Intelligent Collision Avoidance (ICA) is a new algorithm developed by Lantek, (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) to minimize potential collisions between the head of fiber laser cutting machines and the contours of the sheet metal during the cutting process.
For Lantek, it’s another step toward full automation and unattended cutting, minimizing the risk of machine shutdowns due to collisions. Reducing interruptions caused by a collision that renders the cutting head unusable, ICA is a company’s productivity ally.
The algorithm employs the strategy of controlling the cutting of parts while considering nearby contours (configurable within a range), thus reducing the collisions that occur between the head and any unstable contours when cutting the raw material.
It can detect exactly which components and scrap elements of the sheet metal pose a potential risk of bouncing and positioning themselves on top of nearby contours or becoming rotated and interfering with the movements of the cutting head. When this is detected, the system automatically assigns one or more micro-cuts. As the cutting of the sheet metal advances, the system can define a safe cutting path, allowing the user to choose to cut parts as soon as possible or at the end of the sheet metal machining. And if the last finishing process for mini-cuts comes into conflict with potentially unstable contours, the system moves automatically to an area without conflict.
Lantek’s ICA solves a common problem for companies that use laser cutting machines and are occasionally forced to interrupt production when a cutting head’s been damaged by cut parts remaining on top of the sheet metal or those that have rotated when they are ejected. Because of the power, speed and capacity required for cutting greater thicknesses of sheet metal, laser cutting machines use high pressure gases to eject the cut fragments – sometimes a part is left on top of a contour that will be cut later, either immediately afterwards or at any point during the subsequent machining. But colliding with cut material that has remained on top of the sheet metal is likely to compromise the head.
“Thanks to the Intelligent Collision Avoidance technology, Lantek once again demonstrates its capacity for innovation and equipping its systems with greater intelligence”, says Francisco Pérez, director of the OEMS manufacturing channel. “This way, we resolve a problem that is evident in our sector in a more streamlined and simple way. The result is better efficiency and precision in the cutting processes, allowing greater machine performance automating production even more. This has a positive effect on productivity levels as we avoid production being interrupted by possible breakage or damage to the cutting head.”
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