Chesterfield based Peak Sensors has recently invested in the latest laser welding machine from Rofin-Baasel UK. The new installation will boost the already high standard of temperature sensors made by Peak Sensors
Peak Sensors manufactures custom built temperature sensors, delivering Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) and Mineral Insulated (MI) thermocouple assemblies to a wide variety of industries, with customers all over the world. From small sensors measuring the temperature of drugs delivered by anaesthetic machines to large robust sensors for measuring the temperature of molten glass.
The investment will ensure that production capabilities at Peak Sensors continue to match the expectations and growth of its customer base. Although some traditional industries are quiet, there is a surge in demand within areas such as green energy.
The advantage laser welding brings over existing methods is the capability to produce thin and small weld seams with minimal heat-affected zones. The laser welder will not only partly replace existing operations such as brazing, TIG welding and plasma welding but also add new capabilities. Peak Sensors will be able to easily weld thin wall tubes, and MI sensors will be able to be welded in longer lengths. The length of MI thermocouples and RTDs Peak Sensors are able to manufacture is now practically limitless. Modifications to the laser welder’s standard configuration will make the welds needed for the production of thermocouples and resistance thermometers even easier.
The laser welding system is the ROFIN Performance which combines a sophisticated control system with manual operation allowing precise location and repeatable results for spot or seam welds, positioned manually under a 16x microscope. The Performance has become the benchmark for precision manual laser welding in the electronics, jewellery and medical device industries around the world.
Managing Director Peter Smith sees substantial growth for the business as a result of introducing laser welding into the production of assemblies at Peak Sensors. “The laser welder allows us to reduce costs while increasing capacity. The improvement in product quality will give us significant commercial advantage” says Peter Smith, “A laser weld creates a smaller heat affected zone, at critical points in sensor manufacturing. This will extend product life and reduce long term sensor drift.”
The laser welder has only been installed for a number of weeks but it is already in full use and generating significant savings over previous methods. Peter Smith is very happy with the new machine “Welding mineral insulated cable has never been easier. We are able to produce very clean, small welds much quicker than before.”
Another advantage that laser welding brings is in temperature sensors for the food and beverage market. Laser welding produces very clean welds to make the sensors as hygienic as possible. Also the process does not require any foreign materials to be used such as fluxes or fillers.
Rofin-Baasel UK has been supplying laser welding, cutting and marking systems into the UK and Ireland from their office in Daventry since 1995.
Established in 1997, Peak Sensors has developed a reputation as the temperature sensor experts. Small companies and large brands from all over the world come to Peak Sensors for their extensive knowledge of temperature sensor design and product quality.