Laser alignment is used to quickly and accurately align, position, and target objects and materials. This is achieved by aiming a laser beam onto a target surface. The resulting laser spot, line, or pattern is used as a visual guide or reference point. A highly efficient and non-contact process, laser alignment can reduce manual labour costs, improve quality control (QC), and increase productivity in the textiles, medical, manufacturing, and automotive industries.
Wavelengths of violet (405nm), blue (450nm), green (520nm), red (635, 650, 670, 685nm), and infrared (785, 808, 850, 980nm) are available with output powers up to 200mW. Such parameters should be chosen to suit the colour and texture of the target material, ambient light level, and projection distance. Typically, a green (520nm) laser emits light that appears brighter to the human eye than the equivalent power in 635nm depending on the target material. Infrared wavelengths are more highly absorbed than visible wavelengths in certain materials, and are particularly successful in applications using silicon detectors.
Laser diode modules use integrated optics to manipulate the light. Typically, a collimating lens is installed in a laser diode module to collect the light from the source. A collimated spot is often used as a consistent reference point, remaining approximately the same size over a range of projection distances. The collimated spot can be converted into a line or cross by installing a line/cross-generating optic (LGO/CGO) after the collimating lens. The fan angle, line width, and intensity distribution along the line depends on the type of LGO.