(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Texas Instruments, DS&EG - Dallas, TX
Texas Instruments (TI) adapted a Laserdyne laser cutting
system (Figure 3-9) to fabricate .020 to .050 inch aluminum thermal planes at Lemmon Avenue. These planes were previously cut by a chemical etching process, which had a number of disadvantages, including chemical waste, inconsistent quality, slow production rates, and relatively high cost.
The Laserdyne system has a cutting velocity of up to 600 ipm using an 1800 watt peak power Coherent EFA-51 laser with an eddy current height sensor. The process has excellent repeatability, is comparatively inexpensive, and requires no unique hard tooling.
Using this process, TI has achieved a 4 to 1 productivity improvement over the etch process. The current system produces over 40 thousand parts per year.