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Performance specs for TRUMPF’s TruLaser series


illustrate the relation of power to speed, according to sales engineer Nick Stanczyc. Consider that the company’s lower-end TruLaser 1030 and 2030 fi ber with 3-kW laser cuts ¾" steel at 18–24 ipm, and the 4-kW 2030 cuts ¾" steel at 20–30 ipm and ¾" stain- less steel at 9–12 ipm. At the midlevel, TRUMPF’s TruLaser 3030/3040 fi ber with 3-kW laser cuts ¾" steel at 23–28 ipm. With a 4-kW laser and BrightLine fi ber feature, it cuts ¾” steel at 30-35 ipm, 1" steel at 22–25 ipm, and ¾" stainless steel at 8-10 ipm. At 6 kW with BrightLine fi ber, it cuts ¾" steel at 45-50 ipm, 1" steel at 32–36 ipm, ¾" stainless steel at 8–9.8 ipm, 1" stainless steel at 4–5.5 ipm, and 1" aluminum at 9–9.8 ipm. TRUMPF’s top-of-line TruLaser 5030/5040


fi ber, with a 6-kW laser and BrightLine fi ber, cuts ¾" steel at 45–50 ipm, 1" steel at 32–36 ipm, ¾" stainless steel at 8–9.8 ipm, 1" stain- less steel at 4–5.5 ipm, and 1" aluminum at 9–9.8 ipm. At 8 kW, it cuts ¾" steel at 49–53 ipm, 1" steel at 35–39 ipm, ¾" stainless steel at 9–11 ipm, 1" stainless steel at 5–6.7 ipm, and 1" aluminum at 10–11.8 ipm. What about edge quality? Aleshin noted


that fi ber systems have “very good edge qual- ity — a little bit different (vs. CO2


), but most


people are pretty satisfi ed with it. Perception of edge quality is really a personal thing. Very thick materials that weren’t cutting quite as well at lower kilowatts will cut with higher quality at a higher power—so if you’re cutting ¾” material with a 3-kW machine and consider the quality only fair, upgrading to a 4 kW or 6 kW resonator will usually give you the better quality you’re looking for.” Amada and Mazak are seeing more purchases of 4- and 6-kW laser systems. “The higher power increases cut speed on thin to medium material thickness,” explained Kaylee Swearingen, market- ing specialist for Mazak. “The higher power also increases the machine’s ability to cut thicker materi- als. Automation is also another need, because faster machines’ cycle time has decreased. The Compact High-Speed Expandable Automation system we offer has a 54-second cycle time.”


A System Survey Generally, it’s job shops that are the primary customers for these systems. At Amada, “While we


Prima Power Laser Genius laser head cutting. Photo courtesy Prima Power


Which system to choose? Here is a quick survey of the current offerings from today’s top suppliers:


Amada


Amada’s ENSIS 3015AJ allows instant transition between cutting thick and thin materials, thanks to a preset library of parameters that adjust beam mode. Still offered at 2 kilowatts since its introduction in 2014, the table size of the ENSIS has been increased from 5 × 10' to 6½ × 13', said Hillenbrand. The newer ENSIS “is a great machine for cutting


a full range of material,” Hillenbrand said, its 2000 watts cutting thick mild steel “very similarly to what you would get off a 4000-W CO2


system. It truly


changes the mode of the laser beam to be like a CO2 for the thick material.”


In addition to the ENSIS line, Amada offers its


fl agship LCG series, which uses the same motion sys- tem as the ENSIS but is available at 2 kW, 4 kW or 6 kW. “Most people are buying that 4- or 6-kW LCG,” Hillenbrand noted.


AdvancedManufacturing.org LF15


are in the large brand name OEMs of the world, they don’t make up the majority of who we sell to be- cause most of those big companies outsource to job shops,” Hillenbrand said. “Our primary customers are job shops or large contract manufacturers.” Swearingen concurs: “Over the past 12 months, we


have noticed a signifi cant increase in small to medium job shops specifi cally shops [buying] their fi rst laser. This is due to our introduction of the OPTIPLEX NEXUS 3015 Fiber laser-cutting machine, [which] gives us a chance to compete at the entry-level price point.”


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