If you want a sharp, precise in shape, and clear metal sheet, the most versatile solution is Laser Cutting. You can cut the sheet in a fraction of seconds. But when it comes to laser cutting, it's a whole different process. Let's see how it's done.
When it comes to laser tube cutting, Trumpf laser consumables are renowned products in the market. In laser cutting, there are no standard material towers. Using the most efficient material handling options, Bundle Loaders, they feed a single tube at a given time from the bundle in the laser. But such a mechanism does not work with open profiles such as angles or channels as they interlock and don't come off easily. So, use step loaders in case of open profiles which will put sections into the order one at a time into the machine. Also, make sure the orientation of that section is correct.
Because of its nature, there is no requirement for machines with high-powered lasers. A normal flat sheet laser cutting machine is available with laser generators as powerful as 12 kW. Whereas tube laser cutting machines usually require only 5kW of power. With the product, you have to be a little careful of the opposite side of the tube you are cutting.
Another thing to take care of is the weld seam. The seam where it's rolled and welded material.
Here are the two points which need a fabricator's immediate attention:
When the laser cutting process is going on, the position of the product's weld seam has to be into the account. The weld seam mustn't face the pins or holes. For aesthetic applications, such as furniture, you should hide weld seams as much as possible. When we consider a conventional laser cutting system, there is an optical sensor to scan the product to look for the weld seam. Most of the times rust or oil covers the tubing which makes it difficult to differentiate between weld seam and the other surfaces. With the stainless or galvanized tubes, the weld seam may only be visible internally. Due to this, some manufacturers had to include cameras in the system which allow the machines to scan the product externally as well as internally. This way, the machine can detect the obscured weld seam and correct the position of Amada parts accordingly.
The weld seam is of different compositions & cut differently than the rest of the tube. Back in the time, operators had to slow down all operations which took place on a tube to account for the weld seam. In the present time, some OEMs have developed the technology and parameters to allow the machine to single out a weld seam and adjust only those sections. This way, the machine would process the Amada parts in the fastest way.
The Finishing Details
It is important to note that there is no such thing as a perfect finish. The available weld seams can extend not only in the exterior part but also the interior. Overall, it's a challenge to treat the tube consistently and swiftly when such inconsistencies exist from one production run to another. These products are tricky things. Imagine having a put a through-hole centered on a tube. It is important to make it centered according to the actual dimension. But if it's bowed, it would make things difficult. And that's how it goes for tube fabrication.
The decision makers or purchasing department doesn't understand the consequences of buying inexpensive parts. So, it's entirely possible that the quality of the tubing is different from the previous week. To manage this, the fabricator needs to learn how to manage the variety. Also, the decision makers must know the consequences which will encourage them to invest in quality parts like Amada parts, Trumpf laser consumables.