UK companies shift to fiber laser cutting

Ashford, Kent, and Burges Hill, W. Sussex, U.K. – Two progressive U.K. companies; Kent Metal Developments Ltd. (KMD) and Cirrus Laser Ltd., have added fiber laser metal cutting to their customer capabilities.

KMD, a supplier to the specialist automotive market, replaced two, eight-year old CO2 laser cutters with a Salvagnini L1Xe fiber laser profiling center.

"At our premises we don’t have much available power," said Phil Chapman, KMD sales director. "For this reason, we could not upgrade to more powerful CO2 lasers as they tend to draw a lot of electricity.”

The L1Xe fiber laser source offered an energy cost reduction up to 70% due to its high efficiency that reduces cost per part by more than 50%. KMD also found the impact on consumables was reduced by the absence of an optical path, mirrors and bellows. Standby currents and source warm-up times were eliminated.

And the elimination of laser gas and reduced maintenance cost also contributed to operating cost reductions. “Using less power has enabled our business to replace two CO2 machine with a single fiber laser, but without any compromise to capacity," said Chapman.

Cirrus Laser
Cirrus Laser became the first UK customer for a TRUMPF 5030 fiber laser system with high spewed linear drives. Integrated into an automatic load/unload systems, the 3 kW disk fiber laser cuts metal up to 6 mm thickness at speeds in excess of an equivalent 5 kW CO2 laser.

At this job shop company, 75% of its laser cutting is 6 mm thick or less, so the fiber laser is ideally suited to increase productivity with higher cutting speeds. The fiber laser cuts mild steel from 0.1 mm to 20 mm, stainless steels from 0.1 mm to 15 mm and aluminum from 0.5 mm to 15 mm, all with the same cutting head. Cirrus has always used CO2 lasers, and this is their first solid-state unit. The company also cites this laser's ability to cut reflective metals at longer wavelengths.

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