Fibre lasers are able to cut in sheet thicknesses of up to 30 mm.
Fibre laser technology has had a profound impact on sheet metal processing of many users. Modern fibre lasers achieve excellent cutting results, and this at breath-taking speeds. One could even go so far as to say that the fibre laser enables metal to be cut at the level of Formula One, that is to say, to the highest technical standards.
But a fibre laser or a fast car alone do not automatically make a champion. Fast cutting speeds merely open up the potential, which must be capitalised on during the upstream and downstream manufacturing processes.
A fast laser increases the throughput of the entire production. All of the sudden, more parts flow through the manufacturing chain in a shorter time. For users this means that it now becomes relevant, for example, as to how fast their software can convert customer enquiries into cutting jobs. And, how cutting programmes can be used to cut out as many parts as possible from the metal sheets. Fast, value-adding, and high-quality production — these are the foundations for a competitive edge.
Maintaining High Throughput
Typically, within the manufacturing chain, the next step after laser cutting is bending. Here too, the systems must be able to keep up in order to maintain the high throughput. With press brakes, it is important to decrease the set-up and programming times.
Modern bending systems offer features that can achieve this, such as: Offline programming, fast set-up systems, or even fully automatic set-up. Intelligent correction and safety functions round off the range of bending solutions. They support the user in manufacturing high-quality products with high precision and without errors.
But how can this high throughput be maintained as constant as possible? Or in other words, how does the racing car achieve peak times lap after lap? In the sheet metal processing business, automation is a key factor. This is why, for example, users upgrade their fibre lasers with automatic loading and unloading systems that ensure a suitable supply of materials to the machines and unload the parts after the cutting process.
The analysis of process data in real time is another important factor for users. Digital services collect and analyse complex data and provide the users with a clearly organised overview. This allows users to monitor their production processes: Similar to how the racing team in the pits monitors how the racing car, the motor, and the brakes perform on the racetrack.
In a nutshell, successful fibre laser cutting means ensuring that all the production processes relating to the laser are optimally aligned.
Champions win thanks to a comprehensive start-to-finish strategy. To achieve this, users require the right partner who supports them with innovative technology, effective features, and professional service.
APMEN October 2016, Sheet Metalworking