration and repetition rate, making it an ideal choice for various applications, such as engraving medical devices and automotive components, as well as a wide range of plastic, metal, and clean anodized aluminum materials. 

 

How does the MOPA fiber laser engraver work?

Essentially, there are two key elements of MOPA technology.

1. Master Oscillator (MO): The MO is the initial laser source in the system, which generates low-power laser pulses with a high degree of spectral purity and stability. It provides the starting point for the laser pulse generation. 

 

2. Power Amplifier (PA): The MO output is then directed to the power amplifier, which boosts the laser power to the desired level. The PA can significantly increase the output power while maintaining the quality of the laser pulse. 

 

The key advantage of a MOPA fiber laser is its flexibility in controlling pulse parameters such as pulse duration, pulse repetition rate, and pulse energy. This flexibility makes MOPA lasers suitable for various applications and industries, including: 

 

Medical Device Applications

MOPA lasers are employed in medical device manufacturing for higher contrast on plastic materials resulting in more defined, readable traceability marks. 

 

Scientific Research

MOPA lasers are used in scientific experiments and research that require precise control over laser parameters. 

 

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)

MOPA lasers are used in LIDAR systems for remote sensing and mapping applications. 

 

Communication

In some cases, MOPA lasers are used in fiber-optic communication systems, although this is less common compared to other laser types. 

 

What is the SMARTmark® VP MOPA Fiber Laser?

We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to the SMARTmark family - the SMARTmark VP MOPA Fiber laser. With variable pulse MOPA technology, you can now choose a pulse width, which expands the range of applications and adds more value to your fiber laser marking system. The VP MOPA Fiber Laser is a popular choice among customers because it offers all the benefits of a standard fiber laser marking machine with the added advantage of maximum flexibility. You can select your output power (20W, 100W, and 200W) and system configuration, from SMARTmark OEM or LightWriter(TM) PRO Connect by MECCO workstations, to Custom and Configured systems, to get the best system for your operation. Our latest laser model is a significant advancement in versatility and adaptability, making it the perfect choice for your business.

What are the Variable Pulse Advantages

If you are looking for a fiber laser engraver that offers more than the usual options, then you should consider the SMARTmark® VP MOPA Fiber Laser Marking Machine from MECCO. It is the newest addition to the industry's most extensive range of industrial laser marking solutions. The VP MOPA Fiber Laser provides unparalleled flexibility and control, thanks to its variable pulse MOPA technology. The laser's pulse width can be adjusted, making it ideal for automotive, medical devices, and other manufacturing applications. A few of the key benefits of the variable pulse are listed below:

Higher Contrast on Plastics

Avoid burning and excess foaming when marking plastics thanks to the ability to control the amount of heat directed at the material’s surface with a variable pulse MOPA laser. The possibilities for high contrast marks on various types of plastics have gotten much easier to achieve. Laser marking on nylon is a notoriously complex process. Fixed pulse width fiber lasers normally leave a tan color marked but the VP MOPA Fiber laser leaves behind a brilliant white mark. These markers with variable pulse technology allow you to adjust your pulse width to mark a wider range of plastic materials with only one versatile machine.  

Day/Night Marking

In applications such as day and night marking, adjusting pulse width is crucial for targeted ablation of specific layers. This process involves using a laser beam to remove layers of coating, creating a backlit effect that requires extreme precision. While this technique is commonly used in automotive components, it has numerous applications across various industries.

Faster Deep Engraving on Metals

To reduce cycle times and achieve faster deep engraving on automotive metals and other metal materials, you can adjust the pulse width of your VP MOPA Fiber Laser Marking Machine. The Variable Pulse feature allows you to create VIN marks at a faster rate by using a longer pulse duration.

Black Marking on Anodized Clear Aluminum

If you need to achieve black marking on clear anodized aluminum, such as on cell phones, electrical panels, or automotive trim, you can use variable pulse MOPA technology. This technology allows you to create clean, high-quality black marks inside the anodized surface. Traditional fiber lasers, on the other hand, will completely remove the anodization, exposing the bare metal and leaving only a gray mark.

The VP MOPA Fiber Laser creates these black marks by fracturing the subsurface of the material. In doing so, it also preserves the surface from oxidation. In comparison, performing this application with a traditional fiber laser would ablate the surface, leaving the aluminum exposed. Laser marking using the VP MOPA Fiber laser offers improved contrast and readability of the marks. Unlike traditional fiber laser marks that lose legibility when viewed at an angle, the high contrast marks from the VP MOPA Fiber laser remain clear and readable regardless of lighting and angle.

Unlock the Variable Pulse Advantage today!

The SMARTmark VP MOPA Fiber Laser is the result of our engineering team's innovative solutions, which have enabled us to offer a range of power output options and workstations. Additionally, we have incorporated the ability to modify the pulse width, further enhancing the laser's flexibility. We are confident that this laser is our most versatile and adaptive model to date, and we look forward to continuing to provide cutting-edge solutions to our clients.

Contact us today to talk with our engineers and discover what this laser can do for you!

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