The laser cutting technology area has information on 2-D and 3-D cutting machines, optics, resonators, cutting gases, and automated material handling systems. In addition to conventional CO2 systems, it has information on solid-state fiber and disk lasers.
January 6, 2017 | By Robert Farrell
Laser cutting with nitrogen as an assist gas is still the No. 1 choice for applications in which edge quality is critical. Air as an assist gas, however, might work in some not-so-critical applications, and its use will generate sustainable cost and time savings while boosting productivity.
January 4, 2017 | By Tim Heston
The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has developed a system that quickly oscillates the beam in specific patterns as it cuts, welds, or otherwise processes material. These patterns have the effect of “shaping” a laser beam, allowing the technician to tailor the beam’s shape to fit the application.
October 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Earlier this year Worthington Specialty Processing, a toll processor serving the automotive industry, among others, installed a continuous-feed, coil-fed laser blanking line. An idea with roots in the 1990s has finally become reality.
September 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Laser operators and maintenance technicians have a new diagnostic tool: a tiny crossed polarizer, which can detect lens stress. The crossed polarizer clips onto a smartphone and utilizes the phone’s polarized flat-panel display.
September 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis
ACP Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, needed the speed and flexibility of modern fabricating technology to increase its manufacturing capacity as it looked to manufacturer two new product lines in its only domestic manufacturing facility.
August 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston
In quiet, rural New Ulm, Minn., technicians at DLC Manufacturing & Fabrication are perfecting the craft of cutting and bending sheet metal and plate, making clean cuts in steel 1.5 in. thick (and even thicker). It’s a small shop where skill runs deep.
Slats in a laser cutting machine don't look important, but they can be the key to an efficient laser cutting operation. Fabricators need to stay on top of keeping slag off the slats to achieve high-quality parts and to ensure the laser cutting machine remains in operation.
July 11, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Most manufacturers associate coil processing with the metal forming industry. They also likely assume the punching and laser cutting combination machines consume sheet metal. Elleci S.p.A., a metal fabricator in northern Italy, has a new line in place that will require many manufacturers to alter their preconceived notions about coil consumption in a fabricating facility.
July 5, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Alkras has introduced a laser small enough to fit on the gantry of a cutting table. It’s being marketed as a ticket of entry for those fab shops—especially small ones—that have not yet entered the laser cutting arena.
June 29, 2016 | By John Karpus
A working knowledge of the ways in which purity, pressure, and flow affect how lasers use gases is key to setting up a gas delivery system that both works correctly and is cost-effective.
June 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Brent Donner, president of DLC Manufacturing and Fabrication, has spent almost a decade as a laser cutting consultant. Over that time he has noticed several fundamentals that many operators miss: properly cleaning and polishing the optics, centering the nozzle, and calibrating the beam focus.
April 18, 2016 | By Eric Lundin
Interviews with BLM, LVD Strippit, Mazak, and TRUMPF reveal tips and tactics for buying, handling, cleaning, cutting tube. Other topics include machine maintenance, software upgrades, and operator training.
April 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis
In the past, lighting manufacturers introduced product designs that might last 10 years. Because of the lengthy product lifetime and volumes, these manufacturers didn't think twice about relying on hard tooling. Today product designs change regularly, and the constant evolution of LED technology means a manufacturer has to react quickly. For TAMCO, Port St. Lucie, Fla., that meant it needed its own laser cutting capability.
April 4, 2016 | By Dru Schwartz
Today a fiber laser can cut both thick and thin material efficiently and with good edge quality. Key advances in laser optics and cutting head design have helped make this possible.
February 1, 2016 | By Kevin Fradette
Laser cutting has been a widely accepted fabricating technology for almost 20 years, yet with more new blood entering the industry, some fabricators lack a deep understanding of the cutting technology. This tip sheet aims to boost their laser cutting IQ.