Exponential Growth for Laser Die Cutting

Laser die cutting has been a proven method of precision forming in this decade, but where does the technology go from here? Researchers and innovators are reaching out for new procedures and technologies to further expand the laser revolution. These newer fabrications are designed for deeper boring, micro-trimming and extensive scribing. Laser cutting devices are now being manufactured for higher accessibility and compact designs with plug-and-play usability. Advancements like these have been a catalyst for making the technology more affordable. These new lasers are now obtainable for previously unthinkable environments such as small shop purposes and household applications. By branching out to different customer bases there is a greater potential to uncover even more technological discoveries.

Fiber lasers are a great example of operation and cost efficiency. Fiber laser devices have made significant advancements recently and offer vital cutting services for thin materials that are less then 1/8” thick. By comparing fiber lasers and CO2 lasers we see fiber lasers utilizing less energy when cutting sheet metal. A fiber laser equipped for 2 kW has a 5x greater power density than a 4 kW CO2 laser. When cutting materials under the 1/8” mark the fiber laser greater outperforms the cutting speed of a CO2 laser. However, for applications above ¼” the CO2 laser is still the preferred and most widely used laser. The challenge of determining the best laser cutting is based upon application and operation costs. Fiber lasers are highly energy efficient and CO2 lasers costs nearly twice as much to operate. Again, the benefit is only viable for applications which are less then 1/8” thick. Regardless of which type of laser is selected; Laser cutting technology is a worthwhile investment.

Laser Die Cutting ProcessPhoto courtesy of Jonco Industries

Manufacturing more cost efficient laser die cutting solutions serves as a catalyst of savings for many industries. Large companies benefit from faster lead times while smaller shops benefit from affordability and usability. New compact laser cutters are much easier to program and unlike traditional cutting devices additional accessories are not required. Different businesses will benefit and utilize laser technology in unique ways. Small businesses also benefit from the uniformity which laser cutters offer. Big industries could take advantage of the mobility of smaller laser cutters for in-field operations and replacements.

3D Metal CuttingPhoto courtesy of Thrust Industries

Another recent innovation in the laser industry is fully integrated 3D metal cutting. This breakthrough technology is an enclosed structure utilizing an optical fiber on the robot shoulder and surrounding mirrors. The optical technology is the key to this innovation. This results in faster arm axis movements which reduces construction times while providing consistent and reliable service. The enclosure also prolongs the lifetime of the laser due to less exposure to external conditions. This design is ideal for preventing cross-contamination as well as adhering to new standards regarding laser safety. Overall, newer lasers offer unprecedented benefits for large companies as well as small businesses. This progressive industry is branching out into a multitude of fields and there has been exponential growth in the development of laser cutters.