BLM Group USA, Wixom, Mich., is offering the LT JUMBO Series, an automatic laser tube cutting system designed to bring higher levels of precision to the laser cutting of large diameter, thick walled tubes, along with the heightened efficiency and productivity needed to compete with the plasma systems commonly used to cut this class of material.
The system can be used to cut round, square and rectangular tubes, plus non-tubular open structural sections, ranging in diameter from 3-20 inches (75-508 mm) and lengths up to 60 feet (18 m). The versatile LT JUMBO can process mild, high strength, alloy, and stainless steels, all with superior cut quality. LT JUMBO can, for instance, bevel edges and also countersink holes cleaner and more accurately than typical plasma systems.
Laser technology’s inherent flexibility is heightened by the fact that LT JUMBO eliminates the need for special fixtures. This means that high volume production as well as low volume prototype work can both be processed easily, quickly and cost effectively.
A key aspect of the system is its high level of automation. All loading, cutting and unloading operations are controlled by CNC, and the system control software automatically selects the best cutting method. Because all machine operations are performed by programmed commands no manual set ups or fixtures are required. Once tubes are placed on the loader, they are moved one by one into the feeding line with its automated chuck system.
First, the rear drive chuck grips the tube and indexes it into a pair of working chucks and then into the cutting area. The rear chuck does not release the tube until the entire part has been processed.
The combined action of the two working chucks and drive chuck move and position the tube under the five-axis cutting head according to the program parameters. The interpolation of the cutting head in combination with the tube movement allow for processing anywhere along the tube length. The machine can cut in front of the main chuck, between the working chucks or behind the main chuck. The design provides maximum flexibility and access with little or no scrap.
After being laser cut each finished part is unloaded to a specific programmed position according to length. Parts up to 10 feet (3 m) in length can be unloaded onto the short part unload conveyor; longer parts, up to a maximum of 60 feet (18 m) will be sent to the long part unloader.
The LT JUMBO can bring higher levels of efficiency to tube fabrication in a number of different industries and applications, such as structural erecting, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, ship building, the oil industry, mining and conveying, heavy-duty machine tools, and railway and shipyard.