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Cutting Edges: Smart Cutting

Advancements create fast and accurate cuts, which results in smoother edges and ensures your shop’s success.

Posted: April 19, 2022

The VENTIS 3015 AJ leverages the patented Locus Beam Control to create infinite locus patterns, which ensures the optimum beam shape for each specific cutting application.
BLM GROUP’s LT8.20 Lasertube now includes a new drill and tap capability.
Hypertherm offers PlateSaver, a new SureCut technology, which maximizes the number of parts on a plate.
Kern’s Micro Laser System.
Kern’s OptiFlex Laser System.
The OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO’s beam shaping technology delivers optimal thick and thin metal cutting, higher cutting speeds and other advantages.
The OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO features front and side access doors that offer accessibility and ease of operation to minimize restrictions when loading and unloading material.
The Element 400 features Global Connect, the company’s newest CNC controller.
The Element 400 features cutting widths from 6-to-16’, and cutting lengths up to 150’.
The OptiMAX is OMAX’s most advanced waterjet ever.
The OptiMAX waterjet quickly turns prints into parts while relying less on highly experienced operators.
TRUMPF’s TruLaser 1030 fiber cutting machine. Photo by TRUMPF Inc.
The PCR42 can cut features onto four face profiles including slots, holes, copes and markings. Image by Prodevco Robotic Solutions
The PCR42 is the most advanced robotic plasma steel cutting system available. Image by Prodevco Robotic Solutions
Users can now “parallel” power from two Ultra-Cut XT power sources to cut non-ferrous metal up to 160 mm. The two systems can be used together or independently.

Discover new and improved products from the industry leaders of cutting systems. Enhancements to their product lines assist your shop in precisely cutting a range of materials and thicknesses, among other advantages.

Ventis Outperforms Higher Wattage Fiber Lasers

The VENTIS 3015 AJ utilizes AMADA America Inc.’s (Schaumburg, IL) patented Locus Beam Control (LBC) technology to outperform higher wattage fiber lasers at a considerably lower operating cost. VENTIS leverages the LBC to create infinite locus patterns — ensuring the optimum beam shape for each specific cutting application. In addition to equipping this machine with the world’s first beam shape control technology, AMADA has also developed a high-brightness fiber laser oscillator to maintain the peak quality of the high-energy-density laser beam.

The combination of LBC technology and a high-brightness oscillator sets a new world standard for laser cutting speed and quality. The single module design allows the 4kW VENTIS to cut at speeds from 45-to- nearly 100% faster than any 4kW on the market. In addition, VENTIS achieves the highest quality cuts in both stainless and mild steel and the best edge quality in aluminum with virtually no dross.

VENTIS also provides flexible control of the cutting width known as kerf control to allow for easier part picking, especially on thicker material. The LBC has different cutting modes that maintain the high spot density of the laser beam.

The Productivity Mode is 30% of the electrical cost compared to 6kW and 8kW fiber lasers. The Quality Control Mode achieves a smoother, virtually dross-free edge and reduced bevel on thicker materials. Cut quality compares to conventional 6kW and 8kW fiber laser machines. The AMNC 3i is a large touch screen that allows users to easily see information and load programs based on file names. Thumbnail views of parts or nests provide quick and easy identification to enable efficient shop floor editing. Intuitive features ensure ease of use even if an operator lacks experience.

Several New Features Added to the LT8.20 Lasertube

BLM GROUP (Novi, MI) has added several new features to its LT8.20 Lasertube, including compressed air that provides faster speeds, improved cut and smoother edge quality in aluminum materials, as well as cost reduction when processing mild steels. A key feature of this enhanced system is the new drill and tap module, capable of providing friction or classic drilling and roll tapping, helping to eliminate secondary processes.

This system also features a new adjustable mode beam 5kW resonator (the first in the industry) with independent and dynamic control which helps optimize performance based on material thickness and assist gas, while a sensorized cutting head continuously monitors the lens and glass conditions for wear and dirt.

The LT8.20 features a 3D tilt cutting head and can perform high-precision angular cuts in round, square, triangular, special shapes as well as l-beams, where capability has also been improved and expanded.  It can process diameters of up to 9.5” and bar weight up to 27 lb./ft.

Technology Helps Customers Maximize Parts and Profit Per Plate

Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), a manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, offers PlateSaver™, a new SureCut™ technology that automatically maximizes the number of parts on a plate for more profit per plate. PlateSaver is available through Hypertherm’s ProNest® and other authorized software for fabricators cutting mild steel on a CNC table using X-Definition plasma. It combines the arc stability of X-Definition plasma with specialized software parameters to dramatically increase material utilization.

Those parameters cause PlateSaver to use shorter leads when starting and finishing a cut for less wasted space between parts. In addition to shorter lead-ins and lead-outs, PlateSaver takes molten metal into account by using moving pierces that cause molten splatter to fall within a predictable “splash zone.”

SureCut technology maximizes cutting performance by automatically embedding thousands of cutting parameters into authorized hardware and software products. It includes True Hole® for bolt ready holes, True Bevel™ to simplify the process of cutting beveled edges, and Rapid Part® to markedly reduce cut-to-cut cycle time.

Small to Large Format Laser Systems Support Your Cutting Needs

The OptiFlex is Kern Laser System’s (Wadena, MN) flagship large format laser system. This system is available in wattages from 100 to 650 with engraving speeds up to 150 inches per second, and standard table sizes from 52”x50” to 86”x144” with options for custom tables. This system has repeatability of +/- 0.0005 in/ft and position accuracy of +/- 0.002 in/ft. Kern’s OptiFlex can cut and/or engrave a variety of materials including metals.

If you are looking for the capabilities of the OptiFlex but in a smaller footprint, Kern’s Micro laser system may be a better fit. Available in tables sizes of 24”x24” to 48”x24” the Micro can be equipped with the same laser wattages and add-ons the OptiFlex can, just in a smaller footprint.

OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO Offers High Power and Maximum Control

Mazak Optonics Corp. (Elgin, IL) offers the next generation of laser-cutting machines, the OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO 15kW. The machine’s technology allows increased control of beam shape and beam diameter. The machine automatically adjusts beam diameter to optimally cut various materials and beam shape to control the concentration and power density of the laser beam. The result is improved cut speed and cut quality for a wide range of materials.

The new MAZATROL SmoothLx CNC control features a large 21.5” screen and touch panel. Dual monitors allow multiple applications to run simultaneously. Additionally, the CNC control rotates giving operators the flexibility to work at the front or side of the machine. The OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO is equipped with a nozzle changer, nozzle centering camera, camera assisted part nesting, and many other intelligent functions.

Element 400 Cutting Machine Redefines Productivity

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.’s (Menomonee Falls, WI) Element 400 cutting machine is at the forefront of technology, featuring cutting widths from 6-to-16’, and cutting lengths up to 150’. The Element 400 can be equipped with many flexible options, from plasma and oxyfuel cutting, to marking and beveling. It can also be paired with the industry’s leading self-cleaning table, the Slagger®. Equip your machine with a Bevel-S plasma beveling head, offering cutting angles from +/- 45 degrees, and a high-acceleration C-axis drive with ±540° rotation, for maximum production and efficiency.

Onboard the Element 400 is the company’s newest CNC controller, the Global Connect. Its job-centric, high productivity user interface can be paired with Messer’s Machine Insight, Maintenance Monitor, and OmniFab suites for unparalleled control over the manufacturing process.

This configurable solution for order-related production increases efficiency and creates end-to-end solutions. Automate your workflow from the office to the final cut by utilizing Messer’s expansive software portfolio and empower your team to maximize throughput and create more value for your customers.

OMAX Unveils Its Most Advanced Waterjet

Hypertherm’s OMAX Corp. (Hanover, NH) has released its most advanced waterjet ever, the OptiMAX, a new generation of waterjet designed to quickly turn prints into parts while relying less on highly experienced operators. It is designed for manufacturers in need of a versatile, easy-to-use cutting system; it features intuitive software for optimized cutting capability and power, along with improved automation to maximize uptime.

Among the new and improved features is the IntelliMAX premium software, which is designed for incredible ease of use and operation quickly following installation. It incorporates decades of proprietary waterjet cutting models — no other system can consistently produce parts as rapidly or capably. The EnduroMAX pump automatically sets the correct pressure and minimizes fluctuations to improve component life, while offering the most efficient waterjet pump technology in the market. Combined with an optional TiltaJET taper compensation head, the new OptiMAX is the most accurate system on the market. In addition, it provides advanced optional usability features such as water level control, under bridge lighting, and a machine status indicator, along with fast, accurate and efficient cutting.

PCR42 Enables Steel Cutting Robot to Process Beams up to 48 Inches

Prodevco Robotic Solutions, (Concord, Ontario, Canada) the industry leading manufacturer of robotic thermal cutting machinery for steel fabricators, has updated its PCR42 system. The system is the company’s most advanced robotic plasma steel cutting robot, which can now process even larger beams. The standard system can now process beams up to 40 inches while optional upgrades allow for the processing of up to 48-inch beams.

The PCR42 combines plasma cutting and torch technology with fully automated robotics and laser measuring systems. This robot provides best-in-class structural steel cutting that delivers the perfect blend of speed, precision, and a complete 7-axis operation. It can cut features onto four face profiles including slots, holes and markings.

The system is equipped with an advanced laser measuring system and rotary encoder, able to determine material length and deviations resulting in optimal cutting accuracy. The seven rotary axis provides added capability of two zone processing, reducing material indexing. “The easy-to-use interface uses NC1 files with no need for macros or other post processing and accepts the files directly from 3D detailing software,” said Erwin Terwoord, senior director of business development at Prodevco. “Our customers have seen up to 50% labor reductions in their projects with the PCR42.”

Option Doubles Automated Plasma Cutting Power up to 800 Amps

Thermal Dynamics Automation’s (Lebanon, NH) Ultra-Cut® XT power sources now “parallel” power to cut non-ferrous metal up to 160 mm; development offers the flexibility to use two systems together or operate them independently. For increased productivity when automated plasma cutting, Thermal Dynamics has enhanced versions of its 200-, 300- and 400-amp versions Ultra-Cut XT high-precision plasma power sources to double cutting output to 400, 600 or 800 amps, respectively.

The new capability, standard on Ultra-Cut XT systems manufactured after March 1, 2022, requires using matching consumables, a connection kit with cabling and associated software for the iCNC Performance controller. “The concept is similar to paralleling two welding power sources to use larger diameter electrodes for increased productivity,” explained Dirk Ott, vice president of Global Plasma Automation, for Thermal Dynamics. “This new capability features some modest software and hardware enhancements, but the challenge was developing the new 600- and 800-amp consumables for stainless steel and aluminum.”

Ott noted that consumables are the most highly engineered components in an automated plasma cutting system, and that achieving optimal cut quality and speed requires changing consumables to match the application. Thermal Dynamics now offers consumables for automated plasma cutting outputs from 15-to-800 amps.

High-quality 2D Laser Processing: TruLaser 1030 Fiber

A new generation of the TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) TruLaser Series 1000 — the TruLaser 1030 fiber —offers more productivity, process stability and cost effectiveness. It cuts a wide range of sheet thicknesses, from 1-to-25 mm. New features include the Highspeed Eco function, which increases the machine’s feed rate by up to 70% while reducing gas consumption by nearly 60%; and CoolLine technology that ensures optimum cooling during the cutting process and facilitates more intricate cutting in thick material. In addition, Power By the Hour is available and allows users to upgrade the machine’s laser power to 6kW when needed. The TruLaser 1030 fiber presents an unmatched value — cutting thin to thick materials with high accuracy, cut quality and speeds that make the machine significantly faster than conventional 2D laser machines.

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