12 November 1986 Application Of CO2 Lasers To High Speed Blanking
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Abstract
While laser cutting of sheetmetal has attained wide acceptance in the automotive industry for the purposes of prototyping and very limited preproduction work, the production rates possible with currently available systems have precluded the use of this technique in a production environment. The device design to be described embodies a high speed X-Y positioner carrying a cutting head with limited Z-axis capability. This approach confers two main benefits, first, production rate is limited only by laser power, since the positioner technology selected will permit movement at rates up to 1.5 m/s (60 in/s), second, the use of a high speed non-contact surface follower to control the Z-axis movement reduces the need to clamp the workpiece rigidly to a precision reference surface. The realized reduction of the clamping requirement permits some latitude in the feed methods that can be employed, allowing the use of coil or sheet feeding as appropriate. The author will provide estimated production rates for the proposed design and demonstrate that a suitable choice of laser source and material feed will permit the production of parts at a rate and cost comparable to conventional blanking with the advantage of much greater flexibility and reduced retooling time.
© (1986) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
L E Grenier, "Application Of CO2 Lasers To High Speed Blanking", Proc. SPIE 0668, Laser Processing: Fundamentals, Applications, and Systems Engineering, (12 November 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.938909; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.938909
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