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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Metal Cutting Tools

Making sense of metal cutting technologies

July 15, 2008

This article was developed from the Comparative Cutting Panel conducted at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's Metal Matters conference in Orlando, Fla., March 2008. The participants included Rick Neff (Cincinnati Incorporated), Chris Maier (Flow International), Jeff Hahn (MC Machinery Systems Inc./Mitsubishi Laser), Ron Schneider (Messer MG Systems & Welding Inc.), and Al Julian (W.A. Whitney Co., a division of MegaFab).

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ALAW 2008 conference

Lasers catch limelight at ALAW

June 17, 2008

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How can laser technology make metal fabrication more efficient? The efficiency comes not only from advances within the laser itself, but also in new ways to integrate those lasers for optimal part flow on the shop floor. Several presenters at ALAW 2008 hammered this point home.

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Laser lens cleaning

The dirt on laser lenses

June 17, 2008

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This roundup of laser lens providers gives tips on extending the life of lenses used in laser cutting.

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Laser cut brass

Shop perfects laser cutting brass, titanium

January 15, 2008

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Meeting a challenge sometimes requires out-of-the box thinking. One contract manufacturer employed a thorough knowledge of laser cutting, determination, ingenuity, and tenacity to successfully laser cut difficult-to-process materials.

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Laser welding applications

Laser safety in the industrial workplace

January 15, 2008

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Lasers are capable of cutting thin-gauge metal and plate at incredible speeds and with outstanding results. But a laser also is capable of great damage to operators if the proper safety steps are not followed. To keep everyone safe and the laser cutting machine operating, a fabricating operation should have a safety program in place.

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High powered resonators

Getting into the thick of high-powered lasers

December 11, 2007

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The new high-powered lasers allow fab shops to serve a broader range of custom needs.

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Clay Andrews Hype Manufacturing

Hyperactive fabrication

December 11, 2007

Hype Manufacturing invested in a horizontal machining center, two lathes, two vertical machining centers, a universal milling machine, tube bending equipment, a press brake, a laser cutting system, and a waterjet to support its racing effort.

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Nitrogen assist gas delivery

Achieving efficiency with occasional high-pressure, high-flow nitrogen use

October 9, 2007

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Several modes of nitrogen assist gas supply exist, but with choice comes the potential of saddling your business with overhead costs that make it difficult to compete. The best approach is to map out a growth strategy, using each option's performance and value, that coincides with monthly nitrogen usage.

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Laser cutting cell

Successful automation isn't automatic

October 9, 2007

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As with so many other ventures in life, successfully implementing a laser automation system rests on one key practice: communication.

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Rofin laser welding image

The evolution of scanners for remote welding applications

October 9, 2007

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Remote laser welding operations, many of which rely on a laser scanner to deflect the beam to the weld area, require high-beam-quality lasers. Years ago this meant that they were used only with high-power CO2 lasers. As the beam quality of Nd:YAG, disk, and fiber-optic lasers have improved, these lasers also have become suitable for remote welding, allowing the scanners to be smaller and faster.

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Laser operations image

3 ways to get the most from your laser operation

August 8, 2007

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The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.—Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.To say Mr. Gates lived his conviction successfully would be a vast understatement. To say following his path would be...

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Laser cutting

Air cutting revisited

March 13, 2007

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Fabricators are increasingly using compressed air in laser cutting, instead of relying on laser assist gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Recent findings reveal that shop air can be used on more material types and thicknesses, including parts on which the edge quality is visible.

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Automated parts removal

Flexible automation of laser cutting, material handling

March 13, 2007

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What's the point in purchasing an expensive laser cutting machine if you are going to waste money-making opportunities by unloading parts manually? Good nesting software, proper maintenance, and the latest unloading technology can help to make automated laser cutting and unloading a reality.

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Laser cutting device

Breaking speed barriers in laser cutting

February 14, 2007

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A real breakthrough in high-speed laser cutting occurred in 2005. Two additional parallel kinematic drive axes were placed near the point where the laser exits the head, creating a laser cutting machine with one dynamic and light cutting torch capable of independent movement along two axes but working in precise synchronicity with the machine's more sweeping movement of the laser head. This new approach opened up new frontiers and much higher limits in processing speed.

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MPI laser cutting

Cutting lead-times with lasers

February 13, 2007

An expanding metal fabrication shop invests in lasers to help it produce precision parts and manage tight lead times.

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