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As the world of technology continues to develop at a rate like which we’ve never seen before, industries, manufacturers, developers and governments look for ways to speed up processes, cut back on costs and deliver improved quality and reliability.
One such process which has allowed for this is laser cutting. Although lasers and their use as a manufacturing tool dates back to the mid 20th century, it is only recently that they have becoming a staple part of the production world. In this article, we’ve explained more on the quality as well as reliability that cutting with a laser will offer to you.
Laser cutting can be used to create many complex shapes
The laser cutting process works by having a beam, either pulse or continuous wave, make a small dent or hole into a material, and then this beam is continued along the material to make the cut.
The beam melts away the material that it is run through, providing a clean cut with a smooth edged finish. It can be used to deliver highly complex shapes that maintain high a level of quality.
There are a number of different ways in which the laser cutting process offers quality and reliability over other more conventional forms of cutting.
As a laser beam can deliver a highly accurate and precise cut, a high-quality finish is offered. However, this also means that the laser beam can run through much tighter spaces, reducing the material wastage that has been seen in the past. It will also stop the fraying of materials such as cloth as the ends are melted rather than cut, and deliver smooth finishes to materials such as metal.
This is one of the major areas where amazing improvements are achieved. Lasers have a high service life, which can be further prolonged if you use a fiber laser machine over a gas or crystal laser cutting machine.
A fiber laser machine will have a service life of around 25,000 hours, and any replacement parts are inexpensive. These benefits are why we offer fiber lasers here at SPI Lasers.
Cutting with lasers is a non-contact process, meaning that the laser beam itself won’t physically touch the material that it is working with. This reduces any heat damage that is caused to the material, leaving it the same level of quality as when you started. There are also far less moving parts to wear and may require repair or costly replacement.
Lasers have incredibly high production rates, helping to keep many manufacturing processes automated. This is all done while quality and reliability remain extremely high thanks to the state-of-the-art design of these laser cutters. Less repair time (of moving parts) also means less down time = greater productivity.
Lasers also offer their users a great deal of control when it comes to beam heat output, intensity and duration. This means that users can carefully control the effect that their laser beam is going to have on the material that it is working with.
Laser cutting helps to reduce material wastage
Alongside these unique benefits, cutting with lasers offer many other advantages too:
Thanks to the great level of control lasers offer, it is able to work with a huge range of materials. This includes, but is not limited to:
Laser cutting can be used on materials such as diamonds
The huge range of materials that lasers can work with is also partly down to the fact that a single laser machine can be setup for multiple setups and applications. Not only can it switch between working with varying materials or material thickness, but it can conduct different laser operations too.
As well as laser cutting, some machines (such as those from SPI) can also laser drill, laser engrave and laser mark, among others.
Part of the quality and reliability of lasers comes in the fact that they provide a much safer process than other forms of cutting. This is because the laser beam that is used is emitted securely within a tight light box.
This is different to the more conventional methods of cutting that have been used in the past, where you would often see free-running blades run through a material. While these methods are still used and are safe with proper care, a lasers simply offers a heightened level of reliability.
The reason there is a need for such a high-quality and highly reliable manufacturing process such as laser cutting is because there is a demand for it in industries that require only the highest level of quality.
For example, lasers are used for cutting in industries such as the aerospace and automotive industries, where it is imperative that the products created are air or road worthy, and can withstand any strains and stresses that they may come under.
Another sector where laser cutting is used is in the medical sector, and as we are dealing with life saving devices and procedures here, there is absolutely no room for error. Other industries where you’ll often see lasers used for cutting include electronics and semiconductor industries.
The cutting process can appear complicated, so it is understandable if you’re looking for more information! We’ve laid out an extensive FAQ guide here, or we would be happy to answer your questions directly. Simply give us a call on +44 (0) 1489 779 696, or get in contact with us here.
Image credits: qimono, gessingerbildwerk and cygig
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