RPMC Lasers has always prided itself on our willingness and ability to provide system integrators with customized laser packaging solutions. Our team of laser diode experts has been working as the interface between our customers and suppliers for over 30 years, and during that time, we have helped countless engineers and designers with novel laser diode packages. To help illustrate how we provide this service for the community, we are going to the community. We are going to take a slightly different approach with this application note, and instead of giving a detailed overview of a specific application, we will tell the story of how we helped one of our customers in the medical field.Background
A few years back, one of the industry-leading dental equipment manufactures approached us to help them with a new product they were developing. This system was being designed as a desktop soft tissue laser system, for dentistry, periodontal, hygiene, and surgical applications. For the sake of brevity, we are not going to explore all of these applications in detail, but if you would like to read more about one such use of soft tissue lasers in dentistry, we recommend checking out our blog post titled “Laser Diode Crown Troughing in Dentistry.”
The customer initially contacted us in March of that year, requesting a 4W 808 nm laser diode in a 9mm package (shown below). While this was not a standard product, we were able to work with LDX Optronics to quickly provide them with a unit for evaluation.
After their initial evaluation of the laser diode, the customer came back to us requesting that the package be fiber-coupled, but without increasing its overall diameter. Our in-house engineers quickly got to work with the engineers at LDX, and by May of that year, only three months after delivery of the first evaluation unit, we were able to deliver them three prototypes of a detachable fiber package with an integrated aiming beam. This package, which is now available as a standard LDX product on our website, is shown below. This package enabled the systems engineers to place the diode inside of their desktop unit to ensure adequate heat removal, and fiber couple it directly to an interchangeable handpiece which the dentist would be able to hold and manipulate inside of the patient's mouth.
After a month of testing and prototyping, the system’s designers realized that they would need to increase the power from 4W to 5W in order to compensate for the added loses associated with the fiber-coupled handpiece. We again went back to work with the team at LDX and by September of that year delivered the thermally tested 5W laser packages to the customer, enabling them to start production of their new system in November.
This case study is a perfect example of how our team here at RPMC lasers helped this customer go from prototyping to full production in only nine months, but the story does not stop there. After two years of successful product deployment (at an average of 250 units per year), the customer was ready to develop a second generation of this product based upon feedback from their customers. Based on this information, the engineers wanted us to replace the red aiming beam with a blue one in order to provide better visibility and contrast against the gums. They also asked us to increase the maximum operating temperature of the package to 50 oC. After we successfully developed this new laser package for the customer, their sales have increased by over 25%, and they are now selling an average of 320 units per year.
LDX Optronics is both our oldest principal and our most significant supplier of both off the shelf and custom laser diode solutions. They are specialists in high power diode lasers and offer a wide range of laser diodes which are not used in just dental laser applications, but an assortment of medical and industrial applications. By combining LDX’s production and packaging capabilities with RPMC Lasers’ wealth of laser diode applications experience we are readily available to assist you in not only deciding which of our standard off-the-shelf laser diodes are ideal for your application, but we are also able to offer countless custom laser diode packaging configurations with a wide range of integrated optics.
Here at RPMC Lasers, we are excited to be the exclusive worldwide distributor LDX Optronics. For detailed technical specifications on the diode lasers offered by LDX Optronics click here, or talk to one of our laser experts today by calling 1-636-272-7227 to learn more about our full range of laser packages ideal for integration into commercial laser systems.
For more information about our wide variety of laser diodes from all of our suppliers, you can click here, and for more information about laser diode fundamentals be sure to visit our Lasers 101 page.