JENA, Germany, Nov. 1, 2012 — Jenoptik’s Lasers & Material Processing Div. has demonstrated the Votan W machine for laser welding of chute channels. Modern laser technology has opened up new fields of application in materials processing. It is an established method for cutting, welding and perforating plastic materials, particularly in the automotive and supply industries. The increasing number of components in the vehicle interior and rising safety demands present new challenges. The Votan W is for welding chute channels in the instrument panel. The most common method for welding plastic materials is laser transmission welding. The company has developed a switchable laser line that can be adapted to nearly every component size. One benefit of the technology is that the strength of the welded joint achieves values of up to 90% of the basic strength of the material. The switchable laser line is moved along the welding area via a linear unit, enabling contactless processing of components with dimensions exceeding the normal scan field of a scanning system, e.g., welding of airbag chute channels in instrument panels or of large car parts. The system equipment supports assembly of safety-relevant components through nearly 100% process control.