Laser Design Services
RP Photonics offers highly competent support for the R & D teams of manufacturers of lasers and similar equipment. This is the most frequently requested type of service.
|Why good product designs are vital for success|
|The role of product designs in the development process|
|What RP Photonics offers|
|Outsourcing of development?|
Why Good Product Designs are Vital for Your Success
- Better products: Quite obviously, only good product design can realize the full performance potential of your technology, and it allows for products which are compact, robust and easy to use, reliable and efficient in terms of maintenance, and can be cost-effectively produced.
- Efficient development: A well prepared product design allows you to optimize the efficiency of the product development process. See the next section for more details.
- Fast development, shorter time to market: A faster development process means that your revenue will come sooner, and you establish your market position at an earlier time. These aspects are often overlooked in cost considerations, but they are very important.
- Optimized manufacturing: Minimize problems of manufacturing, for example by using designs with optimized fabrication tolerances, or designs requiring fewer parts.
The Role of Design in the Development Process
Avoid the following: A product design is often considered as some document which one writes up at the end of the development process as the essence of the experience made. The problem with that approach is that the development process itself may then not have a sufficiently firm basis: there is too much “trial and error”. Problems are often difficult to analyze in the lab, and even more difficult to solve with design changes at this stage, as these tend to have a lot of side effects.
How to be most efficient: The detailed design document must be worked out before the prototype is built and tested. The goal must be to identify and solve any possible problems in a design process which takes place on the desk, because this is the place where design changes can be implemented with little cost and in a short time. The R & D team should then take the time to discuss the design in detail. Once all this is done, the prototype can be built and tested very efficiently.
The benefits of a well organized development process are manifold:
- The overall effort and cost is reduced, since diligent preparations on the desk are much less costly and tedious than iterations in the lab.
- Most likely, the resulting product design will be better in terms of performance, reliability, and ease of manufacturing.
- You obtain a clear understanding of the issues, with benefits for future projects.
- The competence of the team is strengthened, and you become less dependent on the isolated competence of single employees, because the results are well documented and discussed in the team.
However, organization alone does not guarantee the success. The key factor is a very high technical competence particularly in the early phase, where the design details are worked out. In the case that this competence is not yet completely available within your team, you can engage RP Photonics for the critical phase of your project.
What RP Photonics Offers
Ideally, you hire RP Photonics at the very beginning of your development project. This allows for the following:
- RP Photonics discusses with you your exact requirements and possibly even suggests a better approach or technology for your project.
- RP Photonics then works out a detailed design document. You can then use this as a firm basis for your prototype fabrication and testing.
- You can later obtain further help e.g. in the case that unexpected problems arise in the lab.
A design document delivered by RP Photonics typically contains:
- a clear summary of the requirements
- explanations on the chosen approach or technology, with reasons for any decision made
- a detailed description of the setup, e.g. in the case of a laser describing required pump source and laser crystal, optical components, distance between components, etc.
- clear explanations of considered technical issues, with calculated or estimated key parameters such as strength of thermal lens, alignment sensitivity, intensities at critical components, required switching speed of a Q-switch, etc.
- as appropriate, suggestions for testing and alignment
All this design work is done by Dr. Paschotta, the founder of RP Photonics. He is a distinguished expert in laser technology, with a very detailed knowledge and experience in laser physics. As required for this job, he uses analytical and/or numerical modeling and simulations, utilizing powerful software. In any case, the level of detail is adjusted to what is appropriate for the project. The goal is maximum efficiency by carefully checking all relevant issues while avoiding any overkill.
Note that RP Photonics also offers
- similar services concerning other products such as fiber amplifiers, optical parametric oscillators, etc.
- to act as a trouble shooter in projects which got into difficulties
- to do detailed design reviews of existing products, revealing potentials for better performance, easier manufacturing, etc.
But We Need to Do This Ourselves!
Indeed – the idea is not to outsource the development process, but rather to keep it in house. For this you can get competent support from RP Photonics, strengthening the competence of your team. RP Photonics is selling practical know-how, rather than completed products. Just by reading one of its design documents, or by discussing issues with Dr. Paschotta, your team can learn a lot.
- The page on modeling gives more thoughts on the use of modeling in development projects. See also the page on the software, which is used for the consulting and partially also sold to customers.
- The list of services for manufacturers gives you hints about other types of technical consulting.
- The RP Photonics Encyclopedia contains a lot of useful articles, e.g. on laser development and laser design.
- There is the German article "Laserentwicklung mit Methode", which appeared in Photonik 6/2006, p. 66.