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Miyachi Unitek’s LW150 Laser Welder Used on OSU Buckeye Bullet’s Record-Setting Vehicle

Miyachi Unitek Corporation, a leading manufacturer of welding equipment and laser processing systems, announces that its LW150A pulsed Nd:YAG laser welder was used during the development of the Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet Team’s Bullet 2.5, which recently set a new international land speed record for battery-powered vehicles.

Based out of the Center for Automotive Research at Ohio State University, the team built the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 battery-powered land speed streamliner that set the new world record in late August 2010. The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 achieved an average speed of 307.7 mph during a two-run pass at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

EWI (Edison Welding Institute), which provides applied research, manufacturing support, and strategic services for materials joining and allied technologies,, was instrumental in developing a laser welding process to fasten the mounting and conducting lugs to the raw Lithium-Ion battery cells. This enabled the Buckeye Bullet Team to assemble the cells into modules and construct the modules into the battery packs that propelled the “Bullet 2.5” to a new international land speed record for battery powered vehicles. EWI had previously welded the entire frame of the Buckeye Bullet 2, which also set the international land speed record of 303 mph for hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles in September 2009.

EWI utilized Miyachi Unitek’s LW150A laser welder, an economical high-speed seam welder ideal for joining ferrous materials. The LW150 features a real time closed-loop optical power feedback that gives it exceptional pulse stability. Power ramping offers very smooth end-of-seam transitions. The laser welder’s pulse shaping provides a wide process window. EWI coupled the LW150A with a low cost, flexible Delta series work station, also from Miyachi Unitek Corporation.

Jay Eastman, applications engineer at EWI, said, “It was an extremely exciting project, and one in which we had a short window of opportunity to weld several thousand mounting and conducting lugs.” He added, “The LW150A performed very well and Miyachi Unitek provided the focal length lens that EWI used to achieve the needed spot size in a very timely manner, which was essential since there was a hard time-line to build the vehicle and ship it to the salt flats for the race.”

Miyachi Unitek’s Paul Brackell, Midwest regional manager, was thrilled its laser welder had a part to play in helping the Buckeye Bullet achieve glory. “Laser welding is a fast and efficient non-contact process, requiring access to the weld zone from just one side of the parts being welded. I am very proud that our equipment performed well under the intense pressure and excitement of this event. I look forward to working with EWI on other projects in the future.”

About Amada Miyachi America

Since 1948, Amada Miyachi America, Inc. has worked to achieve one goal: to solve customer’s manufacturing challenges. Knowing there is no one solution that fits all, the company strives to provide customers with innovative and reliable manufacturing technology solutions in an effort to be their single source provider. Amada Miyachi America manufactures equipment and systems for resistance welding, laser welding, laser marking, laser cutting, hermetic sealing and hot bar reflow soldering and bonding. The company serves a wide range of markets including medical devices, battery, aerospace, automotive and electronic components. Amada Miyachi America is an ISO9001 certified company. Contact Amada Miyachi America at info@amadamiyachi.com. Learn more about the company’s products and services at www.amadamiyachi.com.