Support for CO2 lasers

We’ve recently published an article in our newsletter about an increase in demand for our mirror reworking service. This isn’t just idle boasting, it is a result of OEMs dramatically cutting support for installed CO2 lasers, including a big reduction in stocks of spare parts.

This is probably because the bulk of current OEM production is now focused on fiber lasers, therefore support for existing CO2 laser users has been cut. So at LBP we’ve seen a corresponding increase in demand for laser mirror repairs, not just for truly obscure mirrors but for parts that were standard and widely available just 2 or 3 years ago.

We regularly repair, polish and coat a wide range of mirrors, including copper and molybdenum, to a ‘good as new’ condition, saving our customers time and money.

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Automotive customer saves $15,000

Some of our aerospace and automotive customers insist we offer a RTV (Return To Vendor) repair programme to reduce the overall cost of ownership of laser equipment. It saves time, money and valuable materials, and is well worth doing.  The reworked mirrors are as good as new so there is no loss of quality or productivity. It can also contribute to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Here’s a great case study…

One of our customers, a European automotive manufacturer, sent us a collection of used mirrors from their production line that had accumulated minor burns and scratches, and had been swapped out.  They were large, complex water cooled beam delivery mirrors which we repolished and recoated to a condition that was as good as new. The mirrors were repaired and returned in under 3 weeks.

The customer was delighted and told us the mirrors were working perfectly, and had saved them $15,000 on the cost of new mirrors!. They have since had them reworked three more times.

Here’s an example of another customer’s mirrors that we reworked to a ‘good as new’ condition. These were from a gas sensing cell made by a company who stopped supporting their equipment. You can find out more on our website.

Reworked Mirror

Repairing mirrors for multipass gas cells

We regularly make and repair mirrors for CO2 lasers that the Original Equipment Manufacturer has stopped supporting. This can be shortly after purchase if the OEM has ceased trading, or sometimes a cynical ploy by the OEM to force their customers into replacing perfectly serviceable systems before the end of their working life. There is a guide to reworking laser mirrors on our web site

Gas cell repair

Gas cell repair

It seems laboratory equipment is similarly affected and, we have had a rush in repairing mirrors for multi-pass gas cells used in environmental monitoring or for chemical analysis. We’ve seen that the original mirrors tend to be of very poor quality to begin with. One customer fitting a re-polished and freshly Gold coated mirror was amazed by the huge increase in signal output, so much so that it swamped the detector. For him it turned out to be more of an upgrade than a repair. Here is a nice animation that show the beam path in a “White Cell” 

If you have any mirrors that need replacing or repairing and you’re not getting any support from the OEM. talk to us. If you send us as much information as you can about the part including original packaging, specifications and photos, or send us the original parts to inspect and we will let you know if we can help.

Mirrors with built-in mounts can save money

Many of our customers end up spending more money than they need to buying mirrors and mounts separately. A small, simple kinematic mount can cost €100, which is sometimes more than the price of the mirror!

We can design and manufacture our mirrors as one monolithic block so mirror and mount are in one piece. Our designs are robust enough to ensure that the mirror remains distortion free, and can be pre-aligned for simple installation.

Here are some examples of mirrors with mounts we have produced, and there are more to see on our mirror gallery pdf.

Mirror With Mount

DSCF4314

after_repairThreaded holes can have helicoil inserts to strengthen them, or reamed holes can be included in the mirror that accept hardened steel dowel pins.  For flowing gas or water systems, O ring grooves can be incorporated into the mirror.

Reworking Laser Mirrors continues to be good business

It’s been around 3 years since we launched our Laser Mirror Reworking Service and it’s still going strong.  We’ve recently compiled a pdf  (available to download from our website) to provide more information on the service, how it works and to give some good examples of what we’ve done for our customers.

So if you’ve got some used mirrors in a cupboard or tool box, with the thought that they might just work in an emergency, or because they’re obviously too valuable to throw away,  take a look at our pdf for some examples of the parts we have been able to repair. If you think your parts may be repairable, send them to us and we’ll inspect them and let you know. It’s worth a try as you can save significant amounts of both time and money. 

So how does the service work? To re-cap, we take customers own  lightly damaged mirrors and repair them to a condition that is as good as new. These mirrors are then returned to the customer for their own use. If we don’t think we can repair the mirrors we will tell you and there is no charge.