Introduction to Metal Laser Cutter
Hardware costs are a big problem for many manufacturers. Therefore, it is important to know the fundamental factors to make the right choice.
How would you get started with buying a laser cutting machine? Such machines are not bought every day, so many do not know where to start. This guide will help beginners to understand the necessary questions before making such a purchase.
Background of the Laser Cutting Technology
Fiber laser cutting technology was introduced to the metal market in 2008 and was immediately adopted by most manufacturers. Carbon dioxide laser cutting technology, which has dominated the market for many years, is still preferred in some applications. However, CO2 lasers represent only a small fraction of laser equipment today.
For many manufacturers, purchasing an industrial metal laser cutter machine is a major investment. It includes not only the cost of equipment but also a significant impact on the entire production process. If you choose the wrong CNC metal laser cutter, you will have to put up with this decision for quite some time. Typically, manufacturers have been using a laser machine for seven to ten years.
What is a metal laser cutter?
Laser cutting: definition
Laser cutting technology is widely used for its ability to handle materials, even very hard ones, with millimeter precision. The operation consists of a thermal process by which the laser beam melts the material to be cut. The assist gas then eliminates the excess material. One of its main features, which also make it so used, is precisely its precision and the cleanliness of the cut edge.
What Materials can a metal laser cutter cut?
Metal laser cutter technology applies to all metallic materials. For this reason, it is widely used in the industrial field for the molding of various types of plates. But its applications are not limited to this; it is possible to cut efficiently, and with excellent results, even non-metallic materials, such as various types of plastics or ceramics. By varying the type of laser and the power that is used, it is possible to adapt this technology to many different materials and also to their various thicknesses.
Laser Cutting on Metals
As already indicated, CNC metal laser cutter technology can be used for the formation of metal plates. In particular, carbon steels up to a thickness of 25 mm can be cut, while for stainless steels the maximum thickness is 15 mm.
Aluminum alloys, on the other hand, can be easily cut up to a thickness of 10 mm per sheet. This technology is also applicable to titanium, including its various alloys, and brass.
Laser Cutting on other Materials
If properly adjusted, laser cutting can also be applied to the most diverse materials, such as plexiglass or fabrics. In addition, some technologies allow laser cutting also for wood, plastic, and ceramics.
Types of Laser Cutting
The laser cutting can be done either for combustion or fusion.
The peculiarity of that for combustion is the use of oxygen. This gas reacts with the molecules of the material and creates an energy that is equivalent to that of the laser itself.
Infusion cutting, on the other hand, an inert gas is used, whose function is to eliminate metal residues, after it has been melted by the laser.
How to buy a perfect Laser Metal Cutter machine?
Do you know how to get started buying metal laser cutters? If you already own a laser cutting machine, how long ago did you buy it and what has changed since then?
This guide will help you make a capital purchase decision that will take your manufacturing capabilities to the next level.
How will you use the machine?
The first question to ask is, “Do we need to buy CNC metal laser cutter?” Sometimes investing in a different cutting technology will make more sense for the company. Examining all the options available will minimize any potential future regrets.
Depending on the production volume of the parts, the stamping press can reduce the manufacturing cost of each part. When talking about forming parts on a press, it is also about investing in tools. Stamping also provides the ability to perform many tasks such as forming and cutting as part of the manufacturing process.
A conventional punch press can help economically punch holes and shapes, but again, this requires the necessary tools. The performance of a punching machine is not comparable to that of a laser.
Plasma Cutting System
Generally, plasma cutting systems are good for cutting thick materials and where edge quality is not critical. Water-jet is also suitable for thick materials and where the metal does not need to be heat-treated, which is a problem for most thermal cutting applications.
Plasma and water-jet cutting systems are less expensive than laser cutting systems, but their performance is not comparable to that of laser systems. Of course, plasma and water-jet systems can increase productivity through the use of multiple cutting heads and the ability to cut stacked workpieces. Their use depends on what you specifically need.
Benefits of laser sheet metal processing
Equipment for metal laser cutter is advanced and successfully applied in modern production.
Its main advantages include:
- High cutting accuracy;
- High quality of the resulting edge: no burrs and overlays;
- The ability to produce holes with a diameter several times smaller than the thickness of the metal;
- Ability to process details of any, along the trajectory, complexity;
- The ability to process a variety of materials (from plywood, glass, and structural steel to copper and titanium);
- The simplicity of technological preparation of production;
- Economical use of metal
What Can Be Done Using Laser Cutting Equipment With Above Benefits?
The laser cutting machine with high efficiency is used for both single and large-scale production in such areas as automotive, special mechanical engineering, production of commercial equipment, elevators, construction complex parts, etc.
Thus, high precision of parts, high quality of the cutting edge at a relatively wide range of metal thicknesses are achieved.
By purchasing a CNC metal laser cutter, you are guaranteed to be able to solve a whole range of tasks from the design stage to the full launch of the product in production and further improvement of the production process.
What are the key factors in choosing laser metal cutting equipment?
Type of radiation source and its power
To determine these parameters, it is necessary to perfectly understand today’s production tasks: the required productivity, the processed materials, and their thickness, as well as the prospects for the development of production.
For example, fiber optic lasers are superior in energy consumption and are more preferable for cutting metals with high reflectivity: brass, copper, and stainless steel up to 6 mm.
CO 2 lasers are more commonly used when a wide range of thicknesses is required, providing better quality than a fiber optic machine, and when cutting stainless steel from 6 mm, lower operating costs are provided with the same or higher productivity.
Service Life and Cost of Maintenance
Comparing a fiber-optic resonator with a high-speed CO 2 resonator with longitudinal (coaxial) pumping of the resonator gas, we can conclude that the former is completely superior in reliability, simplicity, and maintenance cost.
Do we need to invest in a laser cutting machine?
Companies that do not have their laser machine usually outsource the work to subcontractors who do. This scenario is not very risky and is suitable if your project has a flexible time frame.
But there may come a time when you have to ask yourself if it’s time to do the metal laser cutter work yourself. This can happen even if you have strong relationships with subcontractors.
How do you know when it’s time to buy your metal laser cutter?
If you think that the operator will be able to keep up with loading sheets into the feeding system laser, you need to think again. The speed of modern laser cutters forces manufacturers to consider an additional automated feed system that should accompany any new laser cutter.
Laser Cutting in-house Must be Justified
The costs associated with handing over the work to subcontractors are just a starting point for justification. How high will the performance be? How will this affect the turnaround time? Your costs will not only be the cost of the machine, but also labor costs as well as consumables such as auxiliary gas.
Clarifying these issues will give senior executives, or even lending institutions, an insight into lower production costs and return on investment.
Is it necessary to control the laser cutting process?
When specifying the reasons why manufacturers are looking towards buying a metal laser cutter, in addition to monetary issues, the word “control” is mentioned. Answer these questions to see if you fall into the category of manufacturers looking to control the laser cutting process:
- How often has our business suffered from late delivery of parts?
- Have you ever had to give up parts because of their poor quality?
- How does the ability to use a laser cutter ourselves affect our image?
Who should we buy the metal laser cutter from?
You can purchase a CNC metal laser cutter from our company. Today’s technology does not require frequent maintenance, but when a machine breaks down, you need to get it up and running as soon as possible. We always have a repair kit in stock, and our specialists will promptly help you with any questions to prevent downtime of the machine.
CO 2 or Fiber Technology?
Currently, the market is dominated by two laser cutting technologies:
- CO 2
- solid-state fiber lasers
For the past two decades, the industry has used the first type of laser machine. These lasers work by passing electricity through a gas-filled cavity (which is filled with carbon dioxide) and using mirrors to focus and deliver the laser beam. Fiber lasers use diodes to create a laser beam that is guided and amplified through a fiber optic cable similar to that used in telecommunications.
Also, fiber technology can open up new opportunities for manufacturers. These machines can cut reflective materials such as brass or copper, while this is a problem with carbon dioxide lasers.
Is carbon dioxide laser good to use?
In some cases, a carbon dioxide laser is preferable, for example, when good edge quality is required on thick or specialty materials. Also, some manufacturers are more comfortable working with carbon dioxide lasers because they have been using them for several years and the company has its own maintenance experience.
Please be aware that after the end of the warranty period, you need to decide on ongoing maintenance. Since a fiber laser has fewer moving parts and less mirrors than a conventional carbon dioxide laser, fewer maintenance costs will be required during its life. Our company offers services for the regular maintenance of our laser machines.
Do you need a workpiece feeding system?
An important consideration is also the choice of equipment for automatic workpiece feeding. This is important today due to the significantly faster-cutting speed of the fiber laser.
This is why it is necessary to understand how you will use the capabilities of the new laser. Are you planning to use your laser cutter for just a few hours a day or several shifts? Based on the processing time of a sheet of material, consider whether your operator will be able to manually load and unload the machine, even if they have a second table?
How important is it to minimize labor in manufacturing parts to generate profits and remain competitive in your business?
Some manufacturers choose not to buy automation right away. If you choose this path, then make sure that it can be easily implemented in the future.
What is the real cost of working equipment?
With such a high investment, the manufacturer needs to know how efficiently the equipment is performing. You need to know more than whether the machine is running or not. It is necessary to monitor the performance of the equipment.
It is important to know if the software can measure the overall performance of the laser cutting machine in real-time. If so, can it be used for your other laser machines, if you have one? You can discover hidden opportunities where you thought they weren’t.
At less than 1% of the cost of the hardware, monitoring software can deliver 10% to 50% performance gains with a payback of less than four months.
What to look for during delivery and installation?
Preparation is necessary for the successful delivery and installation of the machine. First, you need to understand what type of foundation is needed. Secondly, it is necessary to choose the right place on the site, preferably away from aggressive environmental factors.
The best location for the machine should also facilitate the efficient transfer of workpieces for downstream production processes.
For many companies, delivering new large industrial equipment is a new experience. Our company delivers and installs our metal laser cutter equipment, and we are ready to answer all your questions.
What can be done to simplify the buying process?
For advice on all of the above issues, you can contact our company. We will show you what to look for, demonstrate our machines to you, and select a model of laser cutting machine according to your needs.
We provide information support at all stages of the transaction of the equipment. In addition, we provide training on how to operate the machine.
Why Dxtech’s Metal Laser Cutter?
By ordering cheap metal laser cutting services from our company, we guarantee the highest quality achieved through the use of equipment of well-known brands. This is perhaps the main criteria we provide to our valuable customers.
Laser cutting is one of the most modern, high-precision, and technological methods of cutting various metals: steel, brass, cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel. The key advantage is impeccable accuracy combined with high speed and optimal cost. The technology is widely used in industry, automotive, construction, and other industries.
Laser Cutting at a Favorable Price
A modern metalworking center offers to use the services of laser metal cutting at an affordable price. We work with ferrous and non-ferrous metals, thin sheet rolling; we cut a pipe of various diameters inexpensively, using a rotational coordinate.
Laser cutting is carried out on modern equipment using CNC machines. It is based on the use of a fiber-optic laser.
The use of this technology allows you to significantly increase the accuracy of the cut, minimize the consequences of thermal exposure and eliminate residual defects characteristic of mechanical processing