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.
March 1, 2010 | By Robert Kloczkowski
Upgrading the laser resonator or undertaking full laser cutting renovation represents an alternative to the expensive proposition of purchasing a new laser cutting machine.
February 23, 2010 | By David Bell
Now processing a greater variety of materials with their lasers, fabricators are exploring new assist gas blends of up to four gases. What's the best way to blend and deliver these gases? For some, on-site blending systems can help optimize cost savings and improve quality.
January 8, 2010 | By Frank J. Arteaga
If the proper laser beam focal position and projection shapes are maintained within the material to be processed, the balance of the requirements necessary to producing a consistent, high-quality laser-cut are kept to a minimum. That's why it's important for laser cutting equipment operators to know the rules of laser beam focusing.
The high-powered fiber laser now can take on the work of the blanking press.
September 6, 2009 | By Eric Lundin
Beverlin Manufacturing Inc., a tube producer and component fabricator, struggled with various cutting processes. Its produces and fabricates perforated tube which, because of the perforations, complicates the cutting process. After using two sawing methods, it changed to laser cutting.
August 1, 2009 | By Tim Heston
IMEC, a small job shop in southwest Missouri, invests in automation not necessarily to increase capacity, but to increase flexibility.
July 6, 2009 | By John Gabris
Gases for laser operations can be a significant factor in keeping costs down.
July 2, 2009 | By Dan Davis
Matrix Metalcraft, Clinton Township, Mich.,has done plenty of prototype and production work for the automotive industry in the past, but with the downturn in the industry, it is targeting industries aligned with alternative power generation for new business. In doing so, it has found out that its laser cutting capabilities will serve those efforts well.
June 23, 2009 | By David J. Connaughton
Typically, compressed air or nitrogen circulates in the plenum to ensure that water, dirt, dust, smoke, haze, and solid particulate matter are absent so that the mirrors in a laser resonator do not become cloudy. In recent years, membrane air dryer systems that provide drying and removal of particulate matter have been developed for flushing the beam path.
February 12, 2009 | By Michael Bishop
Bobcat determined that the nesting software on its laser cutting systems didn't maximize the capabilities of the machines. After the company decided to purchase new nesting software, programmers outlined what capabilities they wanted. The company purchased ProNest® from MTC Software, Lockport, N.Y. The company has gained positive returns from the new software, which enables more control of process specifications.
February 10, 2009 | By Michael Bishop
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.
Knowing the capabilities and drawbacks of laser and waterjet machines is the key in determining which is best for a particular application.
August 26, 2008 | By Michael Bishop
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.
August 26, 2008 | By Mark Richmond
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.
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).