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SPI Lasers To Rebrand Under TRUMPF Banner

SPI Lasers To Rebrand Under TRUMPF banner

TRUMPF has announced a close business cooperation between TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH and SPI Lasers UK Ltd., which are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the TRUMPF Group. TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH will combine the business operations of SPI Lasers UK Ltd. to bring advantages in industrial applications via both disk and fiber technology and enhance customer service offerings. As of the 1st July SPI Lasers products will begin to be available via the TRUMPF sales channels.

Customers benefit

SPI Lasers UK Ltd. has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the TRUMPF Group since 2008, quickly establishing themselves within the group as experts in the field of fiber laser design and manufacture. With fiber lasers becoming important laser sources for material processing, both companies agree that “joining forces and integrating SPI Lasers into TRUMPF is a sensible move for both companies and, more importantly one that will be extremely beneficial for our customers”.

This value-enhancing step ensures that SPI customers will benefit not just from high quality fiber laser products but also first-class standards of customer service. In addition, both companies are expecting synergy effects and an improved cost structure, e.g. in R&D.

The relevant steps are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.

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LVD Introduces Movit Line Of Automation Systems For Lasers

LVD Introduces Movit Line Of Automation Systems For Lasers

LVD introduces MOVit, a comprehensive range of automation systems, including new TAS (Tower Automation System) and WAS (Warehouse Automation System) options for LVD Phoenix and Electra laser cutting machines. MOVit systems also include LVD’s Compact Tower (CT-L), Flexible Automation (FA-L) and Load-Assist (LA).

New tower & warehouse systems

MOVit TAS is a single or double tower storage system that can be integrated with up to two laser cutting machines. This tower system offers 16 different configurations available for 3015, 4020 and 6020 laser machine formats.

MOVit WAS offers a custom number of towers beginning at a minimum of three towers, in single or double row configurations. Each pallet has a capacity of three or five tons and a stack height of 90 mm. Multiple laser cutting machines can be connected to the system using integrated load/unload devices. Output stations can be added to WAS to deliver cut sheets to a sorting area or sorted parts to other machines such as press brakes. WAS is available for 3015 and 4020 laser machine formats.

Both TAS and WAS offer the option for unloading directly on the machine/s. Cut sheets are unloaded on a third table where parts can be sorted and made available for additional processing.

The automation systems feature highly customisable configurations. They are designed to keep material flow continuous, production uninterrupted, and sheets and parts organised efficiently. The standard TAS and WAS configurations allow for full lights-out production as finished sheets are returned to available storage.

 

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AMADA WELD TECH Announces New Company Name

AMADA WELD TECH Announces New Company Name

AMADA WELD TECH, formerly AMADA MIYACHI EUROPE has announced its new company name, effective April 1, 2020. This name change will allow the company to present themselves as an AMADA group company with the highest experience in welding and associated precision technologies.

The new name will soon appear on all mailings, invoices, packaging, and other promotional materials.

The company itself remains the same, simply under a new name. The same commitment to customers, products, quality of service, and employees will continue unchanged. The extensive range of equipment and systems in Laser Welding, Laser Marking, Laser Cutting, Resistance Welding, Hermetic Sealing and Hot Bar Reflow Soldering & Bonding will remain at the highest quality that our customers have come to know and expect.

AMADA WELD TECH requests that customers update records accordingly and address all future business correspondence to the new name, AMADA WELD TECH.

 

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Why You Need To Invest In Laser Cutting Technology

Why You Need to Invest in Laser Cutting Technology

Laser cutting technology is making rapid progress. For many fields of application, the fiber laser has outstripped the CO2 laser. However, for thick sheet metal, in particular steel, CO2 laser technology still has its advantages. Article by Ralph Hofbauer, Bystronic.

Fibre laser.

At first, when Theodore Maiman developed the first functional laser in 1960, there were no practical applications for it. The US physicist described his invention as a ‘solution in search of a problem’. In the meantime, laser technology has found a wide range of applications—from medical technology to consumer electronics, right through to production engineering.

READ: Bystronic On Flexible Automation

In the sheet metal processing industry, laser technology established itself during the eighties. At that time, the CO2 laser displaced conventional sheet metal processing methods, such as shears, die-cutting, and flame cutting. Nowadays, the fibre laser is considered state-of-the-art. The technology established itself astonishingly quickly. “Over the past five years, the fibre laser has experienced a greater development leap than the CO2 laser over a period of 20 years,” says Mario Duppenthaler, Laser Cutting Product Manager.

Ever-expanding Range of Applications

CO2 laser.

Bystronic launched its first cutting system based on fibre laser technology in 2010. Since then, the output power has grown fivefold: While the first model had an output of two kilowatts, Bystronic’s current top-of-the-line model, the ByStar Fiber, achieves ten kilowatts. This rapid progress has expanded the fibre laser’s range of applications. Initially, fibre laser technology was suitable only for thin sheet metal, but in the meantime fibre laser systems can cut sheet metal thicknesses up to 40 mm.

READ: Enabling Flexible 3D Laser Cutting

The success of fibre laser technology is based on a number of advantages. Compared to CO2 lasers, modern fibre lasers achieve up to five times the cutting speeds and are three times as energy efficient. This enables the costs per part to be decreased significantly. The operating and maintenance costs are lower, amongst other things because in contrast to CO2 laser system, fibre lasers do not have to be enriched with laser gas. In addition, fibre lasers can also cut non-ferrous metals, such as brass and copper. 

For many sheet metal processing companies, the fibre laser has become the best choice. Nevertheless, there are still some production companies with special manufacturing needs that continue to rely on the benefits of the CO2 laser.

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“In the thicker range of sheet steel, the cutting characteristics of CO2 lasers are more good-natured. Moreover, when cutting low-quality sheet metal, it achieves better results in terms of price per part,” Duppenthaler explains. Although the market share has decreased significantly over recent years, some ten percent of the cutting machines Bystronic sells still use CO2 laser technology.

More Power, Greater Flexibility

The choice of the optimal cutting system depends on the sheet metal thickness and the material.

When investing in a fibre laser, one has to take both economic and ecological factors into account: When switching over to a fibre laser, companies that use the exhaust heat from their CO2 laser’s cooling system to heat their factory must be aware that the exhaust heat from a fibre laser is minimal. In addition, it is not easy to keep up with the ever-increasing cutting speeds: “Fibre lasers have considerably accelerated the cutting process stage. In some cases, to such an extent that the upstream and downstream processes are turning into bottlenecks,” Duppenthaler says.

In the thin and medium range of sheet thicknesses, the fibre laser generates a significantly higher output than CO2 laser technology. The reason for the higher cutting speeds lies in the lower wavelength: While the CO2 laser generates a wavelength of 10 µm, with the fibre laser it is only 1 µm, which results in a higher absorption of the laser beam in the material when cutting steel and aluminium. Due to the fast cutting speeds, the challenge with the current generation of fibre lasers is to load and unload the machine quickly enough. Hence, as a general rule, it makes sense to enhance fibre lasers with an automation system.

READ: Fibre Laser or CO2 Laser—Which Will Prevail?

Many sheet metal processing companies on the market are pure job shops that do not produce any products of their own. These companies must be prepared to deal with a wide variety of order situations.

“Job shops are today more than ever dependent on flexibility,” Duppenthaler explains. “Thanks to their versatility, high-performance fibre lasers are the optimal solution for job order production.”

Fibre lasers with 8 or 10 kilowatts offer the required flexibility, because they cut thin sheet metal at fast speeds while simultaneously being able to cope with the thick sheet metal range. Moreover, in the medium range of sheet thicknesses between 5 and 10 mm, the costs per part are considerably lower than with CO2 lasers.

In order to remain competitive in a tough environment, being able to produce parts at the lowest possible cost and in the desired quality is a crucial factor for manufacturing companies. The different laser output levels and formats in Bystronic’s portfolio of fibre lasers and CO2 lasers make this possible for every order situation and range of applications.

How much output power is necessary?

For users who mainly operate in the thin sheet metal range up to 3 mm, a 3-kilowatt laser is usually quite sufficient. These include, for example, manufacturers of kitchen appliances or electrical control cabinets. However, companies that cut a wide range of thicknesses require more power. As a general rule, an 8-kilowatt or 10-kilowatt fibre laser is the optimal solution for job shops. These machines offer a higher level of flexibility with regard to the thickness and range of materials. In addition, the costs per part are significantly lower in the medium sheet thickness range.

 

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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.

READ: One Technology—Many Benefits

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.

 

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AMADA Relies On WITT Gas Mixers For Optimal Laser Cutting

AMADA Relies On WITT Gas Mixers For Optimal Laser Cutting

Laser technology has been the method of choice in sheet metal processing for many years. The laser delivers first-class cutting results regardless of the type and thickness of the material. In laser cutting, process gases play an important role in cutting quality. The desired results can only be achieved if the quality of the cutting gas remains constant. AMADA GmbH achieves optimum process results by equipping its machines with WITT gas mixers.

High-quality process gases are used for consistent, first-class cutting results. The cutting gas or a cutting gas mixture is supplied to the cutting process via a nozzle system. This shields the cutting area from negative influences from the ambient air, and also expels molten material is expelled from the cut.

AMADA prefers a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen for cutting certain materials. The nitrogen serves as a flushing gas and at the same time has the function of cooling the surroundings of the laser beam; the oxygen in turn promotes the actual cutting process.

“For the quality of the cutting image, it is extremely important to supply the laser constantly with a very pure cutting gas or a precisely dosed gas mixture. Gas mixers from WITT offer the high quality and reliability required for our applications,” explains Axel Willuhn, Product Manager Punching and Laser Technology at AMADA GmbH.

Depending on size requirements, models from the WITT KM and MG product series are used. The gas mixers work with mechanical proportional mixing valves – a process that delivers high-precision gas mixtures, has long-term stability and is extremely robust at the same time.

WITT gas mixers with this mixing principle have been used in laser technology for many years. In addition to mixers for the production of process gases, WITT also successfully supplies mixers for the production of laser gas in CO2 laser systems to this industry.

 

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Competence Days 2019: New Technologies, New Solutions

Competence Days 2019: New technologies, New Solutions

Bystronic presented its innovations for the sheet metal processing industry at Competence Day, its largest in-house exhibition in Niederönz (Switzerland). A perfect opportunity to chat about new approaches in the fields of laser cutting, bending, automation, and software.

Over a period of two weeks, Bystronic welcomed 1200 guests from more than 50 countries to the Competence Days at its Swiss headquarters in Niederönz. The motto for the event was “World Class Manufacturing”. The event provided an answer to the question of what sheet metal processing could look like in the future. Visitors experienced the most important trends and innovations in the fields of laser cutting, bending, automation, and software up close during live demonstrations and guided tours of Bystronic’s Swiss production halls for laser cutting and automation technologies.

For many customers, looking ahead to the future of their own sheet metal processing operations means: Being able to adapt to decreasing batch sizes and fluctuating order situations. Mastering cost and time pressure by applying the most efficient processes and systems available. And positioning themselves on the competitive global or local markets with leading technologies and manufacturing solutions.

Hardware And Software Open Up New Paths

Thanks to new technologies, metal and sheet metal products can now be manufactured more versatile and profitably than ever before. In addition to the suitable hardware, software solutions are playing an increasingly important role in the sheet metal processing sector. In future, it will not be just the machines, but also the correct software that will determine competitive success. Software packages and digital process solutions help customers to make increasingly complex production processes transparent and profitable. This allows the costs, processing times, and quality of production processes to be optimised to achieve previously unattainable levels.

In a conversation that took place during the event, Bystronic CEO Alex Waser said: “Events such as the Competence Days are an important platform for our visitors to exchange ideas with Bystronic. This allows new ideas to be developed and existing visions to be refined. We talk to our guests about what is bothering them, what solutions Bystronic can develop for them, and what the next step for their production processes could be.”

For job shops, for example, the next step could be a powerful fiber laser with an automated loading and unloading solution to increase productivity. Or a fully automated material and data flow to enable virtually autonomous operation in multiple shifts. “Advanced users and large metal processing companies also think in other dimensions. Here we are talking about end-to-end solutions that cover cutting, bending, material handling, as well as process and data management.

In future, in its role as a supplier of integrated solutions, Bystronic will support users with the planning and implementation of such production landscapes,” Alex Waser explained. “With our experts in the Bystronic Solution Center and with a wide range of technologies, we meet our customers at their current level and help them take the next step.”

Seize Opportunities And Invest

The framework conditions of today’s sheet metal processing companies vary around the globe. And yet it became clear that the international visitors to the Competence Days 2019 also had things in common. Users in Europe, America, and Asia are currently facing the challenge of successfully aligning their manufacturing environments to demanding and unpredictable markets.

“Many of our customers face the question: Wait and see how things develop or invest right now,” Alex Waser explained. “We understand the obstacles. But we also see the opportunities for our customers. Companies that invest in new technologies now and that enhance their production processes can rely on powerful equipment when the next upward trend begins.” And that this upward trend will come is guaranteed. This was the wide consensus among the guests at Bystronic’s Competence Days.

 

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NUM Flexium+ CNC Enables Sheet Metal Laser Cutting System To Achieve Exceptional Accuracy

NUM Flexium+ CNC Enables Sheet Metal Laser Cutting System To Achieve Exceptional Accuracy

In collaboration with NUM Taiwan, the Taiwanese laser machine manufacturer Legend Laser, Inc., has developed a unique multi-axis system for the precision cutting of thin sheet metal parts. Based on NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC platform, the system combines high dynamic performance linear motors with a pulsed fibre laser, and is expressly designed for 24/7 operation in a standard production environment.

Legend Laser’s new SRC-610 precision sheet metal cutter is a 3-axis system with a working area of 1000 x 600 mm and an above-worktable clearance height of 150 mm. It is mounted on a high inertia platform, comprising a large mass solid granite base with a rigid metal frame. To ensure smooth, burr-free cutting and to prevent any heat-induced deformation of thin metal workpieces, the power output of the pulsed fibre laser is fully synchronised to the cutting operation. The laser has a peak output power of 1.5 kW and can cut sheet metal with a thickness of between 20 µm (0.02 mm) and 1000 µm (1 mm), at speeds ranging from a few millimetres per second to a hundred millimetres per second.

In addition to sheet metal, the SRC-610 is also suitable for cutting and drilling ceramic and sapphire plate. Thanks to the system’s high dynamic performance and continuously variable laser power level, it is capable of exceptional cutting precision – to within just plus/minus 10 microns (10 µm or 0.01 mm).

The X and Y axes of the system – which control the lateral movement of the sheet metal workpiece and the laser cutting head respectively – are capable of very fast acceleration/deceleration and ultra-precise positioning. Both axes employ linear induction motors, driven by NUM’s NUMDrive X servo amplifiers.

The Z axis, which controls the vertical height of the laser cutting head and thus the gap between it and the workpiece, uses a NUM BHX series AC brushless servomotor and a third NUMDrive X servo amplifier. The gap is controlled very accurately during the entire cutting process, through use of a unique ‘Dynamic Operator’ (DO) function in NUM’s Flexium software. This employs special fast calculation and communication facilities which enable event-driven machine cycles to be integrated into the real-time CNC kernel.

According to Sherman Kuo, President of Legend Laser, “NUM is now our CNC provider of choice. Its open architecture CNC platforms simplify system integration, while its willingness to actively collaborate in joint machine development projects such as this helps to shorten our time to market significantly”.

Locally placed technical support is also an important factor, as Adrian Kiener, CSO Asia and Managing Director of NUM Taiwan, points out: “Legend Laser’s HQ is only about 150 km from NUM’s offices in Taichung City. By offering direct access to the CNC experts and development facilities we have here, as well as in Switzerland and other strategic locations around the world, we can provide a very fast and supportive service to companies in Taiwan and other countries in Asia”.

NUM is supplying Legend Laser with a complete CNC solution for its SRC-610 precision sheet metal laser cutting system. In addition to the Flexium+ 8 CNC system and NUMDrive X servo amplifiers, this includes a custom HMI (human-machine interface) that is dedicated to laser cutting, a PLC, a fully developed part program and system commissioning.

 

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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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