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Laser Technology

Light Moves

By Alan Richter, contributing editor

Above: The laser life for Quantus fiber laser machines is rated at up to 100,000 hours.

The laser life for Quantus fiber laser machines is rated at up to 100,000 hours.

July 2022- When it comes to laser machining, MultiCam Inc. is trying to offer a more complete package to its customers, says Rashad Galloway, fabrication product manager for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texasbased machine tool builder. “We’re trying to make a more harmonious offering for customers so they can hire workers and have the equipment in place in their facilities and integrate fluidly with what they’re currently doing.”

One way to enhance harmony is with laser cutting systems that are economical and feasible for fabricators. MultiCam claims it can meet those requirements with its new Quantus fiber laser systems, which are priced below other traditional fiber lasers, which may help fabricators to accelerate their return on investment.

MultiCam also builds CO2 lasers, flatbed digital finishing cutters, CNC routers, CNC plasma cutters and CNC waterjet machines, and develops Coreo CAD/CAM software as the programming interface for its machines.

“A few years ago, just the cost of manufacturing components and all the equipment associated with fiber lasers was so expensive,” Galloway says. “There wasn’t a lot of mid-tier or economical offerings.” Some units cost up to $1 million. “Customers that want or needed that type of technology just couldn’t justify spending over a half a million dollars to get a unit.”

As more fabricators and manufacturers invest in fiber laser technology, Galloway says more money gets circulated to companies that design new concepts to push the envelope and introduce more equipment to the market. “It’s like a continuous circle. The more people buy, newer stuff comes out and it gets more cost-effective.”old an inventory of hundreds of sheet metal blanks.

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Power levels for Quantus fiber lasers range from 1,500 to 8,000 watts.

FROM SHEET TO PLATE

Fiber lasers with a suitable power source are available to cut up to 2-in.-thick mild steel, which wasn’t feasible a few years ago. “When you thought fiber laser, it was for cutting sheet metal really fast.” Now it’s migrated to plate as well.

Plasma cutting was the dominant method for processing heavy gauge products. “Now we have a newer technology that can compete head to head and do some things differently and better than the current standard,” says Galloway.

According to MultiCam, the Quantus machines are equipped with advanced fiber laser technology, and the laser life is rated at 100,000 hours to enable end users to spend more time improving their throughput and less time setting up the machine. The laser systems feature a ground ball-screw drive in the Y axis with a ground helical rack and pinion in the X axis; work areas measure 4 ft . by 4 ft ., 4 ft . by 8 ft ., 5 ft . by 10 ft . and 5 ft . by 12 ft .

A variety of options are available to customize Quantus fiber lasers, but Galloway notes that some features that were previously offered as options are now standard even on some entry-level machines as customers demand the biggest bang for their buck in terms of capabilities. For example, a fiber laser for the HVAC market might have been customized by adding bigger motors, a shuttle table and a zoom head. “Now it’s becoming standard.”

Multicam also offers Magnus CO2 lasers but, although a CO2 laser can cut metal, a fiber laser is designed for cutting metal, Galloway says. The list of metals a Quantus fi ber laser can cut includes mild carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper and titanium, as well as coated and plated metal.

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Quantus fiber lasers integrate into any production environment, according to MultiCam

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

As Multicam continues to improve the versatility and effectiveness of its fiber lasers, Galloway says the company is also enhancing its Coreo CAD/CAM software. “The future of MultiCam is all about the user interface.” One goal is to make the software easier to use when programming a fiber laser, he says. “If it’s easier to use, then it’s more efficient. You hit a few buttons and it runs. It is not a bottleneck or anchor that pulls you down.”

The software interface is already streamlined for some operations such as routing, Galloway notes, where users select the material, hit file and then hit go. When fiber laser cutting, “it’s a few more buttons than just three, so we are looking to reduce it down to basically open, import, run.”

Making the software easier to operate also reduces the skill level required to operate a machine. “Then when going to hire operators,” he says about fabricators, “they have a bigger pool to choose from.”

Getting to that point, however, requires integrating the information gathered over the years and decades by industry veterans into the software to assist the newer generation of workers, Galloway explains.

Senior, seasoned workers have a common expression when mentally accessing information that they have gathered and perfected over their careers, he says. “They all make the same type of face their mouths curl a certain way like they’re flashing back to the back of their brain’s filing cabinet to that piece of data they learned many moons ago.”

Having learned all the information they need to perform any job is a luxury the newer generation of workers doesn’t have, according to Galloway. “Our machine already comes with it.” The programming can be continually updated and modified to provide the tools that new workers can access.

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 “We still give them the same outlet to put their customization and experience into the cutting data and have that updated,” Galloway says. “We don’t claim to know everything. We still want some of that [experienced operator] input at all times.”

Industry veterans are not being put out to pasture with the advanced software developments, he stresses. “Somebody needs that information. Someone needs to go through that path of fire but, unfortunately, I don’t have that path of fire. I’m going to the source, grabbing that information and putting it into our system.”

Even though the software advancements are not intended replace experienced workers, time marches on. “I like to tell them they’re not going to work forever,” Galloway says. 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

ARKU

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

TPMG2022 Brands


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