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.
May 29, 2003
Today's job shop market is characterized by unrelenting competitive pressure for laser processing services. Job shops are expanding into niche services such as multiaxis laser processing and thick plate applications to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Others are performing additional services such as forming, welding, painting, and assembly to add value.
March 27, 2003
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.
March 27, 2003
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.
February 27, 2003
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.
December 12, 2002
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.
December 12, 2002
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.
November 7, 2002
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.
August 8, 2002
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.
May 18, 2002
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.
March 13, 2002
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.
February 14, 2002
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.
July 12, 2001
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.
May 15, 2001
How you store and deliver assist gases to your laser cutting system is of critical importance to the effectiveness of your whole fabricating operation.