Since we have installed a new laser cutting machine we have been able to move some stainless steel components from our Trumpf CNC punch presses onto the laser cutter. If there are any sheet metal components that have forms such as stand-off dimples, ventilation louvre, self-tapping plunged holes, electrical conduit knockouts etc. then they can stay on the CNC punch presses. Some parts can be cut as hybrid parts with the holes, cut out windows and outer profile being produced on the Trumpf 3030 fibre laser and the forms pressed in on one of our Trumpf CNC punch presses. This enables us to utilise the best production features of both type of machining abilities. Sheet metal components that have complex geometries or are thicker than 3mm are perfectly suited to laser cutting. Thinner stainless steel parts are also laser cut with great speed when using a 3KW fibre laser cutter and along with the reduced need for edge de-burring they can be manufactured quickly and with an accuracy beyond the cost of the parts.
You can see from the range of laser cut stainless steel parts shown here the versatility of the laser cutter enabling us to laser cut any shape into stainless sheet without the need for dedicated tooling. Most sheet metal work nests that we have converted from CNC punching have shown a better yield from any given sheet size, whether that is standard sheet sizes or using off cuts from previous jobs. There is obviously the need for cutting head assist gases which for stainless steel can be either compressed air or pure nitrogen. The extra cost of the gases can usually be offset by the reduced material usage and the reduction in de-burring time offering a better quality part that is cost neutral for our customers.
Over time the range of stainless steel sheet metal work that we have laser cut has grown in complexity and thickness. Components as diverse as 0.3mm thick spring stainless steel, 0.9mm plain 2B 304 stainless steel, 2.0mm bright annealed 316 stainless steel, up to 6mm thick stainless steel brackets have been cut successfully on our Trumpf fibre laser cutter.
For more information on laser cut stainless steel and our Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser machine please take a look at our plant page.