A specialist in precision fabricated components for the earthmoving, construction and rail industries has marked its first venture into laser cutting by investing in a 6 kW Trumpf TruLaser 3030 Fiber machine.
The move has allowed Staffordshire-based Ecam Engineering to enter the market for different types of components, spurring growth of 20% in 2018, and introducing higher levels of cut quality and capacity.
“We quote for lots of different work here at Ecam, but the majority is for steel between 8 and 20 mm thick,” states managing director Phil Arme. “We’ve been using plasma and oxy-gas profiling, but noticed more and more enquiries for a laser-cut finish. Not wanting to miss out on these opportunities, we did our due diligence and spoke with a number of laser profiling machine suppliers.”
Ecam shortlisted the most suitable candidates, visiting each one to perform material cutting trials.
“Some fibre laser machines are not the best at cutting steel up to 20 mm thick, however, we were amazed by the trial at Trumpf,” states Arme. “Unlike at other places we visited, there was no tweaking involved, the machine just cut the material without any issues whatsoever. Moreover, the cut quality was by far the best we had seen.”
Duly installed, the TruLaser 3030 Fiber was supplied to Ecam Engineering with Trumpf’s CoolLine and BrightLine technologies. The former is proving to be particularly beneficial. CoolLine keeps temperatures constant by spraying a fine water mist around the point of cut. The evaporation of just 30 ml of water per minute provides 1 kW of cooling, and its use allows tighter parts nesting and narrower skeletons, resulting in better material utilisation.
For further information www.uk.trumpf.com
Recol Engineering Ltd, a Northampton-based subcontract supplier of metal-based manufacturing solutions, will become Europe’s first user of an Amada ACIES-2515TAJ 4 kW CNC fibre-laser profiling centre, complete with double-tower automation system.
Recol is currently enjoying a period of sustained growth. Moreover, the company’s continuous programme of ongoing investment in the latest manufacturing technologies has never been healthier, as evidenced by Recol’s commitment to automated production solutions.
“We already own a selection of automated Amada CO2 laser-cutting machines, including the first ACIES CO2, bought when it was released in 2013, and an Amada LC-F1,” explains director Ben Guntrip. “However, we mostly process stainless steel and, for the thinner gauges, we knew there would be gains in both speed and energy reduction by investing in our first fibre laser.”
Guntrip says that Recol is a company accustomed to “industry firsts”, and wanted nothing less for its investment in a new fibre laser. A team from Recol consequently visited Amada in Japan to assess the new ACIES-2515TAJ. Duly impressed, the company placed the order, making it the first machine of its type in Europe and only the second in the world outside of Japan.
The ACIES-2515TAJ 4 kW fibre laser is capable of cutting materials up to 6 mm thick, including copper, brass and titanium. Featured is a 300-tool, 600-die automatic tool changer with ID tooling system for complete tool management.
“We will use the machine predominantly for processing stainless steel from 2.5 to 3.0 mm in thickness, as this is where we will achieve the most gains, both for ourselves and our customers,” says Guntrip.
For further information www.amada.co.uk
Esab Welding & Cutting Products has optimised the consumables on its iSeries plasma systems for bevelling applications.
The new design, distinguished by a more pointed nozzle and shield cap, narrows the torch profile to enable tilting at greater angles, moving the torch closer to the plate and thus maintaining optimum arc lengths without collisions.
The two-piece iSeries tip gets cooled all the way to the orifice, while XtremeLife electrodes feature multiple hafnium inserts for longer life in high-current applications. According to Esab, iSeries consumables can save as much as 35% when cutting mild steel and up to 70% on stainless.
To cut a full range of weld preparations, users should connect the iSeries to the DMX automated plasma beveller. Esab says that the DMX eliminates the need for breakaway crash protection, delivers responsive, accurate positioning and can detect a torch crash without any added components. Moreover, the device automatically resets itself after a collision.
Esab CutCloud, a connected digital system, is now powered by Microsoft Azure IoT. Azure allows for a reliable and secure architecture that sends data from an Esab CutCloud-enabled system directly to the cloud, eliminating the need for an on-site server or large IT infrastructure to gain the benefits of data management.
For further information www.esab.co.uk
TLM Laser has announced a further expansion of its laser technology portfolio to include the Universal Laser Systems (ULS) range.
The move enables the company to offer laser-cutting solutions for a broader range of materials, including organics, plastics and metals. TLM Laser says its philosophy is one of building a portfolio of world-class laser processing technologies that is available within the UK and Ireland from a single source.
The ULS products provide TLM Laser with a range that includes desktop laser processing systems and stand-alone workstations using technology developed from a “material-centric approach”. ULS focuses on the materials used by companies, together with their manufacturing processes, to develop laser processing “tools” that can be used on any laser- compatible materials.
Primarily based on CO2 laser sources with power from 30 to 150 W, the series offers working envelopes between 406 x 305 x 102 mm in height to 1016 x 610 x 305 mm. This broad choice of lasers, with wavelengths of 10.6 or 9.3 μm, is capable of cutting and/or marking a vast range of materials.
One of the latest developments from ULS is the XLS10MWH MultiWave Hybrid, which is said to be the first and only laser system to combine multiple laser wavelengths and power levels into a single coaxial beam focused to a common focal plane. The XLS10 MultiWave Hybrid accommodates a fixed fibre laser source and two different CO2 laser wavelength sources that can be independently or simultaneously controlled for a virtually infinite number of wavelength and power combinations.
An ability to independently control each component of the hybrid laser beam allows laser processing flexibility for an unlimited number of organic and inorganic materials, says the company.
For further information www.tlm-laser.com
To help realise its ambitions of being the UK’s leading independent profiling and processing company, the PP Group has consolidated its business interests by bringing its three manufacturing facilities in Salford, Gorton and St Helens, under one roof – a new 110,000 sq ft facility in Oldham.
Moving to its new factory in 2017, the £9m investment included a 36 m oxy-fuel and plasma cutting cell from Kerf Developments.
To emphasise how central the Kerf RUM4500g oxy-fuel and RUM4500p high-definition plasma cutting cell has become to the company’s strategy for continued growth, over 400 tonnes of steel is now being processed each month, a figure that equates to almost 40% of the material that passes through the doors of the 100-employee company.
With plasma and flame cutting being central to business activities, selecting the most suitable machine was critical. The bespoke production cell configuration chosen by the PP Group features a 12 x 3.5 m bed with an RUM4500p single gantry 400 A Lincoln Electric plasma cutting head (with Ultrasharp cut technology) and a 24 x 3.5 m table featuring two RUM4500g gantries, each with four oxy-fuel flame cutting heads – all on a single platform. This single-bed configuration has streamlined workflow and improved throughput, while the eight oxy-fuel heads have improved productivity by more than 35%.
“Since we installed the Kerf RUM4500 system, the cell has been operating 24 hours a day, six days a week,” says managing director Peter McCabe. “If it’s not burning it’s not earning.
Our business has grown by 10% since we moved to the new factory and the Kerf cutting cell is a major contributor to this growth.”
For further information www.kerfdevelopments.com