Laser cutting mild steel sheet metal work
Fast Tube by Casper
When we need to manufacture simple sheet metal components such as these mild steel straps there are a number of ways to go about it. We could simple cut the straps to size with a guillotine and then pierce the holes using a fly press. Many years ago this would have been the preferred method of production if the volumes were not high. If the volumes were high then perhaps a dedicated press tool would have been designed and constructed. This tool would have allowed us to produce the parts quickly and cheaply. The downside would have been if any design changes were needed to the part then tool changes were expensive. We would then have moved on to CNC punching mild steel straps such as these shown in the video. This method of production allowed more freedom to change with any customer design changes. No hard tooling but software changes makes CNC punching a versatile manufacturing method and one that is still viable today. We finally end up with laser cutting mild steel straps. No tooling and complete freedom to change design when needed but with quick set up times. Laser cutting is perfect for these mild steel straps and the volume which was 750 parts were produced very quickly.
The Trumpf 3030 fibre laser shown in the video is laser cutting mild steel straps with oxygen. Any edge cutting oxidisation would have been removed when the straps were zinc plated and clear passivated. If the straps were to be powder coated we would have laser cut with pure nitrogen to remove any cutting oxidisation.
Connecting the laser cutting machine with powerful modern sheet metal work CAD/CAM software such as Radan enables us to get the best out of the machine. With the ability to change production jobs between our 2 CNC punch presses and laser cutting machine when needed enables us to be more flexible with work loads. It also enables us to bring more capacity to a large project when needed producing across all 3 sheet processing machines when needed.
Please take a look at our site to see some of the recent laser cutting sheet metal projects we have been involved with and how we can help you.