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.
September 5, 2013 | By Mike DelBusso
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.
July 8, 2013 | By Dan Davis
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.
April 30, 2013 | By Marc Lobit
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.
April 8, 2013 | By Dan Davis
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.
March 7, 2013 | By Frank Geyer
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.
March 1, 2013 | By Tim Heston
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.
February 15, 2013 | By David Marusa
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.
December 3, 2012 | By Frank J. Arteaga
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.
October 8, 2012 | By Dan Cruz
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.
July 16, 2012 | By Mike Kroll
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.
July 16, 2012 | By Richard Green
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.
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.
February 1, 2012 | By Dan Davis
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.
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.
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.