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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Manufacturing Transportation Equipment

New dimension, familiar direction

February 10, 2009

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H.W. Metals offers punching, shearing, arc welding, machining, oxyfuel cutting, and standard and high-definition plasma cutting. The company found that there was more and more work it couldn't do for its customers because some jobs required laser-cut parts. The company decided to purchase a laser to expand capabilities in its current markets by offering an alternative to plasma cutting. In October, the company installed a Prima Maximo laser cutting system, which will allow the company to provide more capabilities to existing customers.

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Laser and waterjet: friends or foes?

January 27, 2009

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Knowing the capabilities and drawbacks of laser and waterjet machines is the key in determining which is best for a particular application.

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Fiber Laser

Are you getting enough fiber in your metal fabricating diet?

August 26, 2008

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With sales forecasts predicting that fiber laser sales will increase by 16 percent, to $323 million, in 2008—$112 million of that in metal processing industries—this year is being called the year of the fiber laser. A closer look at the technology shows why this might be true.

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When does a punch/laser make sense? - TheFabricator.com

When does a punch/laser make sense?

August 26, 2008

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Hawkeye Industries Inc., Tupelo, Miss., was getting more and more orders for parts that required both punching and laser cutting. To meet the growing demand, the company purchased a combination punch/laser machine. Some shops are more suited than others to this technology—combination machines can increase profits for some companies, and costs for others. Shop owners should keep five key things in mind when evaluating and purchasing a combination punch/laser machine.

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High powered laser

Laser optics: Special delivery

July 15, 2008

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Not only can today's laser optics handle more power, they also enhance beam quality, reduce maintenance, increase power delivered to the cutting head, and improve mode stability.

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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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