With the end goal of use in a lights-out environment, CI’s senior engineers and brightest young employees worked to build the machine from a clean whiteboard.
“That was absolutely intentional,” said Troy Wilson, product manager of CNC table products for of CI (Harrison, OH) . “We left the younger guys alone and let them free think. Because they’re new to the company, they didn’t have any reason to dwell on what was done in the past.”
The result is an automation-ready, 3 m × 1.5 m and 4 m × 2 m dual pallet machine that’s as tough as its fiber laser predecessors—with half of the total frame weight of previous iterations. The CLX has also improved intelligence that allows it to take care of itself, to keep things moving, and to keep cutting material.
Also, according to the company, the machine has the intuitive, powerful CI control, dual 22″ touchscreen monitors and four interior cameras with different aspect ratios.
CI partners also chipped in with difference making features. nLight produced the CLX light source, a 15 kW Corona laser. The company added predictive technology as well, allowing users to easily maintain rather than repair. Beckhoff, experts in automation technology, added IoT integration, remote communication with the CLX, and useful software help tools. And Laser Mechanisms’ software package lets operators track what’s going on with the head in real time.
“Improving functionality in a lights-out environment was always the goal,’” Wilson said. “You can tell because every single feature in the CLX supports automation in some way. With this machine, you’ll make parts faster and more reliably than you ever have before.”
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