Laser Cutting

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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Will a robotic laser system cut it?

March 27, 2003

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Although robotic laser cutting systems have advanced over the years, you should know exactly what one can do before you decide if it's right for you. To find out whether you should choose robotics to laser-cut your parts, you first must consider several factors, starting with what is in a system.

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The art of laser cutting

March 27, 2003

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Laser cutting continues to grow in popularity with sheet metal fabricators. With developments in speed, cutting quality, and manufacturing economy in laser cutting, today's manufacturers have more options than ever before from which to choose the optimal manufacturing method for their specific applications.

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Laser system saves damaged military parts from the scrap heap

February 27, 2003

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At military installations across the country, repair personnel struggle to stretch the life spans of vital pieces of equipment. Sometimes welding can extend the life of damaged components in aircraft, tanks, and other military vehicles. But in some cases, high–temperature welding processes do more harm than good, warping and weakening delicate metal components. Previously such components would be classified as irreparable and replaced with pricey new parts.

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Lasers move forward

December 12, 2002

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CO2 lasers were used predominantly for cutting flat sheet metal for many years. Advancements in laser beam quality, power, manipulation, and material handling features have propelled the CO2 laser into new areas of fabrication. Multidimensional cutting, increased cutting capacity, and the ability to cut a wider range of material types make the CO2 laser a popular thermal cutting process in today's metal fabrication industry.

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Case study: CO2 Lasers in job shops

December 12, 2002

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Wrayco Industries Inc., Stow, Ohio, a 20-year-old family-owned precision fabricating shop, produces steel fabricated fuel tanks, hydraulic reservoirs, and fenders for a leading heavy construction equipment manufacturer. The company employs 102 and has more than 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

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Testing new waters Down Under

December 12, 2002

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Capitalizing on the latest laser and information sharing technology, theAustralian auto industry is working to achieve critical mass within itsdomestic market and to take advantage of the opportunities offered bye-commerce.

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Fanning production rates

November 7, 2002

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Editor's Note: This article is Part II of a four-part series covering flatness and stability in cut-to-length, slitting, and tension leveling operations. This article discusses flattening solutions and the anatomy of a bend. Part I, which appeared in the October issue of The FABRICATOR®, discussed how flat-rolled metal gets unflat; Part III in the December issue will address how coil processors can make metal flat so it stays that way; and Part IV in the January 2003 issue will discuss new applications and options in leveling equipment.

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Science Nonfiction

August 8, 2002

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Metal cutting lasers continue to evolve at an amazing rate, largely based on the demands of OEMs and job shops, while profit margins shrink because of increased competition and lower pay rates. To help fabricators meet the demands placed on them, laser manufacturers are creating new laser features that help fabricators differentiate themselves, speed up productivity, and get more out of their laser machines.

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Unattended operation of CO2laser process systems

May 18, 2002

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This article discusses the history of lasers and material handling equipment with relation to unattended operation. It specifically examines material load/unload devices, sheet separation and detection devices, the auto-focus laser lens, raw material storage and retrieval systems, automatic part sorting systems, problem notification systems, cut control devices, and nozzle cleaning equipment.

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The challenges of laser cutting: Overcoming some common obstacles

March 13, 2002

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Lasers can be used to process expensive alloys as well as traditional materials such as stainless steel. However, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of laser processing is the key to determining whether or not a laser is the right choice for cutting.

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The importance of lasing gas purity

February 14, 2002

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Here's some food for thought on lasing gases: How are they created? What are their potential impurities? Which impurities and how much of them are of concern? What lasing gases should be used? How do you protect yoiur high-quality lasing gases from contamination? Giving these items some attention could save you some trouble down the road.

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Monitoring laser beam performance

September 17, 2001

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This article discusses online laser beam monitoring and its alternatives, with emphasis on beam quality and focusability.

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Turning up the power

July 12, 2001

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The most common power levels ranged between 1,500 and 2,000 watts. However, a statistical survey conducted by the AMT Laser System Product Group indicates a steady increase during the last 12 months of installations for high-power 3,000- to 4,000-watt laser systems and a decline in sales of lasers with power levels less than 2,000 watts.

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Making solid delivery and storage choices for assist gases in CO2 laser cutting

May 15, 2001

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How you store and deliver assist gases to your laser cutting system is of critical importance to the effectiveness of your whole fabricating operation.

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Predicting the outcomes of laser thermal forming

April 24, 2001

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Applying a laser or any other high-density heat source to the surface of a metal sheet for a short time will distort the metal. If this distortion could be predicted, the laser could be directed so that the sheet metal would form the desired shape. This idea opens up many possibilities, including...

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