Laser Cutting Articles

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.

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Life with a fiber laser

April 7, 2014

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Accrotool Inc., New Kensington, Pa., had a 1,500-W laser cutting machine from 2001 that needed to be replaced. A fiber laser was deemed the perfect choice for the shop’s cutting chores. However, to be successful, the company’s management discovered that a new mindset was needed to accompany the new technology.

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Laser cutting on the level

April 3, 2014

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A laser cutting machine doesn’t care how hard or soft a metal is, but the material’s flatness matters immensely. That’s why so many service centers are investing in leveling processes that aim to equalize stresses, ensuring sheet metal stays flat after being cut.

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Coil Fed laser

It all starts with the blank

January 17, 2014

The evolution of precision blanking began with the shear, moved to the press, and now to the laser. Each type of blanking technology, from cut-to-length lines or blanking on a traditional mechanical press to blanking with servo press technology and laser blanking, comes with its own best applications, advantages, and disadvantages.

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Solid-state laser retrospective: A decade of high brightness - TheFabricator.com

Solid-state laser retrospective: A decade of high brightness

September 5, 2013

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Because of inherent advantages, high-powered solid-state fiber and disk lasers now account for 20 to 25 percent of the industrial laser market. The laser’s exceptional beam quality, however, has presented some challenges in materials processing. Fortunately, proper head design can help deliver successful production results.

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Laser cutting

Customer input influences metal manufacturer’s growth

July 8, 2013

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Artisan Industries Inc. began life as a metal former in Streetsboro, Ohio, but like other stamping houses, it recognized the need for diversification. Since jumping into the fabricating business, the company has found itself constantly evolving to become a one-stop shop for its customers.

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Focusing on downtime reduction in laser cutting - TheFabricator.com

Focusing on downtime reduction in laser cutting

April 30, 2013

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If a laser cutting machine is not cutting, it has no chance of making money for the shop. Downtime related to maintenance is understandable. Downtime related to the slow process of attending to laser optics is frustrating. Automation, however, can help keep that laser cutting machine running, even when it's cutting different material thicknesses.

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Fiber laser helps job shop cut thick metals - TheFabricator.com

Fiber laser helps job shop cut thick metals

April 8, 2013

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After selling his metal fabricating business in 2006, Jim Lee is back in the game with North Topeka Fabrication. But even in the short time that he was gone, metal fabricating technology has advanced and forced him to ask how the shop could apply new technology to grow the business. That led the company to invest in a fiber laser cutting machine, and the decision has thrown the shop into the thick of new business opportunities.

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Strong metal, light cutting - TheFabricator.com

Strong metal, light cutting

March 7, 2013

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Hot forming entails heating and rapidly cooling the workpiece. However, the extraordinarily high-strength material emerging from the press makes cutting and trimming with hard dies impractical, even infeasible. This is where the multiaxis laser finds its niche.

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Conducting the laser - TheFabricator.com

Conducting the laser

March 1, 2013

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Elizabeth Kautzmann, chairman of FMA’s Industrial Laser Council, keeps one eye on laser technology and another eye on a part’s overall processing time.

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The many hats of the laser operator - TheFabricator.com

The many hats of the laser operator

February 15, 2013

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The modern laser cutting machine operator must wear several hats: one for in-process quality assurance, another for recordkeeping, one for preventive maintenance, and one more for troubleshooting.

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Keeping pace in sheet metal manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

Keeping pace in sheet metal manufacturing

December 3, 2012

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To remain competitive, a shop must be willing to embrace both innovation and change together. To get the most out of that commitment, a shop needs to understand just how the introduction of any new technology will affect the entire process chain, not just one part.

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Optiplex laser cutting machine

The laser as a lean manufacturing tool

October 8, 2012

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How many fabricating shops run a less-than-optimized cutting head just to avoid the downtime of switching out the head? S&B Metal Products, Lakeland, Fla., used to do like that until it got a laser cutting machine that was a better fit for its low-volume, high-mix fabricating jobs.

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Is a laser/punch machine right for you? - TheFabricator.com

Is a laser/punch machine right for you?

July 16, 2012

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The metal fabricator that processes plenty of hole-intensive parts with several contours and forms may want to consider a laser/punch combination machine. The equipment can cut down on excessive material movement and help to boost production efficiencies and quality efforts.

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An overview of laser cutting technologies - TheFabricator.com

An overview of laser cutting technologies

July 16, 2012

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Resonators producing a high beam quality and small spot size provide a machine tool with a broader depth of field that enables greater process tolerance to material deviation. This tolerance gives the operator a bigger sweet spot for machine parameters to produce consistent, high-quality parts.

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Balancing the variables for optimal dust collection - TheFabricator.com

Balancing the variables for optimal dust collection

April 16, 2012

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Designing and integrating an effective dust collection system for thermal cutting is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. Balancing all the factors will help a shop ensure it gets the most out of it.

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