VOL. 15 January ISSUE YEAR 2014
in Vol. 15 - January Issue - Year 2014
Expanding Laser Peening with Services and Experience
Stan Bovid, Senior Metallurgical Engineer of LSP Technologies
Figure 1: Example of slitting residual stress measurement sample used at LSP Technologies
Figure 2: Eigenstrain-based modeling of application of laser peening to lobes on a camshaft and the resulting residual stresses
Figure 3: Representative image of the laser shock-peening process
MFN had the opportunity to talk to Stan Bovid, Senior Metallurgical Engineer of LSP Technologies, Inc.
(?) MFN: Tell us a little bit about your engineering background.
(!) S.B.: My background is a blend of materials engineering and mechanical engineering with a specialized focus on structural mechanics and component failures. Career wise, I've spent time in the lab analyzing failures, working in production environments to solve problems, compiling and evaluating data, carrying out controlled research, and optimizing processes for improved quality and throughput. I've also had the privilege of teaching, and developing content for, entry-level engineering students.
(?) MFN: Your current position and job title is Senior Metallurgical Engineer. What types of responsibilities do you have, and what has your career been like at LSP Technologies?
(!) S.B.: LSP Technologies is multi-faceted in terms of demand for engineering talents. We have engineers from many fields to support our equipment design and builds, support our production efforts, and lead development efforts. My responsibilities are distributed primarily among research efforts, production improvements, application development, and overall project management.
At LSPT I've been involved with many different teams that tackle sophisticated projects. Like many other small companies, as individuals we all have unique experiences and abilities that, when combined into a team environment, help us deliver the best products and services available. My career with LSPT has been an exciting and technically challenging adventure since my arrival. The opportunity for growth in the laser peening market locally and worldwide has kept us busy with application development efforts to apply laser peening to many new products.
(?) MFN: Your background fits very well with your job responsibilities. What brought you to LSPT?
(!) S.B.: LSPT, and especially Dr. Allan Clauer at LSPT, have been at the forefront of laser peening technology for decades. An opportunity to work with and learn from this group of individuals really excited me about the opportunity here. I was drawn to LSPT due to the small business environment. I am passionate about the many different business groups we have: technical, production, service and marketing. I've had the opportunity to work and learn in all of these different business groups. Continuing to learn new techniques and find ways to improve myself and the business, really keeps me motivated to come to work every day.
(?) MFN: What do you think differentiates LSP Technologies from its competitors?
(!) S.B.: At LSPT, our goal is not to just sell a product or service to a client. We want to build "win-win" relationships with our clients and share in the knowledge we both currently have and will gain in the future by working together. By taking a partnership approach, we are able to match our abilities with our clients' needs and goals.
As part of this partnership approach and being a small business, we're able to offer all of our clients the one-on-one attention they deserve. Even as we grow, our customer relationships receive top priority, and we will continue to provide the individualized attention that has made us successful. When working with an engineering team at LSP Technologies, you do not get passed around between groups and departments. You maintain the engineering contacts and trust used to build the foundation of our relationship.
(?) MFN: Why should customers use laser peening and LSP Technologies?
(!) S.B.: The laser peening data speaks for itself: it is the ultimate choice in surface enhancement technology. Our goal as a company is to create added value for the products our customers use and sell. Our staff recognizes the expertise the customers have with their own parts and the expertise we have in laser peening. Only by working together can we create peak value. The experience and capabilities we have in combination with our customer support is unrivaled in the industry.
(?) MFN: Where do you see the Laser Peening industry going in the future?
(!) S.B.: With the announced release of LSPT's new industrial laser-peening equipment, I believe there will be a shift in the industry towards in-house laser peening. When companies are able to purchase laser-peening equipment to perform the process themselves, they benefit from reduced logistics cost, reduced overhead and increased system availability. While a demand will still exist for commercial laser peening outfits, I would expect the growth to be in the equipment sales industry. Having in-house processing capability aids in further driving down the cost of laser peening and opens the door to many different applications.
(?) MFN: What is the greatest challenge for the laser peening industry?
(!) S.B.: LSPT has been an industrial laser-peening provider for nearly two decades now. The process and the benefits are well proven and documented. Despite being a mature technology, I think one of the major barriers to laser peening becoming a more popularized surface enhancement technology has been that, prior to recent announcements by LSPT, no company was offering the direct sale of equipment for companies to perform the process directly. By breaking down these barriers, I expect the laser-peening industry to significantly grow in industrial applications.
(?) MFN: What are some of the recent developments at LSPT?
(!) S.B.: LSP Technologies is continually striving to improve upon our services and abilities. Recently we have implemented several new technologies. Our new eigenstrain-based finite element (FEA) modeling allows us to evaluate the benefits laser peening will have on specific parts and geometries before we process them. These modeling and simulation efforts help cut costs for our customers and allow parts to enter service faster. We have also implemented the slitting method for residual stress measurement in combination with our FEA efforts to confirm the magnitude and depths of our laser-peening process. Obtaining stress life data has always been a goal in combination with residual stress measurement and our high cycle fatigue laboratory has allowed us to gather this data. While we use our equipment and processes for internal development, we also offer the services to our customers to better serve them.
(?) MFN: Earlier you mentioned significant numbers of new applications for laser peening, what do you think is driving that?
(!) S.B.: There are likely many factors. The launch of our new website and some of our routine publications through it have been very positively received in the engineering community. We are constantly developing new content we believe the technical community needs relative to laser peening in order to make informed decisions. Getting information into the hands of engineers in different industries has definitely helped to drive growth. Additionally, with the advancements in technology and quality control at LSP Technologies, we are able to significantly reduce the costs of the process for many applications. This enables processing of many parts outside of the high-dollar/high-risk market that laser peening was founded on. Of the many technology advancements, LSPT's RapidCoater system and computer-controlled part handling have been one of the most significant. Using the RapidCoater system, we are able to process complex geometries that conventional overlay systems would make nearly impossible to handle.
(?) MFN: Are you able to comment on any specific applications you're working on?
(!) S.B.: We are working towards incorporating laser peening into production components for automotive powertrain and drivetrain systems, tooling and die operations, medical implants, aircraft propulsion and structures, and several other industrial applications. Our decreased operating costs continue to open the door to new applications for laser peening, and we are pleased to be leading the charge in the industry.
(?) MFN: For the last question, what final thoughts would you like to share with our readers regarding laser peening and LSP Technologies?
(!) S.B.: More focus is being placed on product life cycle costs and sustainability. This focus has expanded businesses to include more than just the initial manufacturing costs of a product in decision-making. Products are now required to be more sustainable economically and environmentally to continue to be successful. As reliability, maintainability, and efficiency have become ever-increasing factors in the total life cycle cost evaluation of components, the value of laser peening has never been higher. Laser peening enables products to last longer in service, extend maintenance intervals, and increase the efficiency of product designs. At LSP Technologies, we want to help you reach the peak performance of your products.