LVD Fibre laser: realising its potential
Belgium – For flat sheet metal cutting, fibre laser is, overwhelmingly, the technology of choice. Increasingly, one realises what the fibre laser can accomplish as advances make this production tool faster, more economical and more versatile than ever.
Fast processing speeds and high process quality, high wall-plug efficiency, superior reliability and minimal maintenance requirements are key reasons fabricators turn to fibre-laser cutting technology for sheet metal processing. As fibre-laser cutting machines become even more flexible – being able to cut a wider range of material types and thicknesses using higher power laser sources and with larger sheet carrying capacity – the advantages are amplified.
In its infancy, fibre-laser cutting was best suited for thin materials (6,35 mm thickness or less). While fibre was able to cut stainless and aluminum, the quality of the cutting edge was inferior to CO2. As fibre technology has matured, so has its capability. Today, fibre lasers can match or outperform conventional CO2 lasers on thick materials, including mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The fibre laser is also able to process non-ferrous materials such as copper and brass as its shorter wavelength is better absorbed by these highly reflective and conductive materials. The modern-day fibre laser is suited to cut both thin and thick materials and a range of material types.
Advancements in cutting-head design help make the fibre laser more flexible. With automated adjustment of focus position and focus diameter – referred to as “zoom focus” – controlled by the CNC, the laser cuts at the highest possible speed and with the highest quality edge finish, no matter the material.
When cutting steel with nitrogen, a 6000 Watt fibre laser offers significantly more versatility than 3 kW and 4 kW systems. For example, using nitrogen to process 6 mm steel, a 6 kW fibre laser can cut at 5200 mm/min compared to 2800 mm/min for a 4 kW fibre laser. The higher power level opens the door to cutting a wider range of sheet metal thicknesses, which in turn makes more design and engineering opportunities possible.
The latest fibre-laser cutting machines, like LVD’s Phoenix 4020 and Phoenix 6020 models, feature uprated drive systems able to deliver dynamic cutting performance when processing large format sheets (4000 x 2000 mm; 6000 x 2000 mm). High cut quality is maintained across the entire length of the workpiece at high processing speeds. The ability to process large sheets allows the user to maximise material usage, making the cutting process more cost competitive.
Since its introduction, fibre laser has had the advantage of reducing variable costs in electricity, laser gas and consumables. A 6 kW fibre laser uses 30 percent less energy than a 4 kW CO2 laser making it more cost-efficient to operate. A fibre laser is also low-maintenance, having no mirrors and a simple beam delivery system. In fact, fibre-laser sources can be virtually maintenance free, providing consistent power delivery for thousands of hours without the need for maintenance intervention.
What can fibre laser’s flexibility do for you? Contact LVD at lvdgroup.com.
This article appeared in www.maschinenmarkt.international.