7 things to make fibre laser cutting machine much dynamic
September 24, 2015 10:59 am
Maulik Patel, Executive Director at Sahajanand Laser Technology Ltd. (SLTL) highlights the factors that could enhance the performance of a fibre laser cutting machine———————–1) Machine hardware
Focal lensThe fibre laser cutting machine is provided with lenses of different focal lengths. Use them appropriately on thin and thick sheets to get fine quality finish. The prescribed procedure to clean the lens is as follows:• Clean the lens before usage.• Always use the laboratory grade Acetone solution and cloth not having lint provided along with the machine.• Handle the lens gently.• Store the lenses properly when not in use.• Restrain the lens from use if any cracks or tough distortions are found.
NozzleSimilar to lenses, the nozzles of appropriate Diameters has to be put into use for different cutting operations. Always perform the ‘Nozzle Centring’ procedure to ensure proper passage for laser beam. Replace the nozzle immediately if any burr or molten particle hindering the nozzle’s hole is found. Always use the prescribed model of nozzle for better results.
Sheet metalAt all times, store the sheet metals in a proper dry place to avoid corrosion. Make sure the sheet metal is clean from any dirt. However, coated (protective layer) sheet metals could be directly used for the cutting operation if free from any rubbish.
Sheet stacker It is advisable store sheet metals on a stacker for quick inventory traceability and to avoid shuffling. It also facilitates easy accessibility to material.
Sheet loaderFor easy handling and quick loading of sheets, use the sheet loader. This could reduce the labour and time involved.
Select the right gas for the required materials. Always prefer N2 for Stainless Steel as its delivers oxidation free cutting. If not bothered about the oxidation effect on the cut edges, you shall opt for O2 as it could penetrate further more during the cutting operation. Use only O2 for Mild Steel.
Always opt for highly pure gases available. Any level of purity above 99.8 per cent is acceptable. It can be noted that cutting quality is determined by the purity of assist gasses as well.
Before switching between O2 and N2, always flush the existing gas present in the pipe for 4 – 6 seconds. This prevents the mixing of gasses during the piercing and delivers a perfect operation.
———————————-3) Safety and Security
Operator safety: One needs to keep workforce safe for optimum productivity. It is strictly recommended to use the Class 1 laser safety enclosure. Always keep the doors closed during the laser cutting operation to avoid any damage to the operator and nearby electronic devices.Operators are recommended to use Laser safety goggles in the absence of laser safety enclosure and while troubleshooting.
Data security: Use the administrative tools and features in your machine to define work authorisation for plant manager, machine operator and trouble-shooter. This facilitates easy tracking of work and output.
Data Security is ensured by implementing administrative features. Use Local Area Network (LAN) to transfer the work files. Using illegitimate USB devices could result in malicious attacks.
Nesting software: The cutting operation could be much optimised both in terms of Time and Sheet utilisation through SLTL’s own nesting software Technest. Refer to the nesting guide in the software for incredible nesting options.
Cutting parameters: The machine has predefined cutting parameters for different metals and thickness. This makes material change much convenient and time saving.
Pallet changer: Fully utilising the dual pallets may double your daily productivity.
Sheet orientation: Instead of manually aligning the sheet for each cutting operation. Checkout the Auto sheet orientation feature in the Laser cutting machine to speed up the process.
In case of any upward dent in the sheet, use the Auto Height Sensing feature to have a clean and uniform cut quality throughout the nested area.
Machine diagnosis: Check for system notifications/alerts and initiate necessary actions to avoid unnecessary downtime.
—————————————5) Output management
Finished components: It is advised to collect the finished components and place them properly to save time and avoid missing pieces. Strap and store the cut components for traceability, easy handling and transport.
Scrap handling: Remove the scrap during each change in cutting material. Isolate scraps of different materials to avoid contamination (oxidation). Doing this could fetch you a good buyback offer from the scavenger. Hence marginally reducing the operational cost.
Controller: Regularly check the environment for any temperature or humidity breaches. This ensures consistent performance of the system.
Fume extraction: Regular maintenance of the fume extraction is a must practice to avoid indirect damages to the lens. Malfunctioning of the fume extraction might result in fume (carbon or dust) deposits on the focal lens.
——————————————–7) Periodic Maintenance
Cutting head: Check and change the deionised water periodically for proper cooling of the cutting head. The laser cutting head has to be well cooled as it has direct impact on the cutting quality.
X, Y and Z axis drives: Periodically check for any oil leakage in the axis. Abundant lubrication (time based) in the axis might result in unnecessary wastage of oil. Recent laser cutting machines of SLTL is equipped with motion based lubrication for better performance and cost saving.
Cutting table: Clean it periodically and if needed replace it to avoid oxidation and unnecessary burring on the cut piece.