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Enabling Flexible 3D Laser Cutting

Enabling Flexible 3D Laser Cutting

Enabling Flexible 3D Laser Cutting

There has been an increasing demand for laser cutting machines suited for high-mix, low-volume applications. Here’s one development targeted in that area. Article by Trumpf.

In the face of an increasingly volatile market, a growing number of product variants, and shorter delivery times, the picture is clear that the sheet metal industry is getting more complex and lot sizes are falling. This trend, in turn, creates a demand for machines that are suited for small and medium lot sizes and for applications where fast set up times are required.

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On the other hand, while investment costs are important, operating costs play an equally—if not even more important—role.

In line with this, Trumpf has launched the TruLaser Cell 5030, an entry-level machine for flexible 2D and 3D laser cut processing with small and medium quantities.

The TruLaser Cell 5030 features magnetic coupling that minimizes mechanical damage to the machine, enabling work to continue quickly and precisely in the event of a collision, without the need for a service technician. Although there are manufacturers who also offer magnetic coupling, the difference is that the optics for the TruLaser Cell 5030 are completely disconnected and offer a much higher degree of freedom and reduce the risk of damage. It also offers the possibility to be disconnected in the Z – direction on top of the X and Y direction.

Low-cost Production

Cut contour without
adaptive feed control.

Investment costs are important, but operating costs play an equally—if not even more important—role. Compared to hybrid and sheet-mover machines, the TruLaser Cell 5030 reduces hourly operating costs by up to 20 percent. The energy efficient and low maintenance TruDisk laser enables significant improvements in energy efficiency during production without compromising on cutting speed and productivity.

The X-Blast Technology has twice the cutting range, and the cutting nozzle can work at a greater distance to the sheet metal, which would result in fewer nozzle collisions and better edge quality as compared to conventional cutting technologies.

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It possesses the flexibility that job shops require for cutting mild steel, stainless and aluminum sheets, but also shaped blanks for the automotive and motorcycle industry. The machine requires 30 percent less space, which means precious space in the production hall is made available

In summary, the time to setup a part on the TruLaser Cell 5030 will be shorter compared to a sheet moving system, which translates to additional savings.

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Cut contour with
adaptive feed control.

Apart from achieving low-cost production, owners are looking at getting their end product cut within the shortest time. But, apart from just having a quick machine that cuts fast, application is also a contributing factor in achieving fast cutting.

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There are many options available to choose from, for instance, if you are cutting thick materials or sheets. The Brightline Fiber enables the user to achieve high-quality cutting results while enjoying the benefits of thin sheet processing with a solid-state laser, most notable at high cutting speeds.

  1. Top cutting quality: You can create high-quality cutting edges in thick sheet with BrightLine fiber function. The optimized kerf makes part removal easier and saves time.
  2. Top part quality: BrightLine fiber combines special optics with flow-optimized BrightLine nozzles and the switchable 2-in-1 cable. The result of this is that you achieve maximum part quality. The smooth cutting edges ensure that your parts do not get caught during removal, saving you a great deal of time.

Work Smart While Cutting Fast

As for owners who are cutting mild steels, which are typically less resistant to corrosion, maintaining the optimum feed rate in cases where the thickness of the material varies within a single sheet, or where the top of the sheet is contaminated with rust or paint would lead to slag formation or interruptions in the cutting process, is no longer an issue.

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Active Speed Control enables constant monitoring of the cutting process with a live view through the nozzle. The sensor system observes the kerf, determines the optimal feed, and readjusts if necessary—hundreds of times per second. This minimizes cutting interruptions caused by material differences such as fluctuations in sheet thickness, rust, or coating contaminations. In the event of a potential cutting flaw, Active Speed Control stops the machine, and the TruTops Monitor software immediately informs the operator that intervention is necessary. Active Speed Control also reduces the formation of burrs and dross. The minimized reject rate leads to lowered parts costs and improves process reliability, while only requiring minimum operator involvement with the machine.

Comparison Between Laser Cutting With and Without Feed Control

Cut contour without adaptive feed control

Material bulging can easily happen when flame cutting mild steel without Active Speed Control. This will lead to unclean cuts in certain areas. Ultimately, the feed needed to be stopped entirely, as a cutting flaw had occurred. This results in faulty parts and rejects.

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Cut contour with adaptive feed control

Active Speed Control creates a clean cut, largely without a large amount of spatter or spatter residue. As rust and surface contaminations lead to automatic control and adjustment of the cutting head feed, cutting flaws are prevented effectively.

The World of Sheet Metal Processing

Nothing sums sheet metal laser cutting up more perfectly than a Grand Prix race. The power that the car effectively transfers to the road is important in a race. The same would also apply to laser cutting—only a carefully thought out machine concept, where all components are coordinated with one another, allows the laser and machine to apply the full power to the sheet metal. So how do you win a race? By skipping the pit stops.

Eliminate Pits Stops by Cutting More With Less

With the Highspeed Eco cutting procedure, you can set speed records for nitrogen cutting with solid-state lasers. Depending on the sheet thickness, the sheet throughput is increased by up to 100 percent with consistent laser power, and you can reduce gas consumption by 70 percent.

Its benefits are as follows:

  1. Speed
    1. Productivity and feed speed increased by up to 100 percent.
    2. Shortest piercing time and maximum acceleration.
  1. Extremely economical
    1. Cutting gas can be reduced by up to 70 percent, while cutting gas pressure can be reduced by up to 60 percent.
    2. Reduced power consumption.
  1. Robust
    1. Even on uneven ground.
    2. Resistant to spatter and collisions.

Overall, Highspeed Eco enables extremely smooth and high-quality cutting process with minimal oxidation on the lower edge and minimum burr formation, even in acute angles.

 

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

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