April 4, 2019

5 Considerations for Choosing a Laser System Partner

Choosing a partner for your laser system—what matters most?

When it comes to designing your laser system, whether it be a medical system for aesthetic treatment or an advanced targeting system for directed energy, a full-view approach is needed. Beyond the diode, you will need to have a plan for incorporating electronics and optics, as well as packaging the unit in a way that it can withstand your application's environmental challenges. You've likely spent a significant amount of time thinking through the specifics of your design, choosing a partner requires the same attention to detail and the end decision should allow for seamless integration and clear alignment to your goals.  

Here are 5 key considerations for choosing a laser system partner:

Design Capabilities.

Through your initial laser design and exploratory conversations with potential partners, you should fully understand the range of capabilities the manufacturer offers. Each project has different requirements, but this list can be used as a baseline:

  • Component-level design
  • Sub-system assembly
  • Full-system design and assembly
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Environmental qualification

Vertically Integrated.

Throughout your design process you may need more than a laser diode. Your system will likely require optics for advanced beam shaping, a power supply, and more. By finding an integrated laser partner, you eliminate the need of bringing in an additional supplier late in the game. This can jeopardize budget and timing of a project. Vertically integrated manufacturers can offer development support in many areas, including:

  • Laser diodes
  • Beam shaping optics
  • Beam conditioning optics
  • “Lean Electronics”
  • Power supplies 
  • Coolant systems
  • User Interfaces

System Integration Capabilities.

Aside from working with an integrated developer, system integration capabilities will impact your cost and time to complete a project. In most cases, working with one partner through the entire process helps maintain continuity in design, goals, and timelines. A manufacturer ready to help you with your entire system integration should have capabilities in the following areas:

  • Laser system design and prototyping 
  • Low-rate initial production
  • Full-rate production
  • Regulatory compliance

Industries Served.

Be sure to also look at a potential partner's work in your industry. A company with experience in your marketplace can utilize information and common challenges from similar applications to help you further enhance your design. For example, Leonardo's core experience is in automotivemedical systems, industrial systems, and defense laser systems

ROI and Cost Effectiveness

A one-stop shop simplifies your process and eliminates waste. The previously mentioned considerations speak to the ability to cut costs and time through integrated capabilities. These will all help you increase your return on investment (ROI) and should be at the base of your decision. Depending on your project and your customer's needs, looking for additional aspects in a manufacturer, like quality control practices or US-based manufacturing and repair, can also help your team create unique value and increase ROI.

Your Laser Starts Here. Learn more about partnering with us on your next laser system project. Talk with an expert, today.

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Interested in learning more about laser system design for your application? Check out these additional resources: