September 2014 Issue: Advancing the Fiber Revolution
- Category: Magazine Issues
- Advancing the Fiber Revolution
- Best of Both Worlds
- Powers That Be
- Parts Per Million Defined
- Safe and Sound
- Speed Up The Process
- Tackling Common Metal Marking Applications
- Nest for Success
As fiber lasers claim more and more market share in industrial applications, particularly by matching or surpassing the capabilities of more established CO2 machines, Amada is offering an innovative new player in the field.
Slated to be available in the United States this fall, the 2,000-Watt ENSIS 3015AJ will allow users to cut thick or thin metals by automatically changing its beam configuration based on the material and thickness being cut. Using a library of 1,000 cutting specifications, the ENSIS will instantly adjust itself based on the material to be processed.
As fuel prices continue to climb, thin tank manufacturers continue the push toward lighter-weight products for road and rail. Whether they are pressure vessels or mobile storage tanks for truck trailers or train cars, the lower the overall weight, the lower the overall cost to ship goods from point A to point B.
New safety regulations for transportation vessels, however, are redefining the standards for impact resistance, challenging thin tank manufacturers to reduce weight in a way that doesn’t compromise strength or performance. In that pursuit, hybrid laser welding has emerged as an ideal manufacturing process for both reducing weight and producing exemplary impact characteristics.
As technology improves over time, we are conditioned to expect that the latest and greatest is always better than what we had in the past. At this very moment, in fact, manufacturers are working hard to develop higher wattage machines to speed up the time it takes users to produce parts.
As a guy, it’s hard to make this next statement, but “power isn’t everything.” When it comes to laser cutting, power requirements are really dependent upon the type of material that’s being processed. As an example, mild steel melts between 2,500 and 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the percentage of carbon, manganese or silicon elements present in the material.
Congratulations! You’re the new owner of a laser. With those words ringing proudly in your ears, you are amazed by the speed and accuracy of the cut you can now achieve. You can cut extra-fine details in thin or thick metal. Steel, stainless steel and aluminum are now at your mercy to be shaped into functional parts with great speed and accuracy.
Using lasers safely in a manufacturing environment requires plenty of planning, good training and constant vigilance. It all starts with the creation of a sound safety plan and, often, the appointment of a laser safety officer (LSO), as well as having the right protective equipment and signage.
Fabricators and manufacturers are taking advantage of the higher processing speeds offered by advanced laser systems to expand their services. This includes processing thin-walled tubes and pipes faster than ever, from loading the raw material to cutting the parts to the final assembly.
Today, in nearly every industry, there is an increasing demand for cost-effective metal marking solutions. Whether manufacturers need to mark parts with unique identification (UID) marks for tracking purposes, mark barcodes for serialization regulations, or even mark logos or text for branding initiatives, the need for convenient and effective metal marking solutions has never been greater.
In a past issue of FAB Shop Magazine Direct, Shop Floor Laser’s sister publication, Dan Cokinos, regional sales manager at Metamation, let readers in on an innovative method for nesting parts on a fiber laser. Because of the number of fabricators flocking to fiber technology, we consider it essential information that we wouldn’t want our readers to miss out on.