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Laser Cutting In Manufacturing Process

Laser Cutting In Manufacturing Process

Laser cutting is a fabrication process which employs a focused, high-powered laser beam to cut material into custom shapes and designs. This process is suitable for a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, wood and glass. Article by Ahmad Alshidiq.

Manufacturers have sought to make the manufacturing process easier and more efficient. By verifying that a design can actually be manufactured early on in the development process, manufacturers can save time and money, and speed up time to market for new products while also ensure optimum productivity.

The development of technologies such as laser cutting have made manufacturing complex products easier. Laser cutters have simplified the process of manufacturing products simpler, rather than simplifying the products themselves, thus allowing for greater complexity in less time — and increased innovation.

L.A.S.E.R

Laser is the acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which is the main participant in this process, is a beam of heavily intensified light. This beam of light is formed by a single wavelength or single colour.

The laser machines use amplification and stimulation technique to transform electric energy into high density beam of light. The stimulation process happens as the electrons are excited via an external source, mostly an electric arc or a flash lamp.

Focusing the light beam is not so easy. The laser has to go through a specialised lens or any type of curved surface. This focusing part of the laser happens inside the laser-cutting tip. The focusing is crucial to this cutting process because if the beam is not focused concisely, the shape will turn out different.

Laser cutters can be customised to cut nearly any material of any thickness to exact specifications accurately and fast. It is a cleaner process, requires little or no secondary cleanup, can be easily adjusted to meet the changing needs of the product.

The process works by having a focused and precise laser beam run through the material that users are looking to cut, delivering an accurate and smooth finish. Initially, the beam pierces the material with a hole at the edge, and then the beam is continued along from there. The laser melts the material away that it is run over. This means that it can easily cut light materials up to tougher metals and gemstones.

Either a pulsed beam or a continuous wave beam can be used, with the former being delivered in short bursts while the latter works continuously. Users can control the beam intensity, length and heat output depending on the material you are working with, and can also user a mirror or special lens to further focus the laser beam. Laser cutting is a highly accurate process, thanks to high level of control offered; slits with a width as small as 0.1mm can be achieved.

There are three main types of laser cutting: C02, crystal and, more common, fibre laser cutting.

Fibre laser cutting machines have emerged as the technology of choice for sheet metal cutting in the metal fabricating industry. They are able to deliver unrivalled productivity, precision, and cost-effective operation when compared with the cutting technologies that came before them.

Techniques In Cutting Process

There are also several techniques involved with the laser cutting process, according to SPI Laser:

Laser cutting – This is the process of cutting a shape to create smaller sizes, pieces, or more complex shapes.

Laser engraving – The process of removing a layer of a material to leave an engraving below. This is often used for etching barcodes onto items.

Laser marking – Similar to engraving in that a mark is made but the difference being that the mark is only surface level, while an engraving from laser engraving has much more depth.

Laser drilling – Drilling is creating dents or thru-holes on or in the surface of a material.

Laser cutting allows more flexibility in the manufacturing process. A laser operates with a heat intensity, making it possible to cleanly and accurately cut virtually any material, from the strongest alloy all the way down to the thinnest polymers.

Lasers aren’t bound by geometry, so parts do not have to conform to the capabilities of the laser cutter. Because the laser itself never actually touches the part being cut, materials can be oriented in any fashion, which allows them to be cut in any shape or form. In many cases, the precision cuts made by the lasers require little to no post-cut processing, which also speeds up the manufacturing process.

There are, however, some drawbacks, as laser cutting uses more power than other types of cutters and does require more training to do properly, as poorly adjusted lasers can burn materials or fail to cut them cleanly. And while laser cutting does typically cost more than other types of processes, such as wet cutting, the benefits often far outweigh those costs.

Laser Leads the Way

The laser continues to solve more and more manufacturing problems, and process variables such as beam diameter and manipulation continue to have a meaningful impact. It’s no mystery why manufacturers constantly choose laser cutting for their prototype and their final production over any other traditional metal engraving process. With its precise cutting, smooth edge, cost and energy efficiency as well as many other profitable advantages, it seems like the use of laser cutting in different sectors and industries is not likely to decrease in next decade or so. And it is indeed a wise decision to shift from traditional expensive metal cutting technologies to this efficient process of shaping ideas. Advancements in laser technology are sure to be a key component of success in the era of Industrie 4.0.

 

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Fiber Laser Cutting With 12 Kilowatts

Fiber Laser Cutting With 12 Kilowatts

The ByStar Fiber from Bystronic is being enhanced with a 12 kilowatt laser and the new “BeamShaper” function. Besides offering higher speed and an expanded cutting spectrum, a newly designed cutting head ensures consistent cutting quality up to a sheet thickness of 30 millimeters.

To compete for cutting jobs, sheet metal workers need to manufacture quickly, flexibly, and cost-effectively. The best cost per cut part and short delivery times are decisive for achieving good production utilisation. A laser cutting system with its specific components must therefore enable high processing speeds, a reliable cutting process, and low maintenance costs. Those who position themselves this way are awarded jobs and gradually increase productivity. That builds the foundation for growth.

In order to optimally support sheet metal workers amid growing competition, Bystronic is now launching the next level of power in fiber laser cutting: The ByStar Fiber with 12 kilowatts. The high-end fiber laser represents precise Bystronic technology, a stable cutting process up to the highest laser power, and a broad spectrum of applications. It is an enormous technological leap from the three to 10 kilowatt levels, available up until now, to the new 12 kilowatt level.

With the 12 kilowatt laser, the ByStar Fiber’s cutting speeds increase up to 20 percent on average (when laser cutting with nitrogen) compared to the previously available 10 kilowatt laser source. This increases productivity throughout the range of sheet thicknesses from three to 30 millimeters.

Stefan Sanson, Bystronic Product Manager for Laser Cutting explained: “This laser power is of interest to companies that want to achieve higher cutting speeds with material thicknesses starting at three millimeters in order to increase their productivity per unit of time. The result is Swiss quality with lower costs per part.”

New Cutting Head Design For Process Stability

The cutting head is the core element for a stable cutting process and constantly high parts quality. This applies all the more with increasing laser power, which must be brought to the cutting material precisely and reliably. To enable this, Bystronic has consistently continued to develop the ByStar Fiber cutting head.

A slimmer design for the new cutting head increases security in the cutting process. Bystronic is also reducing the number of different components and accommodating important technical functions in the interior of the cutting head. This decreases the danger of collisions with protruding cut parts. The new design also decreases maintenance and operating costs because the integrated technology is better protected from contamination occurring from cutting dust, for example.

Optimal cooling in the cutting head ensures constantly precise cutting performance, particularly for long-lasting cutting operation with high laser power. Bystronic thus protects the lenses and cutting nozzle from high thermal stresses.

High Cutting Quality Up To 30 Millimeters

For sheet metal workers who want to expand their job volumes into the highest material thicknesses, Bystronic has developed a further innovation. The new “BeamShaper” function enables exceptional cutting quality for steel up to a sheet thickness of 30 millimeters. This function can be selected with a new purchase of a 12 kilowatt ByStar Fiber or retrofitted at a later date. “BeamShaper” allows for an ideal adjustment of the laser beam form to greater sheet thicknesses and variable sheet metal qualities. In strengths of 20 to 30 millimeters, the new function thus raises the quality of cutting edges and increases the cutting speed by up to 20 percent.

Automation Optimises The Material Flow

In order to provide an optimal material flow to the high speeds of laser cutting, Bystronic has a broad selection of automation solutions available for the ByStar Fiber. The offer includes loading and unloading systems, sorting solutions, and individually configurable storage systems. Based upon the existing manufacturing environment and available space, a seamlessly integrated automated laser cutting process is developed.

ByTrans Cross is the newest loading and unloading solution on offer from Bystronic. The automation can be flexibly adapted to changing order situations and production rhythms in the laser cutting. Various utilisation scenarios are possible.

As an automation bridge, ByTrans Cross can be integrated between a laser cutting system and material storage in order to direct the material flow. ByTrans Cross can also be used equally well as a stand-alone solution without a storage connection, to provide the laser cutting system with raw sheet metal of differing strengths and materials. In its basic version, ByTrans Cross has two loading carriages that serve as material storage for stand-alone utilisation.

ByTrans Cross becomes even more versatile during cleanup, with the BySort sorting solution, which Bystronic integrates as an add-on solution on request. Thus, users have the option to clear away sorted, completed parts into an attached storage area or to store them in an additional unloading position next to the laser cutting system.

The latter supports the processing of large series, for example, for which individual cut parts need to be sorted separately according to job. A big advantage of BySort is the repeated, precise storage of all parts in one location: A task that is difficult to complete manually, particularly with large cut parts. The parts, exactly positioned on a palette, can be processed more easily during manual and automated subsequent processes, as their location is precisely defined.

 

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ANCA Motion Challenges The Conventional Approach To Cylindrical Grinding

ANCA Motion Challenges The Conventional Approach To Cylindrical Grinding

ANCA Motion’s CyGrind Cylindrical Grinding software strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and user friendliness.

ANCA Motion is helping to bring OEM and machine builders into the era of the ‘Smart Factory’ with its range of motion control CNC solutions. From cylindrical grinding, to laser cutting applications, to the proven technology of the LinX linear motors – ANCA Motion will have a full range of products on display at TIMTOS 2019 in Taiwan.

Naveen Nadesan, Global Marketing Manager at ANCA Motion commented: “Simply put, we love motion. With over 40 years’ experience in the grinding industry, we know our customers’ needs intimately. It is an exciting era with new technology disrupting the market and making the concept of a Smart Factory a realistic and achievable goal. We are excited to help our customers understand how a premium CNC solution can deliver a range of benefits.”

CyGrind: A Cylindrical Grinding Turnkey CNC System Solution

ANCA Motion’s newly developed CyGrind CNC solution challenges the conventional approach to cylindrical grinding. The CyGrind Cylindrical Grinding software strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and user friendliness, which when combined with advanced features of the CNC control, delivers a high-end solution for precision cylindrical grinding. This capability has been further enhanced with the newly released off-centre and non-round grinding options.  The modern user interface allows the operator to easily define and visualise the geometry segments as well as all process parameters using a logical process-driven flow.

The software includes a simulation mode allowing a visual review of the process prior to grinding. CNC features developed specifically for grinding processes, such as Live Offset and ANCA Motion’s unique in-cycle MPG Feed, improve productivity and operator confidence when setting up and running a cylindrical grinding job.

CyGrind offers the complete package, providing extensive functionality and user-friendly software, making it the most comprehensive on the market.

  • Simple and flexible graphical geometry editor for part definition.
  • Flexible wheel geometry specification combined with graphical representations.
  • Unique MPG feed feature allows operators to manually move along a programmed path.
  • Compensation and adjustment options to ensure parts meet accurate specifications.
  • Full support for part probing, gauging and wheel dressing.
  • Off Centre and grinding of non-round shapes.
  • Separate logical machines allow the grinder and loader to work independently for loading operations.

Laser Cutting Control Solutions

ANCA Motion’s laser cutting control system is the complete package, offering hardware and software solutions.

Our laser cutting application software; Cut Assist, supports advanced features such as ramping frequency and duty during piercing, fast and reliable height following control, laser head protection during all operations, ability to start from any item on the part, and can cut 1,200 holes in one minute.

  • Our Commander software is easy-to-use and is fully customisable.
  • ANCA Motion’s AMI5000 Touch Pad HMI supports fast and flexible access for real-time control, in conjunction with the handheld EtherCAT Remote Handheld Pendant.
  • Expect high precision with ANCA Motion’s AMC5 CNC, and high performing motion control delivered by ANCA Motion’s AMD5x Multi-Axis Servo System.

The LinX S-Series Linear Motor

The innovative LinX cylindrical Linear Motor (international patent pending) offered by ANCA Motion provides improved performance at lower cost when compared to conventional flat linear motors and rotary motors. The high speed and acceleration, standalone thermal stability, and the ability to achieve high IP67 protection make LinX an ideal solution for machine tools, food processing and other automation industries.

  • Designed for machine tools.
  • No backlash or reversal errors.
  • Efficient fluid-cooling thermal barrier.

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Bystronic “TiltPrevention” Solution Optimises Laser Cutting Processes

Bystronic “TiltPrevention” Solution Optimises Laser Cutting Processes

With the “TiltPrevention” assistant function, Bystronic is increasing process reliability in the field of laser cutting. The intelligent function enables users to create cutting sequences that minimise the risk of creating protruding parts in the sheet. This reduces the disruption of cutting processes and downtime caused by cutting head collisions.

Tilted parts are a risk factor during the laser cutting process. They can cause a collision with the cutting head. This results in the disruption of cutting jobs, rejected parts, and in the worst case, costly damage. However, they also impede automated unloading, as the automation system’s grippers have difficulty picking up tilted parts.

Until now, micro-tabs have been a time-intensive method of preventing cut-out parts from tilting. The software positions small connections between the contour of the part that is to be cut and the residual grid in the cutting plan. In this way, parts remain fixed to the surrounding sheet after cutting. One disadvantage of this solution is: The cut parts require reworking in order to remove the traces of the micro-tabs. Another disadvantage: The automated removal of the finished parts is impeded because the micro-tabs make it difficult to remove the parts from the residual sheet.

Another approach is to use software to guide the paths of the cutting head during the cutting process so that, as far as possible, it circumvents risky sections where parts could tilt. However, this solution does not eliminate the root of the problem—parts protrude, still represent a risk, and are difficult for automation systems to cope with.

Algorithm Generates The Ideal Cutting Sequence

With “TiltPrevention”, Bystronic has now developed a new solution. In future, BySoft 7 will use this intelligent assistant function to compile cutting plans in such a manner that parts cannot tilt during the cutting process. This largely eliminates the need for micro-tabs.

How does it work? An algorithm calculates the mechanical behavior of the parts while they are being cut out of the sheet. To achieve this, “TiltPrevention” takes into account a wide range of parameters:  What is the density of the material that is being cut? What is the geometry and weight of the parts that are to be cut? How high is the pressure of the gas that flows out of the cutting head during laser cutting and exerts pressure on the parts? How are the parts positioned on the cutting grate? Are there enough contact points?

Subsequently, “TiltPrevention” recommends lead-in and lead-out points of the laser so that tilting of the parts after cutting is prevented to the greatest possible extent. In addition, the function proposes the best possible route for the cutting head over the metal sheet. This creates an ideal cutting sequence for all parts on the cutting plan. Cutting in such a manner that the cutting head never travels over parts that have already been cut out.

Regardless of the users’ level of experience, “TiltPrevention” supports them with an ideal cutting strategy that can be automatically incorporated into the cutting plan. Users can carry out customised adaptations at any time using the simulation created by “TiltPrevention” —modify the nesting of parts, reposition the lead-in and lead-out points of the parts, and add micro-tabs where required.

 

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Laser Cutting Technology: Why Choose It?

Laser Cutting Technology: Why Choose It?

Since people realised the precision and efficiency of laser cutting in the early 1960s, industrialists are looking for ways to implement this cutting-edge technology to their respective industries. That’s why, from clinical to aerospace use, laser cutting is ruling over metal integrity without raising any questionable eyebrows in case of profit. Article by FMB Trading & Engineering.

Laser cutting is usually the first step of the process before it continues down the line to undergo metal bending, metal rolling, and other types of metal fabrication in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium.

But What Is This Laser Cutting That Everyone Is Talking About?

Laser cutting is a process to cut or engrave any material precisely, using a high-powered beam. Mostly, the entire process is based on computer-controlled parameters, directed by Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machine from a vector CAD file.

The laser cutting technology is used for many industrial purposes, specifically, to cut metal plates, such as aluminium, stainless steel and mild steel. On these types of steel, laser cutting process is very precise compared to any other metal sheet cutting process. Besides, laser cutting process has a very small heat afterzone and also a small kerf width. That’s why it’s possible to delicate shapes and tiny holes for production.

How Laser Cutting Technology Works

Laser is a fancy acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which is the main participant in this process, is a beam of heavily intensified light. This beam of light is formed by a single wavelength or single colour.

The laser machines use amplification and stimulation technique to transform electric energy into high density beam of light. The stimulation process happens as the electrons are excited via an external source, mostly an electric arc or a flash lamp.

The amplification process occurs within the optical resonator in the cavity, which is set between two mirrors. One of them is partially transmissive and the other one is reflective. The glasses allow beam’s energy to get back in the lasing medium and there it stimulates even more emissions. But if a photon isn’t aligned with machine’s resonator, the reflective and transmissive mirror do not redirect it. This ensures amplification of properly oriented photons only, thus creating a coherent beam.

The colour or the wavelength of the laser that cuts through the metals depends on which type of laser is being used in the laser cutting process. But mostly, carbon dioxide (CO2) gets to cut the metals which is a highly intensified beam of Infra-red part of the light spectrum.

This type of beam travels through the Laser resonator before going through metal sheet to give them shapes. But before the beam falls over the metal plates, the focused light beam undergoes the bore of a nozzle, just before it hits a surface.

But focusing the light beam is not so easy. The laser has to go through a specialised lens or any type of curved surface. This focusing part of the laser happens inside the laser-cutting tip. The focusing is crucial to this cutting process because if the beam is not focused concisely, the shape will not be as expected. The operators cross check the focus density and width many times before hitting the metal with it.

By focusing this huge beam into a single point-like area, the heat density is increased. Then the high-temperature beam, focused on a single point can cut through even the strongest of metals. This works like the magnifying glass. When the solar rays fall on the magnifying glass, the curved surface gathers them into a single point, which consequently produces extreme heat in a small area and that’s why the dry leaf under the magnifying glass burns out.

The laser cutting process work on the same principle. It gathers lights into a small area that starts rapid heating, partial or complete meltdown and even vaporization of the material completely. This heat from laser beam is so extreme that it can start a typical Oxy fuel burning process when the laser beam is cutting mild steel.

And when the laser beam hits aluminium and stainless steel surface, it simply melts down the metal. Then the pressurised nitrogen blows away molten aluminium or steel to finish the industrial-grade clear and precise cutting.

On the CNC laser cutters, cutting tip/head is moved on the metal surface to create the desired shape. For maintaining accurate distance between the plate and the nozzle end, usually a capacitive height control system is adopted.

Maintaining this distance in this case is crucial because the distance determines where the focal area is relative to the surface of the metal plate. The precision of cutting can be diverted by lowering or raising the focal point from the surface.

Types of Laser In Laser Cutting Technology

Basically, there are three different types of lasers used in laser cutting process. Most common one is CO2 laser, which is suited for engraving, boring, and cutting. Then there is Neodymium (Nd) and the Neodymium Yttrium-Aluminium-Garnet or Nd:YAG for short. Nd and Nd:YAG is identical in style but have few dissimilarities in application. Where Nd is used for boring that required high energy but low repetition, Nd:YAG is used for both engraving and boring with high power.

All three types can be used for welding purpose.

Besides, laser cutting technology comes in two different formats. Gantry and the Galvanometer system. Where in Gantry system, position of laser is perpendicular to the surface and the machine directs the beam over the surface, in galvanometer system, the laser beams are repositioned by using mirrored angles.

This is the reason why gantry is comparatively slower and manufacturers usually adapt this format for prototyping. But galvanometer system is way faster. In this format, the machine can pierce through 100 feet of steel in a minute. That’s why Galvanometer system is more commonly used for full-on production work.

Designing For Laser Cutting

For automatic cutting, laser machines require CAD Vector files. These files are prepared in soft wares like InkScape, Adobe Illustrator, AutoCad, etc. These CAD (Computer Aided Design) files are exported as .eps, .pdf, .dff, and .aj formats.

Why Use Laser Cutting Technology Over Any Other Process?

Laser cutting technology can be useful for both mass production and start-up order. Here’s why industrialist and entrepreneurs believe in laser cutting more than anything:

Cost Efficiency

The cost efficiency of Laser cutting is something that is much rare in other metal curving technologies. In mass production, Laser cutting technology is very efficient in cutting a good chunk of manual engineering jobs, which helps you keep minimal production cost.

Time Saver

By sparing some really costly and time consuming engineering job for the laser machine, you can balance your production cost as well as save some precious time.

Precise Cutting

With laser cutting, you get even more precision in shaping your metals. The cutting technology is more efficient than plasma cutting, which is a compliment on its own. From getting exact replica of your design to smooth and clear finish, laser cutting does that for you with maximum precision.

Energy Efficiency

Apart from cutting a slack from the production cost, this cutting edge technology is also efficient in saving energy consumption while shaping the metals. While a traditional metal cutting machine will require around 40-50KW of power, with laser cutting, you can get it done with 10KW. That’s a lot of saving if it is being used for full-on production.

Reduced Contamination of Workpiece

Compared to other traditional metal cutting techniques, laser cutting technology is far more efficient in utilising the most of your workpiece without wasting it while engraving, or cutting rounded edges.

Easy and Delicate Boring

Not only does it gives precise and clear-cut edges, but also, laser cutting technology is embraced when piercing through metal bodies with very small diameter. Even with such small width, you get precise holes. That’s why it’s best suited for delicate works in the factory.

Cuts Almost Anything In Almost Any Shape

If you can design it, laser cutting technology can make that happen and that’s why industrialists are depending on laser machines for making prototypes for their product.

Conclusion

It’s no mystery why manufacturers constantly choose laser cutting for their prototype and their final production over any other traditional metal engraving process. With its precise cutting, smooth edge, cost and energy efficiency as well as many other profitable advantages, it seems like the use of laser cutting in different sectors and industries is not likely to decrease in next decade or so. And it is indeed a wise decision to shift from traditional expensive metal cutting technologies to this efficient process of shaping ideas.

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Global Laser Cutting Market To Hit US$5.7 Billion By 2022

Global Laser Cutting Market To Hit US$5.7 Billion By 2022

The global laser cutting market has a projected CAGR of 9.3 percent from 2016 to 2023 and will grow to reach US$5.7 billion by 2022. This can be attributed to heightened production demands from various industries and the shift towards automation. With regards to the automotive, consumer electronics and defense industries, their growth has resulted in an increased demand for machines that drive manufacturing processes and these has in turn spurred the growth of the laser cutting industry.

Currently, alternatives to laser cutting such as offer similar features and are able to offer some benefits that laser cutting cannot provide. However, the market competition posed by these alternatives are expected to dwindle with time due to the constant technological improvements that laser technologies are experiencing.

Based on technology, the laser cutting market can be segmented into solid state lasers, gas lasers and semiconductor lasers. Solid state laser was the highest revenue contributor and comprised about 40 percent of the total market share in 2015. However, gas laser is expected to witness rapid growth till 2023.

Although the US contributes significantly to the growth of the industry, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region moving forward. This can be attributed to an increase in the number of manufacturing facilities and the growing purchasing power of consumers in developing nations.

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Insights On Why Plasma Is A Potential Viable Alternative To Laser Technologies

Insights On Why Plasma Is A Potential Viable Alternative To Laser Technologies

Laser is renowned for delivering excellent fine feature and hole cutting thanks to its narrow kerf – roughly 0.2 mm to 0.4 mm (008″–.015″) on mild steel with oxygen and even narrower when using nitrogen to cut mild steel up to 25 mm (1″) in thickness. Fibre laser also produces excellent cut angularity and can cut to very tight tolerances, in the range of 0.007″ (0.2 mm).

HYPERTHERM’S invention of high definition class cutting, along with continued advances in torch and consumable technology and the introduction of XD technology in 2008 are responsible for markedly improving the cut capabilities of plasma over the past two decades. And now a new class of plasma cutting, called X-Definition, is further enhancing plasma’s ability to tackle high precision applications. When installed on a high quality cutting machine and equipped with linear ways and elliptical racks, Hypertherm’s new XPR300 plasma system, featuring X-Definition cutting, is capable of maintaining ISO 9013 Class 1 and 2 tolerances and ISO 9013 Range 2 and 3 cut quality.

Furthermore, an XPR300 plasma system can deliver an edge surface finish that is generally smoother than fibre laser in the thicker ranges and has extremely consistent edge quality over the full life of a consumable set.

As plasma kerfs can range from 1.5 mm (0.05″) thickness on very thin metal and up to about 5 mm (0.225″) on 25 mm (1″) thick material at 300 amps, a laser system can actually be the best option if extremely fine feature cutting or small holes (with a less than 1:1 thickness to diameter ratio) are required. But, if high quality perimeter cuts are called for, and tolerances in the range of 0.020″ are acceptable, the higher cut speeds associated with plasma, especially when cutting material thicker than 10 mm (3/8″), could make plasma a better option. At this thickness, for example, a 170-amp plasma X-Definition process would deliver high quality cuts at speeds two times faster than a 4kW fibre laser using oxygen.

In addition, Hypertherm’s invention of the True Hole process for mild steel in 2008 and further refined with the launch of the XPR300 provides users with the ability to easily fabricate bolt ready holes down to a diameter-to-thickness ratio of 1:1.

Another application which may favour plasma is bevel cutting. Especially with the advent of True Bevel technology, it has become much more feasible to cost-effectively bevel cut right on the cutting machine and eliminate secondary operations. And, because cutting bevel angles increases the effective thickness of the plate being cut, plasma can have a significant advantage.

In addition, it is important to consider the initial investment cost associated with an X-Definition plasma system as compared to laser. A complete XPR300 plasma system mounted on a high quality cutting machine and capable of cutting 25 mm (1″) at speeds of more than 1,900 mm/min (75 ipm) would likely cost somewhere between US$175,000 and US$225,000. A comparable laser system can easily cost three to four times more depending on the power level.

Beyond this, plasma is a much more forgiving process when it comes to cutting so called “dirty” steel such as plate with oxidation and other imperfections. It really makes no difference to the plasma arc. This is not true, however, with fibre laser. Lastly, while plasma does require personal safety devices for noise and glare protection, fibre laser systems require the construction of a safety enclosure around the entire system to protect from the potential harm of the fibre laser beam.

Article contributed by Hypertherm.

EuroBLECH 2018: Bystronic Displays “World Class Manufacturing” Innovations

EuroBLECH 2018: Bystronic Displays “World Class Manufacturing” Innovations

In time for EuroBLECH 2018, Bystronic is systematically driving forward the vision of “World Class Manufacturing”. This is based on a comprehensive range of new products and services with which Bystronic is gearing its users’ process landscape towards networked production. “We accompany our customers step by step on the path to the smart factory,” explained Bystronic CEO Alex Waser.

With “World Class Manufacturing”, Bystronic has described the matching supporting programme as one that features innovative solutions that go far beyond the conventional idea of a machine tool. It’s about fusing the individual processes relating to laser cutting and bending into a network of intelligent components, said Mr. Waser. Users can thus achieve a higher degree of flexibility and transparency in their production environment. Both are important prerequisites in order to manufacture products faster, more cost-effectively, and more intelligently than ever before.

In future, thanks to new software solutions, users will be able to create quotes more rapidly, plan their production processes in an efficient manner, and make the best possible use of their resources. Live monitoring systems represent an additional building block. They provide users with real-time information about the running processing steps from their production environment. All this will result in the optimisation of costs and processes. And this in turn, is the prerequisite for growth and sustainable competitive success.

With flexible system solutions, Bystronic is expanding the rules of the game in the field of sheet metal processing. Until now, there was always a trade-off between fast and versatile. In future, users will be able to produce small series or individual mass-produced products at conditions similar to a standardised high-volume series.  As commented by Mr. Waser, “With the new generation of our cutting and bending systems, users can adapt their processes much more easily and thus respond more quickly to their customers’ requirements.”

The integrated automation of production steps is another key success factor. To achieve this, Bystronic uses modular solutions for the material handling in the field of laser cutting. Automation systems that grow with the customers’ requirements and with increasing laser output. In the field of bending, the company is driving forward the development of flexible automation modules that enable fast transitions between automated and manual manufacturing.

Service remains another key issue for Bystronic. Within the networked production environment, network steps are interdependent. This makes process reliability and the preventive maintenance of all integrated systems more critical than ever before. New service solutions help users increase the efficiency and process quality of their production.

Learn more by visiting Bystronic at EuroBLECH 2018 from October 23 to 26, 2018 in Hanover, Germany. Hall 12, Booth B66.

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Bystronic Strong In Vietnam

Bystronic Strong in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Sheet metal processing companies in Southeast Asia are growing with Bystronic technology. In response, the company is expanding its local infrastructure in Vietnam for all aspects relating to consulting, sales, and customer services for latest technologies in the fields of laser cutting, bending, and automation.

The sheet metal processing industry in Southeast Asia is developing rapidly. Here too, an increasing number of users are relying on technologies such as the fibre laser, automation, and suitable bending solutions.

In order to provide its customers with even better support for their manufacturing processes, the company is strengthening its sales and service structures in the Southeast Asia market region. Recently, it enhanced its local presence here with the opening of an additional subsidiary in Vietnam.

Bystronic Vietnam held the official opening ceremony for the new subsidiary in Ho Chi Minh City in April 2018. In addition to sales and service areas, the new subsidiary is complemented with a demonstration centre, where it provides its customers with advice during live demonstrations in the fields of laser cutting, bending, and software.

Thus, the company now offers its customers in Vietnam two local points of contact for the consulting, sales, and service relating to the latest metal processing technologies at its business locations in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

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