Arizona job shop features multi-axis processing

Tucson, AZ—Southwestern Laser Inc., a three-year-old job shop operating three Laserdyne BeamDirectors, produces parts for aerospace, power generation and automotive customers such as..

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Tucson, AZ—Southwestern Laser Inc., a three-year-old job shop operating three Laserdyne BeamDirectors, produces parts for aerospace, power generation and automotive customers such as General Electric, Sundstrand, Rolls Royce, Allison and Turbo Tech.

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Materials such as super cobalt, exotic nickel-base alloys and stainless steel are drilled and cut on three- and five-axis Laserdyne systems.
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Company owner, Ron Sanders, a former applications manager for Laserdyne, brings more than 20 years of experience in processing the difficult materials commonly used by these companies. Materials such as super cobalt, exotic nickel-base alloys and stainless steel are drilled and cut on the company's three- and five-axis systems. For example, Southwestern Laser cuts 0.050-inch rounds from a 6-foot long wire. These parts, used in military applications, are accurate to ±0.002 in. A quantity of 3000 of these parts barely fills a thimble.

At the other end of the scale, 4 ft × 4 ft × 0.050 in panels are drilled with 11,000 holes, each 0.050 in. drilled on 0.010 in. centers at a rate faster than one hole per second.

In these and other applications, positioning accuracy is the key to process success. Sanders gives high marks to the Laserdyne system's design saying, "The straight, rigid and square granite base of the Laserdyne 790 is the ideal foundation on which accuracy is built." And at speeds up to 800 in/min in the X, Y and Z-axis, Sanders can push the machines with only normal maintenance. It helps that he was involved in the original design of the BeamDirecor system while at Laserdyne, so he knows what to expect from a system's performance.

Southwestern Laser is a well-run operation, with six highly trained workers, turning out more than $2 million of parts annually. Contact the company by e-mail at swlaser@cs.com. Information on Laserdyne systems can be obtained from.

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