Laser village concept for efficient production

East Hartford, Conn. – When a manufacturing company decides to add laser machining to its capabilities, a decision must be made on where to locate the equipment. A company with a specific, limited product line may choose to have the laser installed in a production line within a dedicated manufacturing cell at the point where the laser process is being performed. A company with a broader and more varied product line might decide that installing the laser outside of a production line may be more beneficial.

Among the factors to consider in choosing a location are the number of laser machines the company is planning to install to support its production needs (both near and long term), the respective safety requirements that must be met, the scheduling methods used to generate product flow, the amount of setup time required between product runs, and others.

Gary Loringer has been the laser engineer at Turbocombustor Technology (TCT) in Stuart, Fla., since 1994. TCT is a "one-stop shop" for the manufacture of aerospace turbine engine components. During his16 years at TCT, he has installed 12 multi-axis laser machines to support the company’s business. With the installation of these laser machines, TCT has been able to grow their annual business from $15 million to nearly $100 million.

At the annual Symposium for Advanced Laser Applications (SALA), to be held April 13 to 14, 2011, in Hartford, Conn., Loringer will discuss how TCT weighed all of the critical factors and decided on a "laser village" configuration for its 12 laser drilling systems. A laser village concept involves a centralized processing center as opposed to installing them in individual laser cells throughout a facility.

This presentation is an example of the "user"-oriented program that sets SALA off from other conferences on laser materials processing. At SALA, users talk to users, both in the formal sessions and in the convenient networking sessions that are scheduled throughout the two-day event.

Now is the time to register for SALA as the Early Bird special rates end March 1. To register, visit http://clientportal.ccat.us/sala2011. A block of rooms, at a reduced rate, are available through March 13 at the Hartford Hilton Hotel, the site of this year’s SALA.

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