3 Useful Facts about Laser Cutting for New Fabricators

Laser cutting equipment is a sophisticated machine that uses laser beams to cut through materials such as metal with pinpoint precision and at enhanced speeds. The benefit of laser cutting is that the cuts do not require reworks such as polishing and grinding to remove visual imperfections. Nowadays, fabricators can use computers to simulate laser-cutting tasks. Therefore, operators can estimate the duration of the laser-cutting process as well the exact number of pieces that would be produced over the period. Here are some top facts about laser cutting that beginners might find useful.

Laser Machine Maintenance -- Just like any industrial machinery, fabricators should maintain their laser equipment to prevent the total shutdown of the system. The risk of delay or failure to maintain the equipment cannot be overstated. For instance, lack of maintenance could deteriorate the quality of laser cuts. For a technology that is known for quality surface finishes, poor quality will not win your new fabricating business any contracts. Besides, preventive maintenance ensures that you do not damage the laser machine, which can set you back thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement of faulty parts. One simple best practice is to clean the device, especially chuck rollers, after every working shift. The accuracy of the laser is affected when oil builds up on the rollers thereby causing slippage of laser tubes.

Surface Condition of Materials -- Laser cutting does not necessarily need removal of surface impurities such as lacquer, paint, and rust.However, the quality of laser cuts is affected significantly if these surface imperfections are not eliminated. Corrosion causes debris to stick on walls thereby presenting a problem when even cuts are desirable. Also, you might be forced to reduce cutting speeds to achieve accurate cutting, especially if corrosion inhibitors were applied on the surface of materials to be cut. Notably, some fabricators are forced to descale the surface manually before cutting, which affects lead times. Apart from lead-time, cleaning surfaces or buying corrosion inhibitors could also increase overhead costs.

Determining Dimensional Specifications -- Laser welding not only works with straight material but also pipe or tubular products, which must adhere to strict dimensional tolerances during the twisting and bowing design phases. Fabricators try to achieve these tolerances before cutting by installing height sensors to laser cutting heads. The sensor takes twist measurements from one end of the tube to the other before cutting can begin. You don't have to worry about cutting accuracy because the machine is programmed to factor in deficiencies and crash prevention mechanisms.