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Laser Drilling

Laser Drilling

Laser drilling relies on lasers to heat, melt and vaporize a material—causing it to increase in volume. The resulting pressure quickly expels the vaporized material, leaving behind the hole.

Compared to other drilling methods, lasers offer superior speed and precision while lowering operating costs. As a result, they’re finding a home in a variety of industries, from automotive to medical device manufacturing.

They also play an important role in the pharmaceutical industry—drilling osmotic pump tablets at high speeds while maintaining extremely close tolerances.

Laser Drilling Methods

The most basic laser drilling method is single pulse drilling—a simple, clean and fast process that has led to several variations, including:

  • Percussion drilling. This method is similar to single pulse drilling, but instead of using one large burst of energy, it uses several short, lower-energy bursts. Percussion drilling lets you create deeper, more accurate holes. Because less material vaporizes with each pulse, you can also drill holes with smaller diameters.
  • Trepanning. During this process, the laser works like a drill bit. First, the beam pierces a hole in the material. It then enlarges the hole by moving outwards in an ever-increasing circular pattern. Trepanning is a highly precise process that creates larger holes with burr-free edges.
  • Helical drilling. This method is similar to trepanning except it doesn’t make a starter hole. Instead, the laser drills through the material immediately—starting from the center and moving outwards until it achieves its desired diameter. You can adjust the beam’s focus in real time, ensuring hole measurements are consistent.

Tablet Drilling

We’re an industry innovator in designing and building laser tablet drilling systems for pharmaceutical applications. Our systems drill small apertures—600 μm to 1 mm—into osmotic pump tablets at speeds of 140,000 tablets per hour. They also achieve an infinite number of sizes and pattern variations. We can even add vision capabilities for more precise control of aperture quality.

Learn more about Tablet Drilling »

Plastic Drilling

Laser drilling makes no mechanical contact with plastic parts, allowing you to precisely control the shapes and sizes of holes with no tooling changeovers. Our laser drilling systems are used in a variety of applications—from spray nozzle valves, to irrigation tape.

Learn more about Plastic Drilling »

Metal Drilling

From automotive to medical device manufacturing, many industries utilize our custom laser systems to drill holes into metal components.

Ceramic Drilling

Because they focus energy into small areas, our laser drilling systems reduce strain on ceramic parts—all while offering superior precision and reliability compared to traditional drilling methods.

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We’ve provided custom laser drilling machines for high-throughput manufacturing lines around the world. Our extensive testing and verification processes ensure each system works seamlessly with your operation—improving overall reliability and lowering your cost of ownership.

Contact us today to learn more.