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.
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.
October 20, 2011 | By Dan Davis
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.
"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.
August 1, 2011 | By David J. Stone
More lasers or punch presses may enable a shop to cut more parts, but those parts still must be loaded, unloaded, and transported to downstream operations. In these cases, automation can help increase green-light-on time and help a shop produce more parts in less time.
August 1, 2011 | By Tim Heston
Arin Inc. has evolved from a steel rule blanking house to a modern metal fabricator capable of producing precision, laser cut blanks. Bu workers can see history every day--a tool room for steel rule die remains, as do the mechanical presses. A tour of Arin's shop is a walk through time, a gallery showing what metal fabrication talent has produced over the decades.
July 8, 2011 | By Douglas Shuda
The fiber laser and plasma systems share similar delivery systems. Neither require any kind of optical alignment between the power source and cutting head. The two thermal cutting processes share many similarities, from an integration standpoint, which is why the two now can be integrated onto a single cutting table.
July 8, 2011 | By John Karpus
Precise assist gas delivery is essential in CO2 laser cutting. The resonator is a key component, especially if gas delivery will be uninterrupted for unattended machine operation. Assist gas volume and pressure also must be appropriate for the application to ensure the best results.
January 17, 2011 | By Tim Heston
Fabricator uses a 7-kW CO2 laser cutting system to cut thousands of thick, stainless steel components for a critical component of nuclear plant safety. Today, the shop hopes to leverage its technology to gain work in other sectors.
January 10, 2011 | By Tim Heston
Fabricator uses both laser cutting and milling to manufacturer components quickly and to precision tolerances. Profiles are cut with a laser, and the mill machines specific elements with tight tolerance requirements.
January 10, 2011 | By Dan Davis
If a job shop supplies metal parts that are to be powder coated or welded, the customers likely require that those fabricated parts have no oxidized edges. That requirement forces the job shop to cut with nitrogen, which doesn't leave an oxidized edge like oxygen. Unfortunately, cutting with nitrogen is expensive because much more nitrogen is consumed when compared to oxygen to perform similar cuts. This situation led a metal fabricator to investigate nitrogen generation systems. This is his tale.
December 2, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Hi-Tech Industries of New York invests heavily in automation, including a new laser cutting center and robotic press brake--large investments unusual for a typical job shop. But this is no typical job shop.
September 16, 2010 | By Tim Heston
If high-speed fiber lasers replace the traditional mechanical blanking press, they would open up new possibilities of blank designs optimized for the forming processes downstream.
July 1, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Fiber lasers have enormous potential in metal fabrication. They aren't a panacea, but for certain applications, they may be extremely attractive. They're solid-state, require less maintenance, and often can cut twice as fast as their CO2 counterparts.