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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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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No holes in modern laser cutting story - TheFabricator.com

No holes in modern laser cutting story

February 1, 2012

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Fabricators want to process metal parts with the least amount of handling as possible. As a result, they are always looking to maximize the capabilities of their equipment. One example is the use of laser cutting equipment to produce high-tolerance holes in a speedy manner, instead of taking metal blanks to a secondary station for additional holemaking activities. Advancements in drive system and piercing technology have given fabricators a chance to raise their hole-cutting capabilities while the sheet remains in the laser cutting bed.

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Why beam delivery matters - TheFabricator.com

Why beam delivery matters

January 6, 2012

The most powerful laser in the world can’t work without an effective, finely tuned beam delivery system. Its design hinges on the application, but a few basic elements lay the groundwork. Together they provide myriad options to find the most effective way to carry and shape the beam on its way from the laser source to the workpiece.

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5 commonly overlooked laser maintenance areas - TheFabricator.com

5 commonly overlooked laser maintenance areas

December 15, 2011

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By keeping tabs on laser optics, gas flow, chiller performance, and machine cleanliness, a metal fabricator can ensure that a laser cutting machine is performing as it should and possibly lengthen the machine's working life as well.

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Engineering firm enters the 3-D world of laser cutting - TheFabricator.com

Engineering firm enters the 3-D world of laser cutting

October 20, 2011

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A defense contract drove Systems Engineering & Manufacturing, Forest, Va., to seek out a flexible fabricating tool that could handle bent tube and structural shapes, and the fabricator found its answer in a laser cutting machine that could accommodate 2-D and 3-D parts.

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Nesting software keeps the “lights-out” on - TheFabricator.com

Nesting software keeps the “lights-out” on

September 9, 2011

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"Lights-out" laser cutting-defined as a machine laser-cutting parts without the need of operator intervention, typically during an unmanned evening shift-can only occur when the cutting head can move around the sheet unencumbered. Advanced nesting software can ensure that "lights-out" remains on.

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