Melbourne, Australia - Laser 3D (www.laser3d.com.au) is a 13-year-old, 40-employee laser job shop supplying formed metal and plastic components to the automotive industry for customers such as Ford, Toyota, and GMH. The company has installed 13 laser cutting systems in two job shops to provide a broad range of laser cutting and welding services. With an expanding array of laser cutting machines, Laser 3D had to deal with the issue of programming them effectively.
According to Managing Director Brian Finn, Laser 3D was looking for ways to improve response time and accuracy for 5-axis laser cutting. The initial programming on the earlier Laser Lab systems was by teaching, but fixture production was slow, programs were not accurate enough, and machine time was wasted. So the company subsequently selected PEPS (www.peps.com) SolidCut Laser for 5-axis programming because it offered circular interpolation in the NC code and was capable of programming both the early Laser Labs and newer TRUMPF machines.
Laser 3D experienced an 80 percent time savings in the design and building of fixtures once it installed PEPS SolidCut Laser for 5-axis programming.
After installation there was an 80 percent time savings in the design and building of fixtures. Program setup took 50 percent less time than manual teaching and accuracy was increased through built-in macros for holes, slots, and so on. Now a programmer can use the system to automatically, in seconds, identify standard shapes supported by the post processor and output the CNC code using the canned cycles of the machine tool.
There are ongoing plans to expand Laser 3D’s existing plant, which now operates five Laser Lab cutters, a Cincinnati CL7, and four TRUMPF systems. Finn says, “Our TRUMPF laser cell, three Laser Lab 5-axis Pentacon machines, and other equipment work in conjunction with PEPS SolidCut Laser, allowing us to meet tough deadlines. We can deliver finished products with a greater level of accuracy as cutting is performed using design data direct, substantially eliminating human factor. The major advantage of SolidCut is that it allows us to run an existing job on any available 5-axis machine using correspondent machine geometry, configuration, and post processor. Also, we are not tied to any one machine manufacturer in the future as the PEPS machine library covers practically all existing multi-axis laser cutting machines. We are now looking to use PEPS to drive our 2-axis laser machines.”