(19)
(11)EP 3 251 785 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/20

(21)Application number: 15880013.6

(22)Date of filing:  30.01.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B23K 26/042  (2014.01)
B23K 26/03  (2006.01)
B23K 26/146  (2014.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2015/052755
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/121116 (04.08.2016 Gazette  2016/31)

(54)

LASER PROCESSING MACHINE AND ALIGNMENT ADJUSTMENT METHOD

LASERBEARBEITUNGSMASCHINE UND AUSRICHTUNGSJUSTIERVERFAHREN

MACHINE DE TRAITEMENT PAR LASER ET PROCÉDÉ DE RÉGLAGE D'ALIGNEMENT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
06.12.2017 Bulletin 2017/49

(73)Proprietor: Makino Milling Machine Co., Ltd.
Tokyo 152-8578 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • TOYAMA, Hiroshi
    Kanagawa 243-0303 (JP)
  • BEPPU, Muneaki
    Kanagawa 243-0303 (JP)

(74)Representative: McWilliams, David John 
Withers & Rogers LLP 4 More London Riverside
London SE1 2AU
London SE1 2AU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
CN-A- 102 259 236
JP-A- S5 919 093
JP-A- 2009 262 163
JP-A- 2013 091 081
US-A1- 2010 078 768
JP-A- S5 919 093
JP-A- 2009 262 163
JP-A- 2012 110 945
US-A1- 2007 020 785
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The invention relates to a laser beam machine and an alignment adjusting method therefor, the laser beam machine being configured to machine a workpiece by directing the laser beam through a liquid flow in the form of a pillar formed by a liquid discharged through a nozzle, wherein the laser beam machine has an alignment adjusting function for aligning the optical axis of the laser beam and the axis of the liquid flow.

    Background Art



    [0002] In a laser beam machine configured to machine a workpiece by directing the laser beam through the pillar-like liquid flow formed by a liquid discharged through a nozzle, the optical axis of the laser beam and the axis of the pillar-like liquid flow must be aligned with each other. Patent Literature 1 discloses a laser beam machine provided with such an alignment adjusting device.

    [0003] The alignment adjusting device of Patent Literature 1 is configured to move a jet nozzle and an optical fiber relative to each other so as to align the center of an image of the laser beam with the center of an entrance opening of the jet nozzle, based on the images of the entrance opening of the jet nozzle, for discharging a liquid to form a liquid pillar, and the laser beam.

    Prior art Documents


    Patent Publications



    [0004]  Patent Literature 1: JP-A-2011-235347

    [0005] A method and apparatus for adjusting the alignment of a laser beam is described in JP 2009 262163 A.

    Summary of the Invention


    Problems to be Solved by the Invention



    [0006] The laser beam used in laser beam machines is classified in Class 4 of security standard of JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) C6802 and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 60825-1. In the alignment adjusting device of Patent Literature 1, such laser beam of Class 4 is exposed, and therefore, the laser beam machine must be in an environment in compliant with a safety regulation defined by Class 4, in order to adjust the alignment safely, resulting in a larger factory.

    [0007] The invention is directed to solve the problem of the prior art, and the objective of the invention is to provide a laser beam machine and alignment adjusting method, which enable to adjust the alignment between the pillar-like liquid flow and the laser beam safely and easily.

    Means for Solving the Problems



    [0008] In order to achieve the above described object, according to the invention, a laser beam machine is provided as defined by claim 1

    [0009] Further, according to the invention, a method of adjusting the alignment of a laser beam is provided as defined by claim 8.

    Effect of the Invention



    [0010] According to the invention, the reflecting plate, configured to reflect the laser beam, is disposed to face the optical head, and the shield member is disposed around the portion, adapted to reflect the laser beam, of the reflecting plate, and therefore when adjusting the alignment, the laser beam leakage is prevented. Thus, in the laser beam machine of the invention, the alignment adjustment can be carried out in an equipment environment according to less dangerous Class 1, while in the prior art, the alignment adjustment must be carried out in compliance with Class 4 of JIS C6802 or IEC 60825-1.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0011] 

    Figure 1 is a schematic section of an optical head and an alignment unit according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein optical head is positioned at an alignment adjustment position, and the laser beam is irradiated.

    Figure 2 is a schematic section of the optical head and the alignment unit, similar to Figure 1, wherein the optical head is apart upwardly from the alignment unit, and the laser beam is not irradiated.

    Figure 3 is a perspective view of the alignment unit.

    Figure 4 is a plan view of the alignment unit, showing a reflecting plate positioned at a rotational position for alignment adjustment.

    Figure 5 is a plan view of the alignment unit, similar to Figure 4, showing the reflecting plate positioned at a rotational position for measuring the output power of the laser beam.

    Figure 6 is a plan view of the reflecting plate.

    Figure 7 is a perspective view of an example of a laser beam machine to which the invention is applied.

    Figure 8 is a schematic illustration showing an example of a window displayed on a display of the laser beam machine.

    Figure 9 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window for teaching an operator a step of adjusting the focus of camera.

    Figure 10 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window for teaching an operator a step of aligning a target circle and a nozzle with each other.

    Figure 11 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window wherein the target circle and the nozzle are aligned with each other.

    Figure 12 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window for teaching an operator a step of adjusting the focus of laser spot.

    Figure 13 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window for teaching an operator a step of adjusting the X-axis position of the laser spot.

    Figure 14 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window for teaching an operator a step of adjusting the Y-axis position of the laser spot.

    Figure 15 is a schematic illustration, similar to Figure 8, showing an example of a window when the alignment adjustment is completed.


    Mode for Carrying out the Invention



    [0012] With reference to the attached drawings, a preferred embodiment of the invention will be described below.

    [0013] With reference to Figure 7, showing an example of a laser beam machine to which the invention is applied, a laser beam machine 100 comprises a table 108 to which a workpiece is attached, an optical head 10 configured to move linearly relative to the table 108 in three orthogonal X-, Y- and Z-aces directions. The optical head 10 and the table 108 are enclosed by a cover 102. The cover 102 has a safety door 106, slidable in the right-left direction (X-axis direction). Opening the safety door 106 allows an operator to access the optical head 10 and the table 108 through an opening 104. The safety door 106 is provided with an open-close sensor 106a for detecting the safety door 106 closed. The table 108 is provided with an alignment unit 40 and an intimate-contact detecting device 50 (refer to Figure 1).

    [0014] An operating panel 110 for the laser beam machine 100 is mounted to a front side wall of the cover 102. The operating panel 110 has a display 112, adapted to display parameters, indicating the condition and operation of the laser beam machine 100, icons for teaching an operator the operation procedures and so on, and a various operating buttons 114. The display 112 may be a touch panel, adapted to allow an operator to carry out a various operation to the laser beam machine 100 by touching an icon with his (her) finger. Further, the operating panel 110 is incorporated with a controller for controlling the laser beam machine 100 in accordance with the operator's input and a program contained in the controller.

    [0015] The laser head 10, shown in Figures 1 and 2 as an example, comprises a laser irradiation head 16 which is enclosed in a housing 12 and configured to receive the laser beam from a laser oscillator 14 via an optical conduit 14 such as an optical fiber, and to irradiate the laser beam toward a collimation lens 18. The laser beam from the laser irradiation head 16 is parallelized by the collimation lens 18, reflected to a second mirror 22 by a first mirror 20, and reflected toward a focus lens 24 by the second mirror 22. The laser beam is irradiated outside the housing 12 through a nozzle head 26, after being condensed by the focus lens 24. At that time, the optical axis of the laser beam irradiated from the optical head 10 is substantially parallel to the Z-axis.

    [0016] The first and second mirrors 20 and 22 have planner reflecting surface, and motors 20a and 20b as a mirror orientation adjusting means for adjusting the orientations of the reflecting surfaces (the directions perpendicular to the reflecting surfaces), whereby adjusting the direction of the laser beam irradiated from the optical head 10. The first and second mirrors 20 and 22, in particular the second mirror 22, adapted to reflect the laser beam toward the focus lens 24, include(s) a dielectric multilayer suitable for the wave length of the laser beam irradiated from the laser oscillator 14 to reflect the laser beam and to transmit lights having wave lengths other than the wave length of the laser beam. In particular, it is formed by depositing a dielectric multilayer on a glass plate. Forming the second mirror 22 by such a dielectric multilayer enables the positions of the nozzle 26b and the laser beam irradiated through the nozzle 26 to be monitored by a camera 32.

    [0017] The nozzle head 26 comprises a tubular member configured to receive water supply from a water source 30 via a conduit 28. Provided in a bottom wall of the nozzle head 26, facing the table 108, is a nozzle 26b for discharging a water jet. Opposite to the bottom wall, a top wall, facing the focus lens 24, is provided with a window 26a formed of a transparent member such as glass. The nozzle 26b is fluidly communicated with the outside of the housing 12 of the optical head 10 via orifice 12b formed in the bottom wall of the housing 12.

    [0018] The alignment unit 40 is positioned at a position on the table 108 so as to be faced to the optical head 10 by moving the optical head 10 and the table 108 relatively to each other by the three orthogonal X-, Y- and Z-aces feed devices of the laser beam machine 100. The alignment unit 40 comprises a base member 48 configured to be secured to the table 108, an annular lower holding member 46 secured to a top face of the base member 48, an annular upper holding member 44 detachably attached to the lower holding member 46, a reflecting plate 42 held between the upper and lower holding members 44 and 46, and an annular light shielding member 34 fixed to a top face of the upper holding member 44.

    [0019] The light shielding member 34 is made of a light-impermeable material regarding the laser beam irradiated from the optical head 10. The shielding member may be formed of a material, for example a synthetic resin sponge or a foamed rubber, which can intimately contact with the bottom face 12a of the housing 12 of the optical head 10 so as not to form a gap, allowing a light leakage, between the shielding member 34 and the optical head 10.

    [0020] The reflecting plate 42 may be formed of for example stainless steel, and is circumferentially rotatably held between the upper and lower holding members 44 and 46. As shown in Figures 3-6, when held between the upper and lower holding members 44 and 46, the reflecting plate 42 is positioned so that a portion 42a thereof projects out of the upper and lower holding member 44 and 46, facilitating an operator to rotate the reflecting member 42. At that time, a portion 42b, diametrically opposite to the part 42a, is positioned on the optical axis of the optical head 10. Further, the reflecting plate 42 includes a radially extending cutout part 42c, disposed on the outer periphery, and a flat part 42d, which is disposed diametrically opposite to the cutout part 42c, and is formed by flatting a portion of the outer periphery perpendicularly relative to the radial direction.

    [0021] Further, embedded in the table 108 of the laser beam machine 100 is a output power meter 80 having a sensor part which is disposed on the optical axis of the laser beam irradiated by the optical head 10, which is positioned at an alignment adjustment position, whereby measuring the power of the laser beam irradiated from the optical head 10. As shown in Figure 5, rotating the reflecting plate 42 to position the cutout part 42c of the reflecting plate 42 on the optical axis of the laser beam allows the output power of the laser beam to be measured. At that time, an operator can position the cutout part 42c based on the position of the flat part 42d disposed diametrically opposite to the cutout part 42c.

    [0022] The intimate-contact detecting device 50 is a device for detecting that the bottom face of the housing 12 of the optical head 10 intimately sufficiently contacts as shown in Figure 1, and comprises an interlock switch 54 attached to the bottom face of the housing 12, a switch cover 52 enclosing the interlock switch 54, a pin 56 disposed to enter the switch cover 52 through an opening 52a formed in a bottom face of the switch cover 52. The pin 56 is oriented in the Z-axis direction in this embodiment, and accommodated within a pin cover 58 secured to the table 108. Incidentally, the power meter 80 may be embedded in the base member 48 of the alignment unit 40, instead of the table 108.

    [0023] The pin cover 58 comprises a boxlike member having an opening in a side wall 58b, allowing an operator to access the inside of the pin cover 58 from the outside. Formed in a top wall of the pin cover 58 is an opening 58a through which the pin 56 extends toward the interlock switch 54. The pin 56 has a radially extending flange part 56a provided at a lower end opposite to the interlock switch. In this embodiment, the flange part 56a includes a magnet (not shown), while the pin cover 58 is made of a magnetic material such as iron, etc., so that the flange part 56a can be magnetically attached to the inner surface of the top wall of the pin cover 58.

    [0024] The operation of the embodiment will be described below.

    [0025] When the water is supplied to the nozzle head 26 from the water source 30 via conduit 28, the water is discharged through the nozzle 26b, whereby a pillar-like liquid flow (water pillar) 60, extending in the Z-axis direction, is formed. The laser beam from the laser oscillator 14 is transmitted via the optical conduit 14a, the laser irradiate head 16, collimation lens 18 and first and second mirrors 20 and 22 to focus lens 24 concentrating the laser beam, then is irradiated toward the table 108 after passing through the window 26a of the nozzle head 26, the water in the nozzle head 26 and the pillar-like liquid flow 60. In order to bring the laser beam into the pillar-like liquid flow, after concentrated by the focus lens 24, an alignment adjusting operation is carried out to align the laser beam and the pillar-like liquid flow 60 with each other.

    [0026] When an operator selects alignment adjusting function on the operating panel 110 and presses a start button on the operating panel 110, the optical head 10 starts to be moved to an alignment adjustment position by the X-, Y- and Z-axes feed devices of the laser beam machine 100. The optical head 10 is moved above the alignment unit 40 then lowered along the Z-axis until the bottom face 12a of the housing 12 of the optical head 10 intimately contacts the shield member 34 of the alignment unit 40. Then, the pin 56 of the intimate-contact detecting device 50 abuts the interlock switch 54 to close the interlock switch 54, whereby the controller of the laser beam machine 100 judges that the optical head 10 has reached the alignment adjustment position and stops the Z-axis feed. In this connection, the optical head 10 may be moved to the alignment adjustment position by defining the movement to the alignment adjustment position in a program read by the controller, or by previously teaching the alignment adjustment position to the controller by an operator through a teaching operation.

    [0027] When the safety door 106 is opened for the alignment adjustment, if the pin 56 does not abut the interlock switch 54, then the controller of the laser beam machine 100 judges that the optical head 10 is not at the alignment position, whereby inhibiting the irradiation of the laser beam, and displaying a warning on the display 110 and/or generating a warning sound. Further, when the optical head 10 is moved to the alignment position, if the optical head 10 is excessively lowered in the Z-axis direction, the pin 56 can be automatically detached from the pin cover 58, since the pin 56 is attached to the pin cover 58 by the magnet of the flange part 56a. Furthermore, if the optical head is located at a position deviated from the alignment position in the X- or Y-axis direction, pin 56 cannot enter the opening 52a of the switch cover 52, whereby being detached from the pin cover 58.

    [0028] Further, the controller of the laser beam machine 100 stores the alignment position, which is previously taught by an operator, as the coordinates of the respective feed axes of the laser beam machine. Therefore, when the alignment adjustment is carried out with the safety door 106 opened, if the coordinates of the respective feed devices of the laser beam machine are different from the stored alignment adjustment position, the controller of the laser beam machine 100 judges that the optical head 10 is not at the alignment position, whereby inhibiting the irradiation of the laser beam, and displaying a warning on the display 110 and/or generating a warning sound.

    [0029] After the operator presses a start button on the operating panel 110 to move the optical head 10 toward the alignment adjustment position by the X-, Y- and Z-axes feed devices of the laser beam machine 100, a window 200 is displayed, as shown in Figure 8, on the display 112 of the operating panel 110. The window 200 includes target circle 208, including a cross lines 206a and 206b, which is generated in the window 200 by the laser beam machine, a text displaying region 201 for displaying a text message for teaching an operator the respective steps of the alignment adjusting method, and a continue icon 210 for allowing an operator to successively proceed with the alignment adjusting operation. The continue icon 210 can be selected after the movement to the alignment adjustment position is completed. Incidentally, the target circle 208 has a diameter larger than that of the nozzle 202.

    [0030] After the optical head 10 is moved to the alignment adjustment position, the laser beam is irradiated from the optical head 10 with an alignment output power lower than that for machining. At that time, the laser beam is not aligned with the position of the nozzle, and therefore when irradiated, the laser beam is irregularly reflected in the nozzle head 26. A portion of the irregularly reflected laser beam is reflected by the reflecting plate 42 so as to come to the camera 32 through nozzle 26b. Therefore, the contour of the nozzle 26b is displayed on the display 112 as nozzle 202 with the inside bright and the outside dark. In Figure 9, the optical axis of the laser beam is not aligned with the center of the nozzle 202, and the reflection of the laser beam on the inner wall of the nozzle head 26 is shown as a laser spot 204. Then, when an operator taps the continue icon 210, a text message, "Please Adjust Camera Focus", for instructing the operator to adjust the focus of the camera is displayed in the text displaying region 201 of the window 200, as shown in Figure 9. In this connection, it should be noted that an operator must access the optical head 10 in order to adjust the focus of the camera 32, and therefore, if the shield member 34 is not provided, then the operator may be exposed to the laser beam.

    [0031] When the operator taps the continue icon 210, a text message, "Please Move Circle To Nozzle" for instructing the operator to align the target circle 208 and the nozzle 202 is displayed in the text displaying region 201 of the window 200, as shown in Figure 10. When the operator taps moving icons 214, 216, 218 and 220, the target circle 208 moves, along with the cross lines 206a and 206b, in the direction indicated by each of the moving icons 214-220.

    [0032] After the target circle 208 is move to a position substantially concentric with the nozzle 202, as shown in Figure 11, when the operator taps the continue icon 210, a text message, "Please Adjust Laser Spot Focus" for instructing the operator to adjust the focus of the laser beam is displayed in the text displaying region 201 of the window 200, as shown in Figure 12. The focus of the adjustment of the laser spot is carried out by moving the focus lens 24 in the direction of the optical axis. In order to carry out the operation for moving the focus lens 24, in the prior art, a risk that an operator must access the optical head 10, and therefore in the prior art, the operator may be exposed to the laser beam.

    [0033] After the operator adjusts the focus of the laser spot, when the operator taps the continue icon 210, the laser focus icon is disappeared, a text message, "Please Align X-Axis Positions of Laser Spot and Circle" for instructing the operator to position the laser spot 204 in the X-axis direction is displayed in the text displaying region 201 of the window 200, and two vertical auxiliary lines 224a and 224b are displayed at either sides of the vertical (in the Y-axis direction) cross line 206a, as shown in Figure 13. When the operator taps moving icons 214, 216, 218 and 220, the laser spot moves in the direction indicated by each of the moving icons 214-220. The laser spot is moved by driving the motors 20a and 22a of the first and second mirrors 20 and 22 so as to change the orientation of the first and second mirrors 20 and 22. Accordingly, the incident position or angle of the laser beam is adjusted. The operator can easily position the laser spot 204 in the X-axis direction by locating the laser spot 204 between the auxiliary lines 224a and 224b, indicated by broken lines, as shown in Figure 13.

    [0034] After the laser spot 204 is positioned in the X-axis direction, as shown in Figure 13, when the operator taps the continue icon 210, the vertical auxiliary lines 224a and 224b are disappeared, a text message, "Please Align Y-Axis Positions of Laser Spot and Circle", for instructing the operator to position the laser spot 204 in the Y-axis direction is displayed in the text displaying region 201 of the window 200, and two horizontal auxiliary lines 226a and 226b are displayed at either sides of the horizontal (in the X-axis direction) cross line 206b, as shown in Figure 14. When the operator taps moving icons 214, 216, 218 and 220, the laser spot moves in the direction indicated by each of the moving icons 214-220. The operator can easily position the laser spot 204 in the Y-axis direction by locating the laser spot 204 between the auxiliary lines 226a and 226b, indicated by broken lines, as shown in Figure 14. Accordingly, the laser spot 204 is positioned substantially concentrically with the nozzle 202.

    [0035] Then, when the operator taps the continue icon 210, the horizontal auxiliary lines 226a and 226b are disappeared, and the optical head 10 moves back to the previous position when the above-described alignment adjusting operation was started.

    [0036] According to the embodiment, the optical head 10 can be surely moved to the alignment adjustment position by controlling with the controller. Further, the respective steps of the alignment adjusting operation procedure, for aligning the axis of the pillar-like liquid flow 60 and the optical axis of the laser beam, are successively displayed on the display 112 of the operating panel 110, whereby preventing an operator from mistaking the operation procedure, and the laser beam being irradiated under unshielded condition, whereby allowing an operator to carry out the operation easily and safely.

    [0037] Further, according to the embodiment, when the optical head 10 is positioned at the alignment adjustment position, the bottom face of the housing 12 of the optical head 10 contacts intimately with the shielding member 34 to prevent the laser beam being leaked during the alignment adjusting operation. Thus, in the prior art, an alignment adjusting operation must be carried out in compliance with a regulation such as Class 4 of JIS C6802 or IEC 60825-1. In the laser beam machine 100 according to the embodiment, the alignment adjusting operation can be carried out in compliance with class 1, and therefore an operator can be carried out the alignment adjusting operation with the safety door 106 opened.

    Reference Signs List



    [0038] 
    10
    Optical Head
    12
    Housing
    14
    Laser Oscillator
    16
    Laser Irradiation Head
    18
    Collimation Lens
    20
    First Mirror
    22
    Second Mirror
    24
    Focus Lens
    26
    Nozzle Head
    26a
    Nozzle
    30
    Water Source
    32
    Camera
    34
    Shielding Member
    40
    Alignment Unit
    42
    Reflecting Plate
    42c
    Cutout Part
    42d
    Flat Part
    44
    Upper Holding Member
    46
    Lower Holding Member
    48
    Base Member
    50
    Intimate-Contact Detecting Device
    60
    Pillar-like Liquid Flow
    100
    Laser Beam Machine
    108
    table
    110
    Operating Panel
    201
    Nozzle
    204
    Laser Spot
    208
    Target Circle



    Claims

    1. A laser beam machine (100) for machining a workpiece by irradiating a laser beam to the workpiece mounted to a table (108), the laser beam machine comprising:

    an optical head (1) having a housing (12), a nozzle (26a) disposed on a bottom face of the housing (12), the nozzle being configured to discharge liquid to form a pillar-like liquid flow (60), and an optical system disposed in the housing (12), configured to lead the laser beam from a laser oscillator (14) to the nozzle (26a) to be irradiated;

    an alignment adjusting device (40), configured to adjust the incident position and angle of the laser beam relative to the pillar-like liquid flow (60), the alignment adjusting device (40) having a reflecting plate (42), disposed to face the optical head (1), for reflecting the laser beam from the nozzle (26a), a holding member (44, 46) configured to circumferentially rotatably hold the reflecting plate (42), and a shielding part (34) disposed around a portion of the reflecting plate (42) adapted to reflect the laser beam into the nozzle (26a);

    an intimate-contact detecting device (50) configured to detect that the housing (12) of the optical head (1) contacts intimately with the shielding member (34);

    a controller configured to allow the laser beam to be irradiated when the intimate-contact detecting device (50) detects that the housing (12) of the optical head (1) contacts intimately with the shielding member (34);

    a camera (32) disposed in the housing (12), the camera (32) being configured to capture an image of the nozzle (26a) and the reflecting plate (42); and

    a display (112) configured to display an image captured by the camera (32), wherein a contour of the nozzle (26a) is displayed, along with a target circle, based on the laser beam reflected by the reflecting plate (42) and captured by the camera (32).


     
    2. The laser beam machine according to claim 1, wherein the alignment adjusting device (40) is disposed in the laser beam machine (100) at a position allowing the shielding member (34) to contact intimately with the bottom face of the housing (12) to enclose the nozzle (26a) .
     
    3. The laser beam machine according to claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to store alignment coordinates composed of respective axial coordinates of a feed device of the laser beam machine (100) at an alignment position where the housing (12) of the optical head (1) contacts intimately with the shielding member (34), and to allow the laser beam to be irradiated when the intimate-contact detecting device (50) detects that the housing (12) of the optical head (1) contacts intimately with the shielding member (34).
     
    4. The laser beam machine according to claim 1, wherein the alignment adjusting device (40) comprises a base part (48) adapted to be secured to the table (108), wherein the holding member (44, 46) is formed of an annular member, provided on the base part (48), and wherein the shield part (34) comprises an annular member secured to a top face of the holding member (44, 46).
     
    5. The laser beam machine according to claim 4, wherein the reflecting plate (42) comprises substantially a circular member defining a cutout part (42c) radially extending from the periphery thereof.
     
    6. The laser beam machine according to claim 5, the reflecting plate (42) has a flat part (42d) disposed radially opposite to the cutout part (42c).
     
    7. The laser beam machine according to claim 1, wherein the optical system includes mirrors (20, 22) for reflecting to lead the laser beam into the nozzle (26a), and driving motors (20a, 22a) for adjusting the orientations of the reflecting surfaces.
     
    8. A method of adjusting the alignment of a laser beam in a laser beam machine (100) for machining a workpiece by irradiating a laser beam to the workpiece mounted to a table (108) from an optical head (1) having a housing (12), a nozzle (26a) disposed on a bottom face of the housing (12), configured to discharge liquid to form a pillar-like liquid flow (60), an optical system disposed in the housing (12), configured to lead the laser beam from a laser oscillator (14) into the nozzle (26a) to be irradiated, and a camera (32) disposed in the housing (12), the method comprising the steps of:

    disposing a reflecting plate (42) so as to face the nozzle (26a) of the optical head (1);

    enclosing the space between the nozzle (26a) and the reflecting plate (42) by a shielding member (34) configured to prevent a leakage of the laser beam;

    irradiating the laser beam toward the reflecting plate (42) when an intimate-contact detecting device (50) detects that the housing (12) of the optical head (1) contacts intimately with the shielding member (34);

    displaying the contour of the nozzle (26a) on a display (112) based on the laser beam reflected by the reflecting plate (42) and captured by the camera (32); and

    moving the position of the focal position of the laser beam so as align the optical axis of the laser beam, reflected by the reflecting plate (42), with the center of the nozzle (26a).


     
    9. The alignment adjusting method according to claim 8, wherein step of enclosing the space between the nozzle (26a) and the reflecting plate (42) is carried out by using the feed device of the laser beam machine (100).
     
    10. The alignment adjusting method according to claim 8, wherein step of enclosing the space between the nozzle (26a) and the reflecting plate (42) is carried out by contacting the optical head (1) intimately with the shielding member (34).
     
    11. The alignment adjusting method according to claim 8, wherein the optical system includes mirrors (20, 22) for reflecting to lead the laser beam into the nozzle (26a), and driving motors (20a, 22a) for adjusting the orientations of the reflecting surfaces.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Laserstrahlmaschine (100) zum Bearbeiten eines Werkstücks durch Ausstrahlen eines Laserstrahls auf ein auf einem Tisch (108) angebrachtes Werkstück, wobei die Laserstrahlmaschine Folgendes aufweist:

    einen optischen Kopf (1) mit einem Gehäuse (12), einer an einer Unterseite des Gehäuses (12) angeordneten Düse (26a), wobei die Düse konfiguriert ist, Flüssigkeit auszustoßen, um einen säulenartigen Flüssigkeitsstrom (60) zu bilden, und einem in dem Gehäuse (12) angeordneten optischen System, das konfiguriert ist, den Laserstrahl von einem Laseroszillator (14) zu der zu bestrahlenden Düse (26a) zu leiten;

    eine Ausrichtungseinstellvorrichtung (40), die konfiguriert ist, die Einfallsposition und den Winkel des Laserstrahls relativ zu dem säulenartigen Flüssigkeitsstrom (60) einzustellen, wobei die Ausrichtungseinstellvorrichtung (40) eine dem optischen Kopf (1) zugewandt angeordnete Reflexionsplatte (42) zum Reflektieren des Laserstrahls von der Düse (26a), ein Halteelement (44, 46), das konfiguriert ist, die Reflexionsplatte (42) in Umfangsrichtung drehbar zu halten, und einen Abschirmteil (34) aufweist, der um einen Abschnitt der Reflexionsplatte (42) herum angeordnet ist und den Laserstrahl in die Düse (26a) reflektieren kann;

    eine Vorrichtung zum Erkennen eines engen Kontakts (50), die konfiguriert ist, zu erkennen, dass das Gehäuse (12) des optischen Kopfes (1) das Abschirmelement (34) eng berührt;

    eine Steuerung, die konfiguriert ist, dem Laserstrahl zu erlauben, ausgestrahlt zu werden, wenn die Vorrichtung zur Erkennung eines engen Kontakts (50) erkennt, dass das Gehäuse (12) des optischen Kopfes (1) das Abschirmelement (34) eng berührt;

    eine Kamera (32), die in dem Gehäuse (12) angeordnet ist, wobei die Kamera (32) konfiguriert ist, ein Bild der Düse (26a) und der Reflexionsplatte (42) zu erfassen; und

    eine Anzeige (112), die konfiguriert ist, ein von der Kamera (32) erfasstes Bild anzuzeigen, wobei eine Kontur der Düse (26a) zusammen mit einem Zielkreis auf der Grundlage des von der Reflexionsplatte (42) reflektierten und von der Kamera (32) erfassten Laserstrahls angezeigt wird.


     
    2. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Ausrichtungseinstellvorrichtung (40) in der Laserstrahlmaschine (100) an einer Position angeordnet ist, die es dem Abschirmelement (34) erlaubt, die Unterseite des Gehäuses (12) eng zu berühren, um die Düse (26a) zu umschließen.
     
    3. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Steuerung konfiguriert ist, Ausrichtungskoordinaten zu speichern, die entsprechend axiale Koordinaten einer Zufuhrvorrichtung der Laserstrahlmaschine (100) an einer Ausrichtungsposition umfassen, an der das Gehäuse (12) des optischen Kopfes (1) das Abschirmelement (34) eng berührt, und dem Laserstrahl zu erlauben, ausgestrahlt zu werden, wenn die Erfassungsvorrichtung für einen engen Kontakt (50) erfasst, dass das Gehäuse (12) des optischen Kopfes (1) das Abschirmelement (34) eng berührt.
     
    4. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Ausrichtungseinstellvorrichtung (40) ein Basisteil (48) aufweist, das eingerichtet ist, am Tisch (108) befestigt zu werden, wobei das Halteelement (44, 46) aus einem ringförmigen Element gebildet ist, das auf dem Basisteil (48) bereitgestellt ist, und wobei das Abschirmteil (34) ein ringförmiges Element aufweist, das an einer Oberseite des Halteelements (44, 46) befestigt ist.
     
    5. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Reflexionsplatte (42) im Wesentlichen ein kreisförmiges Element aufweist, das einen Ausschnittteil (42c) definiert, der sich radial von deren Umfang aus erstreckt.
     
    6. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Reflexionsplatte (42) einen flachen Teil (42d) aufweist, der radial entgegengesetzt dem Ausschnittteil (42c) angeordnet ist.
     
    7. Laserstrahlmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei das optische System Spiegel (20, 22) zum Reflektieren, um den Laserstrahl in die Düse (26a) zu leiten, und Antriebsmotoren (20a, 22a) zum Einstellen der Orientierungen der reflektierenden Oberflächen aufweist.
     
    8. Verfahren zum Einstellen der Ausrichtung eines Laserstrahls in einer Laserstrahlmaschine (100) zum Bearbeiten eines Werkstücks durch Ausstrahlen eines Laserstrahls auf ein auf einem Tisch (108) angebrachtes Werkstück von einem optischen Kopf (1) aus, der ein Gehäuse (12), eine auf einer Unterseite des Gehäuses (12) angeordnete Düse (26a), die konfiguriert ist, Flüssigkeit auszustoßen, um einen säulenartigen Flüssigkeitsstrom (60) zu bilden, ein in dem Gehäuse (12) angeordnetes optisches System, das konfiguriert ist, den Laserstrahl von einem Laseroszillator (14) in die zu bestrahlende Düse (26a) zu leiten, und eine Kamera (32) aufweist, die in dem Gehäuse (12) angeordnet ist, wobei das Verfahren die folgenden Schritte umfasst:

    Anordnen einer Reflexionsplatte (42) so, dass sie der Düse (26a) des optischen Kopfes (1) zugewandt ist;

    Umschließen des Raumes zwischen der Düse (26a) und der Reflexionsplatte (42) durch ein Abschirmelement (34), das konfiguriert ist, ein Leck des Laserstrahls zu verhindern;

    Ausstrahlen des Laserstrahls in Richtung der Reflexionsplatte (42), wenn eine Vorrichtung zur Erkennung eines engen Kontakts (50) erkennt, dass das Gehäuse (12) des optischen Kopfes (1) das Abschirmelement (34) eng berührt;

    Anzeigen der Kontur der Düse (26a) auf der Grundlage des von der Reflexionsplatte (42) reflektierten und von der Kamera (32) erfassten Laserstrahls auf einer Anzeige (112); und

    Bewegen der Position der Fokusposition des Laserstrahls, um so die optische Achse des von der Reflexionsplatte (42) reflektierten Laserstrahls mit dem Zentrum der Düse (26a) auszurichten.


     
    9. Verfahren zum Einstellen der Ausrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei der Schritt des Umschließens des Raumes zwischen der Düse (26a) und der Reflexionsplatte (42) unter Verwendung der Zufuhrvorrichtung der Laserstrahlmaschine (100) durchgeführt wird.
     
    10. Verfahren zum Einstellen der Ausrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei der Schritt des Umschließens des Raums zwischen der Düse (26a) und der Reflexionsplatte (42) durch enges Berühren des optischen Kopfes (1) mit dem Abschirmelement (34) durchgeführt wird.
     
    11. Verfahren zum Einstellen der Ausrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei das optische System Spiegel (20, 22) zum Reflektieren, um den Laserstrahl in die Düse (26a) zu leiten, und Antriebsmotoren (20a, 22a) zum Einstellen der Orientierungen der reflektierenden Oberflächen aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser (100) destinée à usiner une pièce à travailler en irradiant un faisceau laser vers la pièce à travailler montée sur une table (108), la machine d'usinage par faisceau laser comprenant :

    une tête optique (1) présentant un logement (12), une buse (26a) disposée sur une face inférieure du logement (12), la buse étant configurée pour évacuer un liquide afin de former un flux liquide similaire à une colonne (60), et un système optique disposé dans le logement (12), configuré pour conduire le faisceau laser à partir d'un oscillateur laser (14) vers la buse (26a) à irradier ;

    un dispositif de réglage d'alignement (40), configuré pour régler la position et l'angle d'incidence du faisceau laser par rapport au flux liquide similaire à une colonne (60), le dispositif de réglage d'alignement (40) présentant une plaque réfléchissante (42), disposée afin de faire face à la tête optique (1), pour réfléchir le faisceau laser en provenance de la buse (26a), un élément de support (44, 46) configuré pour tenir de manière circonférentielle et rotative la plaque réfléchissante (42), et une partie de protection (34) disposée autour d'une partie de la plaque réfléchissante (42) adaptée pour réfléchir le faisceau laser dans la buse (26a) ;

    un dispositif de détection de contact intime (50) configuré pour détecter que le logement (12) de la tête optique (1) entre en contact intime avec l'élément de protection (34) ;

    un contrôleur configuré pour permettre au faisceau laser d'être irradié lorsque le dispositif de détection de contact intime (50) détecte que le logement (12) de la tête optique (1) entre en contact intime avec l'élément de protection (34) ;

    une caméra (32) disposée dans le logement (12), la caméra (32) étant configurée pour acquérir une image de la buse (26a) et de la plaque réfléchissante (42) ; et

    un affichage (112) configuré pour afficher une image acquise par la caméra (32), où le contour de la buse (26a) est affiché, avec un cercle cible, sur la base du faisceau laser réfléchi par la plaque réfléchissante (42) et acquis par la caméra (32).


     
    2. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 1, où le dispositif de réglage d'alignement (40) est disposé dans la machine d'usinage par faisceau laser (100) en une position qui permet à l'élément de protection (34) d'entrer en contact intime avec la face inférieure du logement (12) afin d'entourer la buse (26a).
     
    3. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 1, où le contrôleur est configuré pour stocker des coordonnées d'alignement composées de coordonnées axiales respectives d'un dispositif d'alimentation de la machine d'usinage par faisceau laser (100) en une position d'alignement où le logement (12) de la tête optique (1) entre en contact intime avec l'élément de protection (34), et pour permettre au faisceau laser d'être irradié lorsque le dispositif de détection de contact intime (50) détecte que le logement (12) de la tête optique (1) entre en contact intime avec l'élément de protection (34).
     
    4. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 1, où le dispositif de réglage d'alignement (40) comprend une partie base (48) adaptée pour être fixée sur la table (108), où l'élément de support (44, 46) est constitué d'un élément annulaire, disposé sur la partie base (48), et où la partie protection (34) comprend un élément annulaire fixé sur la face supérieure de l'élément de support (44, 46).
     
    5. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 4, où la plaque réfléchissante (42) comprend sensiblement un élément circulaire qui définit une partie découpe (42c) qui s'étend radialement à partir de sa périphérie.
     
    6. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 5, où la plaque réfléchissante (42) présente une partie plate (42d) disposée radialement à l'opposé de la partie découpe (42c).
     
    7. Machine d'usinage par faisceau laser selon la revendication 1, où le système optique comprend des miroirs réfléchissants (20, 22) destinés à conduire le faisceau laser dans la buse (26a), et des moteurs d'entraînement (20a, 22a) destinés à régler les orientations des surfaces réfléchissantes.
     
    8. Procédé destiné à régler l'alignement d'un faisceau laser dans une machine d'usinage par faisceau laser (100) destinée à usiner une pièce à travailler en irradiant un faisceau laser sur la pièce à travailler montée sur une table (108), à partir d'une tête optique (1) présentant un logement (12), une buse (26a) disposée sur la face inférieure du logement (12), configurée pour évacuer un liquide afin de former un flux liquide similaire à une colonne (60), un système optique disposé dans le logement (12), configuré pour conduire le faisceau laser à partir d'un oscillateur laser (14) dans la buse (26a) à irradier, et une caméra (32) disposée dans le logement (12), le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes :

    disposer une plaque réfléchissante (42) de façon à faire face à la buse (26a) de la tête optique (1) ;

    entourer l'espace entre la buse (26a) et la plaque réfléchissante (42) avec un élément de protection (34) configuré pour empêcher une fuite du faisceau laser ;

    irradier le faisceau laser vers la plaque réfléchissante (42) quand un dispositif de détection de contact intime (50) détecte que le logement (12) de la tête optique (1) entre en contact intime avec l'élément de protection (34) ;

    afficher le contour de la buse (26a) sur un affichage (112) sur la base du faisceau laser réfléchi par la plaque réfléchissante (42) et acquis par la caméra (32) ; et

    déplacer la position de la position focale du faisceau laser afin d'aligner l'axe optique du faisceau laser, réfléchi par la plaque réfléchissante (42), avec le centre de la buse (26a).


     
    9. Procédé de réglage d'alignement selon la revendication 8, où l'étape consistant à entourer l'espace entre la buse (26a) et la plaque réfléchissante (42) est exécutée en utilisant le dispositif d'alimentation de la machine d'usinage par faisceau laser (100).
     
    10. Procédé de réglage d'alignement selon la revendication 8, où l'étape consistant à entourer l'espace entre la buse (26a) et la plaque réfléchissante (42) est exécutée en mettant en contact intime la tête optique (1) avec l'élément de protection (34).
     
    11. Procédé de réglage d'alignement selon la revendication 8, où le système optique comprend des miroirs réfléchissants (20, 22) destinés à conduire le faisceau laser dans la buse (26a), et des moteurs d'entraînement (20a, 22a) destinés à régler les orientations des surfaces réfléchissantes.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description