Gemini-4

The Ultimate Laser Shield Scriber

Gemini-4-Machine-cropped-web

Overview

The Gemini-4 is the culmination of years of research into laser cutting of foil shields and tinned micro-coax shields. Optimized in every way for your production needs - it boasts a host of features:

  • Lowest cost model available - opens up a massive range of applications
  • Lowest footprint model on the market - use from a sitting position with space for other tools and parts
  • Highly flexible - programmable scribe position AND area ablation
  • Configurable usage - single port operation for highest productivity OR mini-fixture for complex cables
  • Industrial, sealed maintenance free laser technology 
  • Dual laser galvanometer scanners for stripping the wires from two sides to create a 360 degree strip around the wire
  • High speed - up to  3000 mm/s 120"/s strip speed for minimal thermal damage
  • Fully programmable dual axis motion (X & Y) to provide any shape including curves and hatched areas 
  • Runs from a standard 115 / 230 V electrical supply with no compressed air requirement

Application Range

Processing Types

The Gemini-4 system is optimized to process tinned micro-coax shields, aluminized mylar foils and magnet wire.

Materials

The Gemini laser system is optimized for cutting / vaporizing metal whilst being reflected or transmitted by most polymers.

  • Scribing tinned braid (create a shallow groove in the tinned braid to allow it to be snapped.
  • Aluminized mylar foil
  • Ablation of bonded metal foil shields from flat flexible cables (FFCs)

When scribing micro-coax braid - typically cable outer diameter of <0.25 mm (0.01") - the shield is tin dipped in order to create a solid mass of solder and braid. The Gemini-4 is then programmed to cut a shallow groove in the shield. This "scribe" line is similar to the method used to cut glass. Once scribed, the shield snaps cleanly at the scribe line - cutting all braid strands at the same position.  As the laser beam does not penetrate the braid - it does not matter what the underlying dielectric insulation composition is. For foil cutting, the laser cuts right through the thin foil layer. The laser radiation does hit the underlying layers - so there is a small risk of heat damage. If the underlying plastic material is light colored (ideally white or transparent), the laser does not interact strongly and a robust cutting process can be developed for the foil. For dark colors (particularly black) it may be difficult to find settings that cut the foil without damaging the underlying insulation.

Technical Data (preliminary)

Min. Outer Cable Diameter

0.025 mm (0.001")
Max. Outer Cable Diameter 1 mm (0.04")
Stripping Length Increments 0.01 mm (0.001")
Strip types scribes, cuts and area ablation 
Max. Stripping Length 75 mm (3")
Speed Up to 3000 mm/s (120"/s) 
Cable Loading

Either single cable port or using a

mini-fixture plate for holding complex cables

Dimensions (L x W x H) 150 x 400 x 500 mm (6 x 16 x 20")

More Info

The Laser Wire Solutions Gemini-4 cuts tinned micro-coax shield and aluminized foils as well as being able to ablate some bonded foils. The laser is strongly absorbed by the metallic shield causing it to vaporize. The laser is pulsed with very short duration pulses to ensure no heat is built up in the shield that could damage the underlying insulation. Once cut, the shield can be snapped off revealing the underlying layers. When scribing a foil or tinned shield, the laser light never penetrates to an underlying layer. When cutting foil it is often the case that the light does penetrate - in which case the effect on the underlying plastic layers has to be carefully assessed.

The main applications are for micro-coax shields where the coax outer diameter is less than 0.25 mm (0.01") and for cutting foil shields found in twin-ax type cables.  Using the color touchscreen, the operator selects the desired settings (laser power, laser speed and strip positions)  from the preprogrammed library and all parameters are automatically set.  This unique software system avoids the need to program each laser move individually.

Gemini-4 begins the cutting process when the Operator starts the process via the touchscreen or via the optional footswitch.

The wires/cables are held in position via a configurable fixture plate or if the application allows, through a single entry port.