LVD Fiber Laser: Realizing its Potential

| Author / Editor: Kurt Van Collie, Laser Product Manager / Susanne Hertenberger

For flat sheet metal cutting, fiber laser is, overwhelmingly, the technology of choice. Increasingly, we’re realizing what the fiber laser can accomplish as advances make this production tool faster, more economical and more versatile than ever.

An advanced optical design features motorized adjustment of focus position and focus diameter.
An advanced optical design features motorized adjustment of focus position and focus diameter.
(Source: LVD)

Fast processing speeds and high process quality, high wall-plug efficiency, superior reliability and minimal maintenance requirements are key reasons fabricators turn to fiber laser cutting technology for sheet metal processing. As fiber laser cutting machines become even more flexible – able to cut a wider range of material types and thicknesses using higher power laser sources and with larger sheet carrying capacity – the advantages are amplified.

Better edge

In its infancy, fiber laser cutting was best suited for thin materials (6,35 mm thick or less). While fiber was able to cut stainless and aluminum, the quality of the cutting edge was inferior to CO2. As fiber technology has matured, so has its capability. Today, fiber lasers can match or outperform conventional CO2 lasers on thick materials, including mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The fiber laser is also able to process non-ferrous materials such as copper and brass as its shorter wavelength is better absorbed by these highly reflective and conductive materials. The modern-day fiber laser is suited to cut both thin and thick materials and a range of material types.

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Auto focus/zoom

Advancements in cutting head design help make the fiber laser more flexible. With automated adjustment of focus position and focus diameter – referred to as “zoom focus” – controlled by the CNC, the laser cuts at the highest possible speed and with the highest quality edge finish, no matter the material.

Higher power

When cutting steel with nitrogen, a 6000 Watt fiber laser offers significantly more versatility than 3 kW and 4 kW systems. For example, using nitrogen to process 6 mm steel, a 6 kW fiber laser can cut at 5200 mm/min compared to2800 mm/min for a 4 kW fiber laser. The higher power level opens the door to cutting a wider range of sheet metal thicknesses, which in turn makes more design and engineering opportunities possible.

Uprated

The latest fiber laser cutting machines, like LVD’s Phoenix 4020 and Phoenix 6020 models, feature uprated drive systems able to deliver dynamic cutting performance when processing large format sheets (4000 x 2000 mm; 6000 x 2000 mm). High cut quality is maintained across the entire length of the workpiece at high processing speeds. The ability to process large sheets allows the user to maximize material usage, making the cutting process more cost competitive.

Lower costs

Since its introduction, fiber laser has had the advantage of reducing variable costs in electricity, laser gas and consumables. A 6 kW fiber laser uses 30 percent less energy than a 4 kW CO2 laser making it more cost-efficient to operate. A fiber laser is also low-maintenance, having no mirrors and a simple beam delivery system. In fact, fiber laser sources can be virtually maintenance free, providing consistent power delivery for thousands of hours without the need for maintenance intervention.

What can fiber laser’s flexibility do for you? Contact LVD at lvdgroup.com or marketing@lvd.be to learn more. See LVD’s Phoenix 3015 6 kW fiber laser demonstrated at EuroBLECH.

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