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Laser projector: how it works and practical application

Curious about how you can save time and money with the help of a laser projector? Then read on. In this article you can read how a laser projector works, what you can use it for and what the advantages are.
Laser projector: Everything you need to know about it

In this article, we reflect on what a industrial laser projector is, how the projector works, what it is used for and what solutions we have in this. After reading this article, you will have a basic understanding and it will be easier to choose between the different laser projectors.

What is an industrial laser projector?

A industrial laser projector is a visual aid that is used in multiple industries in order to position and instruct in a variety of processes. In most cases, the laser projector allows a saving in time and materials. This is because of error prevention in positioning and alignment with the help of the unparallelled precision of laser technology.

The laser projector has an resolution of 0.1 mm per meter which makes it extremely suitable for quality inspections. An example is inspecting weld seams or the radius of a bent object.

The projection for positioning shows the user exactly where, for example, the material should be applied or which tool should be used where. The projector can also project multiple projections in a predetermined order so that the correct steps are always followed in a process. This means that you know which steps have already been taken and whether they have been carried out correctly. The margin of error is thus reduced, which in addition to time and material also ensures that money is saved.

How do laser projectors work?

The laser projector makes use of mirrors, in addition to the laser, in order to provide high-quality projections. By making rotating movements with these mirrors at a high frequency, one or more lines/shapes are projected with the laser light.

This can be simple lines and circles in 2D, for example, but also 3D shapes are possible. By loading in digital drawings the laser projector can project the desired projection on the desired surface. It is also possible to connect the projector to a PLC and send out commands for the projection through it.

To come back to the laser in the laser projector, this is a diode that produces a laser light with a laser class of 2M or 3R (read more about laser classes and laser safety). In class 2M, the laser light is (eye) safe because of the speed at which people close their eyes when exposed to laser light. With the 3R Class, direct radiation into the eyes is considered dangerous, reflections should not be considered dangerous under normal conditions. The built-in security ensures that users and others in the vicinity of the laser projector cannot look straight into the laser.

Laser Projector Applications

Below are some examples of applications from various industries in which laser projectors excel. These are by no means all applications in which the laser projectors can be used, but give a good impression of the range of the usability of these lasers.

Laser projection in the textile industry

The laser projector helps with processes such as sewing, embroidery, cutting or trimming fabrics. Our projection lasers for the textile and leather industry simplify the workflow, speed up the production process and improve product quality. When cutting patterns from leather with a cutter, unlike other fabrics, leather cannot be automatically nested. This is because leather is a natural product and usually has irregularities. Consider, for example, a scar that the animal has suffered during its life, but also something as small as a mosquito bite is sufficient for an irregularity. For optimal material yield, one or more laser projectors show the patterns on the leather skins. When an unevenness falls on the projected pattern, the projection is placed in an “error-free” zone in advance and the cutter uses its new coordinates. This way, a maximum yield is always obtained from a piece of leather.

Laser projections in the production of stairs

By using laser projectors in the production of stairs, material costs are saved due to minimal waste. This is because the steps that have to be milled are optimally matched to the wood grain using the laser projection and the special software. This saves a lot of time and increases the working speed.

A specific example is the projection that serves as a temporary indication of the cutouts for the stair steps on a stair rope. With the laser projector, the vacuum cilinders can also be positioned correctly in reference to the rope. This way damage to the vacuum cilinders by the milling machine is prevented.

Laser projection in the metal industry

The laser projector is also suited for the metal industry. Examples are welding seams, boring points or the inspection of bent pieces of metal. With the laser projector, one or more positions can be projected where the pieces of metal have to be welded.

Due to the clarity and accuracy of the projection, the pieces of metal only need to be placed in the correct position before welding. Because the projections are displayed on the correct scale, it is no longer necessary to measure before and afterwards whether the pieces of metal have been welded in the correct position. This saves a lot of time and the margin of error is reduced, making the quality of the product even better.

Laser projection in the wood industry

Laser light is very suitable for applications in the wood industry in which working materials have to aligned with sawing lines, thread milling or boring heads. Laser projections also give very precise results, even with glue and nail binders. In the case of roof trusses, the laser projector projects the design files onto the processing material surface with the right scale. It projects the exact positions of the pressing blocks, the nail plates and the wooden planks.

Which laser projector do I need for my application?

Which laser projector you need differs per application. The main factors that determine which laser projector is suitable for an application are: the opening angle, the projection color(s), size and shape, as well as a number of special functions to make the projector fit the application area. Think of a water cooling in a too warm environment. To be able to provide a solution for every challenging application, various types of laser projectors offer each of them the best in applications for which they have been designed.

 Optical powerProjection colorOpening angleProjection sizeProjection schapeLaser classExtrasUsed in:
ZKV5 or 15 mWRed or green15 - 70°Ø 500 - 5,600 mmCircle (2D)2MIP65 protection classProduction of round objects, such as cable reels, barrels, etc.
Correct positioning of round objects, such as reels pipes, barrels, etc.
ZLP 27 mW
14 mW
Yellow, green, red60° or 80°60° x 60° or 80° x 80°Polygons (2D, 3D, CAD)2M or 3RActive cooling Passive cooling IP65 protection class
RJ45 connection
Precise finish of products such as carbon fibre
Production assistance in complex and great projects in the automotive, aerospace and composite industries, such as the production of trains or rotor blades of wind mills;
ZLP 15 mWGreen60°60° x 60°Polygons (2D, 3D, CAD)2MPassive cooling IP54 protection class RJ45 connectionStep-by-step sisual assistance for workers in industrial processes;
Precise production of refined parts that are produced of different materials;
Mounting assistance for parts such as a spoiler on semi-fabricated products like a car;
LP-HFD 27 mW
14 mW
28 mW
Red or green60° or 80°60° x 60° or
80° x 80°
Polygons (2D, 3D, CAD) 2M or 3ROptimized for 3D objects Water cooling (for use in 60°C) RS232 and Ethernet interface IP65 protection classAlignment of cutting points on different materials
Positioning of parts such as screwing plates in wooden constructions;
Quality inspection of form-specific parts
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