Job Shop Technology
St. Louis, MO — Gateway Laser Services utilizes a high-resolution laser micromachining process to micromachine "very small parts"
with feature sizes down to 0.001 inch and tolerances to ± 0.0002 inch. Such high levels of precision are a key advantage of
the laser process, which Gateway uses for micromachining of metals and alloys, silicones, ceramics, silicon wafers, and various
polymers, including polyimides for flex circuits. According to Mario Vaenburg, business development manager, the company is able
to drill holes so small that they are difficult to see with the naked eye.
"Our service is particularly interesting for those seeking very small features or parts with extremely high precision," says
Vaenburg. "We are not limited to just flat shapes-we can deal with cylindrical, tubular, or other [shapes]. The laser process
provides greater flexibility than other methods when design changes are in order; adjustments can often be made on the fly."
Another advantage of the laser micromachining process is that it leaves a clean edge without heat affected zones that diminish
the integrity of the material. In one particular case, small polymer parts used for a medical application were stamped onto a die.
The parts had a ragged edge from which particles could break off and possible enter the bloodstream. Using a laser-based method
to seal the edge, Gateway eliminated the possibility that any loose particles could form and become a problem.
Gateway serves customers in various high-tech sectors, such as medical devices, electronics, telecommunications, semiconductors,
and fiber optics, as well as photonics, sensors, optoelectronics, and university research. New and exciting applications are
emerging "almost daily," Vaenburg says. "Whether it's a new surgical blade, a next generation printer head, a slot on a silicon
wafer, or a part inside a pacemaker, there aren't one or two that stand alone."
The company is also introducing laser welding as a new service to complement its laser cutting services. "It goes hand in hand
with all of out laser micromachining services, including laser marking, subassembly, process design, and product design,"
Gateway Laser Services
2345 Millpark Dr., Suite A
Maryland Heights, MO
Phone: (314) 785-6800
Fax: (314) 733-0205