Combining laser drilling with air flow measurement on multi-axis laser systems, FlowComp closed loop hardware and software, introduced by Prima North America's Laserdyne Systems, was initially designed to meet difficult aerospace turbine engine requirements of aero and land-based engine components.
The FlowComp software adjusts the laser drilled hole size without operator input, ensuring cooling holes are drilled within tolerance and verified by flow-testing.
This is said to result in high-speed, consistent processing, with real-time data logging for compliance verification.
To begin with, FlowComp records air flow test results, adjusting subsequent hole size as required, ensuring the laser hole drilling process remains within tolerance after drilling thousands of holes.
Higher quality holes ensure consistent air flow with no part re-working necessary.
Increasingly complex engine components used to minimise fuel usage and noise are designed with shaped holes and holes positioned at very shallow angles to the part surface.
As these holes may feature a diameter as small as 0.2mm, laser drilling at high speeds can be challenging.
Making hole size adjustments smaller than 0.025mm helps maintain tight hole tolerances.
FlowComp, along with OFC (Optical Focus Control), is designed to ensure minimal laser drilling variability by maintaining the focused laser beam diameter, location of drilling and the depth of focus required to maintain beam quality.