PRESS RELEASE 13 February 1997


Excel Advanced Technology Pte Ltd (Excel), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and the Gintic Institute of Manufacturing Technology (Gintic) teamed up to design and build the first pulsed Nd:YAG laser system in Singapore.

Tapping HUST's experience in Nd:YAG laser systems, Excel and Gintic worked together to customise the technology for applications in theinternational market. Having designed and built the laser system, the group proceeded to integrate and develop the whole laser processing system.

The Excel PYL-300 pulsed Nd:YAG laser system- competitively priced compared to similar machines from Germany, Japan and USA- offers reliable performance at low cost for welding electronic components, electronic packaging, consumer products and other assemblies requiring seam or spot welding. It also provides hole drilling and cutting of various products for the aerospace and sheet metal fabrication industries. The successful joint R&D venture will enhance Singapore's international competitiveness in machine tools technology. Presently, there is nolaser system manufacturer in the region.

Using this system, a spot welding diameter can be varied between 0.3mm and 1.0mm while maintaining constant working distance. Depending on the pulse power and pulse duration, the penetration depth can be as much as 1.0mm. It can be used for cutting thermally sensitive material. Another capability is in precision drilling of turbine engine blades and vanes, and combustion lines and automotive lubrication holes for the aerospace and automotive industries.

The pulsed Nd:YAG laser system is designed for setting over a wide range of parameters. With varied options, it can respond to a broader range of manufacturing needs, including the flexible adaptation to various automation schemes.

Launched at MTA'96, an international showcase on machine tools and metalworking machinery last November, the first locally produced laser system has generated many enquiries on a range of applications from potential regional customers. According to the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB), demand for industrial laser systems is expected to exceed US$ 2 billion by the year 2000.

The development of the system, initiated in June 1994 and due for handover to Excel in June 1997, is partly funded by a RDAS grant for S$ 2.02 million from the NSTB. The project involved 6 researchers from HUST and 8 staff from Excel and Gintic.

Excel Advanced Technology Pte Ltd is involved in factory automation and waterjet cutting technology besides laser technology. It is a subsidiary of Excel Machine Tools Pte Ltd. The latter, incorporated in September 1986, manufactures traditional metal cutting machinery such as CNC machining centres and CNC turning centres. The company employs 80 staff.

Gintic, a national applied R&D institute formed in 1993 and funded by NSTB, is tasked to develop new manufacturing processes, technologies and systems to propel its manufacturing industry into the 21st century. It strives to upgrade their competitiveness by transferring the results of the applied research to the manufacturing community.

HUST is one of the 5 largest tertiary institutes in the People's Republic of China. It has more than 20 years of experience in R&D on laser

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