Increased Cutting Speed and Piercing Speed
Another gain of high power fiber lasers are the faster cut speeds which increase throughput. High power’s cutting speed is most impactful in mid-range material using air or nitrogen, specifically 1/8” to ½”.
For example, the left side of the photo above shows cutting speed for a single part of 3/16” aluminum. A 10kW fiber laser is cutting 233% faster than a 4kW fiber laser for this single part. If aluminum is not what you process, check out the mild steel example below.
While a single part speed is impressive, a more relatable reference is running a full nest to show the true overall improvement. Nest times include piercing, fine power ramping on corners. And additional movements that affect the overall cut time of a full sheet.
The right side of the photo shows a full 5’ x 10’ nest of 3/16” aluminum using 4kW, 6kW, 8kW, and 10kW power levels. This nest took 40 minutes and 53 seconds to cut with the 4kW laser. For the same exact nest, the 10kW’s cutting time was only 28 minutes and 57 seconds. With the 10kW you can cut almost an additional half sheet in the amount same time it takes for a 4kW to run the full nest. Check out the mild steel example below.
Piercing techniques are also being utilized to capitalize on high power lasers’ speed. Explains, “With a 6kW laser, you can pierce 1” mild steel at 3 seconds, but now with the 10kW it is less than a second to pierce through 1” mild steel. This is important for full nest times because if you have a lot of parts or your parts have many features which require many pierces, there will be a dramatic reduction in your nest’s cutting time due to this quicker piercing.”
Speed and throughput are important but so is part edge quality.
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