CASE STUDY: Air Shielding a Laser Lens
The Problem: A dirty lens can affect the quality of cameras, sensors and lasers. Today’s visual inspection systems are highly accurate tools used to monitor dimensions, temperature, finish quality, labeling and much more. These products require clean lenses in order to provide the proper feedback to operators or other machinery within the process. The above laser lens is integral to a laser cleaning operation where a laser is used to clear away debris and provide a fresh surface. The laser cleaning operation in this case was creating debris which flew up and deposited on to the laser lens. Debris on the lens could affect the laser’s cleaning quality or become burned upon the lens and create the need for a replacement lens.
The Solution: A Model 110006 6” (152mm) Super Air Knife was installed just above the laser lens to blow air down and across the lens. The sheet of air created an invisible barrier the contaminants could not penetrate and kept them from depositing on to the lens. The quality of the laser cleaning has been consistently good and the need for replacement lenses due to debris deposition has been eliminated.
Comment: An air barrier is a common application for a Super Air Knife and can create a non-contact wiper with little or no obstruction. They have been used in similar applications to prevent debris from getting to many different sensors or cameras, to retain heat within an oven, or to deflect mist from a machine tool.