Unlocking Precision and Possibilities with Laser Drilling

In the world of advanced manufacturing and technology, there’s a remarkable process that has been making waves – laser drilling. This micro drilling with lasers has proven itself to be a game-changer, enabling the creation of microscopic holes in a variety of materials, including ceramics, polymers, metals, and even silicon chips. But what sets laser drilling apart, and how does it revolutionize industries ranging from space exploration to semiconductor manufacturing? Let’s delve into the incredible world of laser drilling and its far-reaching impact.

The Science Behind Laser Drilling

At its core, laser drilling relies on a process known as controlled ablation. This involves the precise removal of material through exposure to high-intensity laser irradiation. The result? Minuscule holes with astonishingly small diameters, some as tiny as 1/2 of a micron, achieved with sub-micron placement accuracy. This level of precision opens doors to a myriad of applications across various sectors.

Space Exploration Takes Flight

One of the most awe-inspiring applications of laser drilling can be found in the field of space exploration. The James Webb Space Telescope, often heralded as the next giant leap in astronomical observation, relies on laser-drilled precision. In particular, laser drilling plays a pivotal role in creating precise alignment targets for the telescope’s infrared imaging system.
This incredible system is designed to study the universe’s most distant and enigmatic celestial bodies, such as its first galaxies, stars, and planets. Thanks to the accuracy and reliability of laser-drilled alignment targets, the telescope can capture the cosmos in unprecedented detail, unraveling mysteries that have captivated scientists and stargazers for generations.

Empowering Silicon Chips

But laser drilling’s influence doesn’t stop at the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere. It extends deep into the heart of modern technology – silicon chips. In the semiconductor industry, laser drilling is instrumental in creating internal circuit interconnections within these microelectronic powerhouses.
As the demand for smaller, faster, and more powerful silicon chips continues to grow, the quality and throughput requirements for laser drilling have never been more critical. With laser technology, manufacturers can meet increasingly stringent tolerances regarding dimensional and positional specifications, ensuring that the electronic devices we rely on daily perform at their best.

A World of Opportunities

The power of laser drilling lies not only in its precision but also in its versatility. It’s a driving force behind advancements in various fields, from space exploration to semiconductor technology. The ability to create minuscule, accurate holes opens doors to limitless possibilities, shaping the way we explore the universe and pushing the boundaries of technology.
As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more remarkable applications for laser drilling to emerge. The quest for precision, accuracy, and efficiency remains at the forefront of innovation, and laser drilling is poised to be a key player in this exciting journey. The future holds endless opportunities, all thanks to the tiny holes created by this remarkable process.
At Lenox Laser, we believe the world of laser drilling is a testament to human ingenuity and the desire to explore, create, and innovate. It serves as a shining example of how a seemingly small process can have an astronomical impact on our understanding of the cosmos and the devices we use in our everyday lives. So, keep an eye on those microscopic holes – they might just hold the key to the future.
For more information on laser drilling and its applications, stay tuned to our website and join us on the journey of discovery and innovation.

Lenox Laser to Unveil Precision Innovations at 2023 Mid-Atlantic Design-2-Part Show

OAKS, PA • NOVEMBER 8 & 9 — Lenox Laser, a trailblazer in precision innovation, is eagerly preparing to showcase its cutting-edge solutions at the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Design-2-Part Show. This dynamic two-day regional trade show, organized by The Job Shop Company Inc., serves as a convergence point for contract manufacturers, job shops, and industry leaders spanning diverse sectors.

Lenox Laser’s Precision Showcase:

• Small Holes, Big Impact: Since its establishment in 1981, Lenox Laser has specialized in crafting small holes, intricate slits, and complex shapes across a wide spectrum of substrates.
• Flow Control Expertise: Their mastery extends to flow control orifices, available in both standard Swagelok® fittings and customized applications. These orifices range from thousands of microns down to an astonishing 0.5 micron.
• Quality Assurance: Lenox Laser’s unwavering commitment to quality aligns with stringent standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), ensuring consistent and reliable performance at specified flow rates.

Cutting-Edge Lasers and Beyond:

• Lenox Laser has an array of cutting-edge lasers that feature ultra-fast, ultra-precise lasers coupled with cutting-edge software, enabling them to work with an extensive array of materials and thicknesses for bespoke needs.

Materials Expertise:

• Lenox Laser’s track record includes working with materials such as silicon, Valor® Glass, titanium, stainless steel, nickel, and polycarbonates.
• Beyond microhole drilling, they excel in laser processing for custom projects.

Meet Tom Hoffman and His Team at Booth #444:

• Tom Hoffman, General Manager at Lenox Laser, invites you to engage with his team of engineering experts.
• Explore innovative solutions and witness the future of laser technology firsthand.
Event Details:
• When: November 8 & 9, 2023
• Hours: Wednesday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm | Thursday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
• Where: Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
o Conveniently located in the Northwest Philadelphia suburb of Oaks (Phoenixville)
o Easy access from 8 major highways
o Plenty of free parking, avoiding big city hassles

CCIT

Lenox Laser is committed to ensuring the integrity of container closure systems in pharmaceutical and critical packaging. As part of this commitment, we adhere to the latest Container and Closure System Integrity Testing (CCIT) guidelines.
These guidelines, established by the FDA, recommend methods other than sterility testing to confirm container and closure system integrity. They apply to sterile biological products, human and animal drugs, and medical devices. Here are the key points:

Purpose and Scope:

  • The guidance provides recommendations for manufacturers.
  • It emphasizes using alternative methods to sterility testing for confirming container and closure system integrity.
  • These methods are essential components of stability protocols for sterile products.

Why CCIT Matters?

  • Federal Standards: Compliance with federal standards is crucial to prevent widespread damage to products and ensure public safety.
  • Reliable Testing: Companies need reliable methods to identify defects that compromise product integrity.
  • Calibration Assurance: Ensuring that machines detecting imperfections are correctly calibrated is vital.

What’s Lenox Laser’s Role?

  • Leak Detection Reliability: We contribute to the reliability of leak detection processes.
  • Calibrated Leaks: By intentionally introducing calibrated leaks using our products, pharmaceutical companies can monitor and verify that their systems meet quality standards.
  • Precision and Accuracy: Our proprietary laser drilling and flow calibration processes allow us to create orifices on a micron and sub-micron scale in various packaging materials.
  • Custom Solutions: We tailor our processes to accommodate specific requirements.

For inquiries about our capabilities or to request a custom CCIT job quote, feel free to reach out. Unsure about the orifice size you need? Check out our custom orifice calculator on our website.

Humanity’s First Interstellar Space Flight is Powered by Lasers

Space provides us with endless opportunities to explore the vastness beyond our atmosphere. However, escaping the gravitational pull of Earth has proven difficult. Scientists may have come up with a solution to this problem by asking: instead of flying into space, what if we could sail there? Researchers working for the company Breakthrough Initiatives are developing a method of space travel utilizing modified solar sails to capture laser light to provide propulsion. The project, dubbed Breakthrough Starshot, is testing this method by sending a probe weighing about 1 gram to Proxima Centauri b in approximately 20 years. By contrast, traditional chemical rockets would take thousands of years to travel the same distance. To achieve this, the probe will be propelled to 20% the speed of light by a 100GW, 1km square array of lasers. The sail attached to the probe captures this laser energy and is pushed by the force it generates, like a traditional sailing ship using the wind. 

Researchers Ho-Ting Tung and Artur Davoyan wondered if similar methods could replace our current chemical and electric rockets in the future. Calculations showed that even a probe powered by a much smaller 1m square, 100kW laser array could far exceed the current record for velocity, with minimal exposure time, in the range of hours to minutes. The team landed on silicon nitride or boron nitride as the best material for the sails due to their high reflectivity and cooling capabilities. They speculate that probes like these could easily be maneuvered between earth orbits within a day, a feat not possible with traditional propulsion methods. They also calculated that the probes could travel fast enough to escape our solar system, reaching up to 5 times the speed of the New Horizons probe.  

If you want to learn more about the Starshot project, click here, to read the original article. 

Or, click here, to read about the project on Breakthrough Initiatives’ website. 

Click here, for past Lenox Laser posts about space exploration. 

Recent Study Verifies Vacuum Decay Method for Detecting Packaging Leaks

Lenox Laser was recently involved in a study dedicated to testing the viability of an ASTM standard Vacuum Decay method of detecting leaks as put forth in their Abstract:

Preface: Vacuum decay, an ASTM standard method (F2338-09) has been well known in the industry as a reliable leak detection method for flexible non-porous pouches, as described in section 3.2.3i. Because the method-study for precision and bias has not been performed yet, as stated in section 1.2.5,ii this sometimes raises questions and doubts on the method itself. This paper can help to take away these questions and/or confusion/skepticism and provide some best practices and steps for product validation. To validate the vacuum decay method on flexible pouches, the most reliable ways are using capillaries or using a micro calibrator. Other methods might be cheaper, but cannot give reliable and reproducible results. In order to calculate flow rates, the Hagen-Poiseuille formula is explained. Moreover, the assumptions and limitations of this formula are covered.

Jobse, Pim & Renema, Andro. (2021). Verifying the Vacuum Decay Method with artificial leaks on flexible pouches.

If you are interested in learning more about this study, you can request the full-text PDF here.

Do you want more information about Lenox Laser’s involvement in the CCIT process? Visit our services page.

AI Powered Typing Assistant could Improve how We Use Keyboards

For most of us typing is second nature, we don’t have to think about where to place our hands, or when and where to move our fingers along the keyboard. A team at Waterloo School of Computer Science is looking to improve upon this process with a program called Typealike. The prototype program utilizes a webcam that monitors the user’s hands as they type and adjusts elements on-screen accordingly. This allows users to set up unique gestures to perform tasks that aren’t strictly available on the keyboard itself, similar to the gestures built in on most laptop trackpads. The goal is to make things as easy and streamlined for users as possible, to improve efficiency and reduce strain.

The program has a built in learning AI that learns gestures and improves its ability to recognize them as it continues to monitor a user’s inputs. It can track explicit motions to control things like zoom or volume, but it also has the ability to monitor subtle things like a user’s fatigue to adjust screen brightness or their keyboard’s backlighting. The researchers believe that the best way to improve the program is have users interact with it and expand the database of information the AI has to learn from. The team also hopes that it can be used for medical assistance as well as for everyday use as development continues.

To read more about the prototype, click here.

Or, click here, to read past Lenox Laser blog posts covering recent innovations.

SpaceX Starship Update

SpaceX constantly astounds the world, and their most recent feat is no exception. The company’s rocket, Starship, is continuing its journey towards its maiden launch. Starship will be used as a reusable mass transportation vessel for staffed and unmanned missions to space as part of Space X’s massive rideshare program that would allow astronauts and scientists from other companies to hitch a ride into space for their respective missions. The Starship rocket is the tallest ever built in the world thus far at a staggering height of 165 feet. Starship’s booster rocket, nicknamed Super Heavy, is 229 feet tall and weighs over 3 million pounds. Several trips to Mars have also become of interest when Starship is fully functional. It is also said that should civilians be able to explore Mars one day, that the rocket could carry up to 100 people per trip.  

The FAA was expected to complete its initial review of Starship by the end of February but pushed it back to March 28th at the latest. The massive rocket is the leader of this epic vision by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who said that one of Starship’s first missions will be to transport more Starlink satellites into orbit. It is estimated that astronaut crews could start using Starship sometime in 2025. Announcements of this massive achievement go back all the way to 2012 when the idea of the Raptor engines for Starship was first brought to light to the public. When the rocket was recently loaded onto its launchpad it took a lengthy three hours to do due to its weight and size. This was done with the aid of massive robotic arms that would hoist the rocket’s pieces into place. In this moment in time, starship is expected to reach orbit by the end of March. 

Do Our Brains Keep Us in the Past?

We don’t often think about our ability to perceive depth and color when observing the world; for us it is second nature. We also don’t realize just how much information our brain filters out to provide a stable field of view. The amount of information that our eyes take in on a day-to-day basis would overload the brain. To combat this, during periods of low movement, the brain takes segments of time and averages out the information provided by our eyes, compensating for the natural shakiness of the human body. This gives us a smooth view of the world that would otherwise overwhelm or cause vertigo. Thanks to a new study conducted by professors at Berkeley and Aberdeen Universities, we now have better insight into how our brains accomplish this. 

They asked hundreds of participants to look at close-up videos of human faces aging over time. After watching the video, the subjects were asked to approximate how old the face in the video was at the end. On average they gave a number that correlated to the face shown 15 seconds earlier in the video, not the one at the end. This concluded that subtle changes in our perception occur on roughly that amount of time, our brains average 15 second periods of time to give us a stable view. Acute changes such as an object being thrown towards us get updated more frequently, but changes that occur over longer stretches of time get simplified. 

 While this process has its benefits, it means that our brains gloss over a lot of minuscule details in trying to prevent visual clutter. This can cause us to miss important changes if they are too subtle for our brains to pick up.  

To check out the study for yourself, click here.

Or, click here, to read past Lenox Laser blogs about new research.

Unusual Radio Frequency Pattern has Astronomers Stumped

Scientists working at Curtin University recently stumbled across a baffling phenomenon in their data that has their team of radio astronomers scratching their heads. An honors student named Tyrone O’Doherty discovered the source while using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in Western Australia. The mystery object gave off intense light in approximately 20-minute intervals, which had previously been unheard of for a ‘transient’, the field’s term for objects that pulse on and off. Most transients either flicker much slower, in the range of days to months, or extremely rapidly, in seconds or even milliseconds. The object also emitted frequencies at a much greater intensity than expected, possibly outshining even the immense power of a supermassive black hole. Lead astrophysicist Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker poured over 8 years of data recorded by the MWA and found 70 more instances of the phenomenon over a 3-month period in 2018 after which the object stopped picking up, adding to the confusion. Scientists were able to determine the object is approximately 4000 lightyears away from us, based on the transmission frequencies present in the pulses. They also concluded the pulses were polarized, meaning they likely came from a source of strong magnetism, and the shape of the pulses indicated the object that produced them was much smaller than our sun.

These factors lead astrophysicists to believe the object is either a white dwarf or neutron star, the remnants of a star dying and collapsing into itself. And while they have never been observed, theorists believe neutron stars called “ultra-long period magnetars”, objects that behave similarly to the unknown phenomenon, could exist. They however did not predict that they could be so bright. Dr Hurley-Walker is continuing to monitor the object to see if it begins emitting energy again, with plans to search for more object that behave in this manner.

Click here, for an article by Dr Hurley-Walker on the discovery, or here for another article.

For past space blogs by Lenox Laser, click here.

Scientists Discover Breakthrough in the Moon Magnetism Mystery

A new study researching one of the moon’s biggest mysteries may have been solved; how did the moon form a temporary magnetic field? A team of experts at Stanford and Brown Universities are now seeking answers with rock samples taken from the surface and their formations. According to early evidence, it was theorized that the field came from the liquid mantle of the moon during its first billion years of existence, when several rocks sank into it. The magnetic fields would be strong, but sporadic. It is unable to exist now because the moon’s frigid temperatures. To help find further proof of this theory, rocks from all the past Apollo missions from 1968 to 1972 were studied thoroughly. The rocks had signs of the magnetic field, but it does not explain how it could exist when it’s not even as strong as Earth’s.

Another theory the researchers have is planets and planetary bodies that surround the moon could have given these magnetic fields, however temporary, energy. The slow dispersal of heat from this activity could have given the moon’s then molten core enough heat and energy to help aid in the production of temporary magnetic fields. Minerals like anorthosite floated to the moon’s crust surface, along with titanium from the molten core. A process known as gravitational overturn would happen causing the rocks to sink into the moon’s mantle. Using these findings new models within created giving the team simulations of what happened. Scientists found that all cooling layers of magma led to a convection process that laid the foundation for the magnetic field.

For further reading on this discovery, click here, and here.

Click here, to read other Lenox Laser posts covering recent aerospace developments.

1 2 3 4 15