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Laser Technology

Less is more

By Lynn Stanley

Above: Unique technology features allow the 4 kW VENTIS fiber laser to perform at a level usually reserved for 6 kW or 8 kW systems.

New 4 kW fiber laser, advanced locus beam control and dross-free cutting provide the processing power of higher wattage systems

October 2020 - During the space race in the 1960s, Robert Gilruth, the head of the Space Task Group at Langley Research Center, asked mathematicians to look beyond the numbers. When it comes to choosing a new fiber laser, Dustin Diehl, laser division product manager for AMADA AMERICA INC., is asking manufacturers to do likewise. The metalforming equipment builder introduced the 4 kW VENTIS 3015 AJ series fiber laser to the U.S. market in January 2020. Steady sales have followed that launch.

“It’s easy to get hung up on wattages,” notes Diehl. “Customers will tell us they need a faster fiber laser to cut thicker material. We’re able to show them a machine that with just 4 kW of power can perform at a level usually reserved for 6 kW or 8 kW systems.”

FFJ 1020 laser image1

VENTIS uses AMADA’s LBC technology, which works in tandem with a high-brightness, single-module 4 kW fiber laser oscillator.

New standard

The VENTIS can process up to 1 inch-thick mild steel and it can cut some materials up to three times faster than a conventional 4 kW machine. Able to reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 percent, the system processes metals like stainless steel and aluminum virtually dross-free.

“Locus Beam Control allows the VENTIS to outpace a conventional 4 kW fiber laser and helps give the machine the cutting capacity of higher wattage systems,” Diehl notes. “G-code instructions are delivered to the fiber laser using a unique control that speeds up processing by 15 to 20 percent. The VENTIS is able to think ahead. It knows where it’s going sooner. These advances help us demonstrate why you don’t always need a 6 kW or 8 kW machine.”

The VENTIS is the first fiber laser to be equipped with AMADA’s LBC technology. It works in tandem with another new development—a high-brightness, single module 4 kW fiber laser oscillator. “It’s a new standard for laser profiling,” Diehl claims. “Instead of combining or stacking modules, we use higher power diodes in our modules. It’s a simpler, more powerful and efficient beam delivery system.”

Conventional cutting systems require a defocusing beam to offset inefficiencies created when increases in material thickness cause reductions in energy density. LBC maintains high energy density and efficient cutting with a flexible beam pattern control that is matched to each application. This approach eliminates the need to defocus the beam. LBC is able to manipulate the laser beam at will to create an infinite number of focus patterns that boost cutting performance. Kerf control supports stable processing during automated operations.

FFJ 1020 laser image2

The VENTIS can process metals like stainless steel and aluminum virtually dross free.

Consistency

Automatically controlling the locus beam eliminates the need for operator intervention. Beam widths may be 2.3 times wider than other fiber lasers on the market. The result is consistent part removal.

“Fabricators don’t have to worry about components getting stuck in a nested sheet because the part picker can’t deal with a narrow kerf width,” Diehl says.

In addition to kerf control, the VENTIS boosts productivity and enhances edge quality. The fiber laser can function as a stand-alone unit or be fitted for automation.

“All of our fiber lasers are automation ready,” says Diehl. “Our flexible format makes it possible for a customer to add automation at any time. They can start with a simple load/unload, add a tower and later robots if an operation requires it.”

FFJ 1020 laser image3

Versatility

In addition to its proprietary technology, AMADA has built its business matching customers with the right equipment. “We listen to what our customers want, then we dig deeper—looking at application, part type and material to find out what the customer really needs,” Diehl says.

Optimal beam quality ensures high-quality cuts, minimal burrs and bevel-free cutting of stainless and aluminum, making the VENTIS suited to cosmetic, air purification, food grade and medical applications. Fabricators that cut thick plate and then perform cleanup with a secondary operation may also benefit as VENTIS eliminates the extra step. Despite the pandemic, AMADA is doing more than just talking with customers about their requirements.

“We’re scheduling virtual demonstrations,” says Diehl. “We will cut the materials they use on the VENTIS [or other fiber laser models] and then ship the parts back to them before the demonstration. We want them to be able to hold the parts in their hands so that when we talk about dross-free cutting or edge quality, they can see it for themselves.

“When it comes to fiber laser technology and what it takes to get the job done, the industry has thrown down the gauntlet,” he adds. “We want to accept that challenge.” FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

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