Lasers cutting systems can now operate in lightly manned shift operations and process multiple jobs without interruptions. Laser owners benefit from consistency of operations; increased production; increased quality; and better, more efficient use of labor.
Before a cutting plan can be processed, the correct focal length needs to be selected, the focus set, and the correct nozzle selected and centered relative to the laser beam. This is now all possible without operator interventions, allowing laser cutting systems to change jobs without manual interventions.
An aspect which is often overlooked is the condition of the nozzle. The nozzle has a great influence on the quality of the cut part, and having the correct nozzle size can also help achieve maximum feed rates and reduce consumable costs. During the cutting process many things can affect the nozzle condition. Automatic nozzle cleaning is one solution for removing material buildups on the nozzle surface, but what happens when an adjacent cut part makes contact with the nozzle and shifts the centering of the nozzle? If not monitored, parts will begin to have a burr on one side, and this makes for poor part quality and lots of re-work labor.
Some laser cutting systems not only employ the automated cutting head functions previously mentioned, but also have the added feature of automatic collision detection. If, for any reason, there is nozzle contact during the cutting process, the system will automatically clean the nozzle, center the nozzle, calibrate the nozzle stand-off, and then continue with the cutting process – all without operator monitoring or interventions. In addition, the system will automatically replace the nozzle with a new one after a predefined period of operation.
One of the most sought after capabilities in the laser cutting of sheet materials is the true unattended operation of laser cutting systems. With these new automated features, laser users can now benefit from truly unmanned operations.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org