Custom CNC used in new laser cutter

Favor Laser's high-precision machine, aided by NUM technology, can cut very small or very large sheet metal parts.

New Taipei City, Taiwan - Favor Laser has introduced a laser system for the high-performance end of the market. The system offers a combination of performance and highly aggressive pricing that will reduce the costs of laser cutting machines by some 20 percent. Customized CNC technology from NUM, Teufen, Switzerland, and Napierville, IL, is helping the company to accelerate product development and address new markets.

Using special hardware and software designed by NUM, Favor Laser has developed a high precision laser cutter that is capable of producing very small or very large parts from sheet metal, with a feed rate of up to 60 m/min. Founded in 1994, Favor Laser, until now, has concentrated on producing laser cutters for the low-cost end of the market to suit different sheet metal fabrication requirements such as small batch size manufacturing, precision cutting of small parts, or high volume production of larger parts.

In 2010, Favor Laser made a strategic decision to extend its product range by developing a high performance multi-capability laser cutting machine for the international market. The company’s initial research indicated that by combining its laser cutting technology with value-engineered hardware and advanced computer numeric control (CNC) software, it would be able to produce a machine with the same performance as the market leaders, but at significantly lower cost.

All Favor Laser XO machines are based on a four-axis flying optics system that has advantages over machines that move the work piece beneath a static laser beam . The company claims this improves machine throughput and productivity when cutting thin material because the faster cutting speed helps prevent heat build-up that would deform the work piece.

The company uses NUM’s Flexium 68 CNC system for its new XO machine because it closely matches the control required for this type of machine – plus it includes built-in configuration flexibility for future enhancements – and it offers unique software functionality that simplifies application programming. All motion-control elements of the XO laser cutter are supplied by NUM.

A choice of CO2 laser oscillators with power outputs of 3.3, 4, and 6 kW allows machine performance to be matched to the work piece material to provide cutting feed rates as high as 60 m/m. To maximize its versatility, the machine can also perform a number of specialist metal fabrication functions, including micro-welding and micro-joining.

Until now, all of Favor Laser’s machines have been designed for 2-D cutting of flat metal sheets using CO2 laser oscillators. However, the company intends to expand into other areas and is currently looking at fiber lasers with a view to entering the micro-cutting market. These can cut a diverse range of materials such as copper, bronze, and aluminum, which is virtually impossible with CO2 lasers. Another project is a laser machine for cutting metal tubes, involving 3D movement with a rotating C axis and a robot head.

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