Saturday, December 23, 2006

High speed plasma-arc profiler described

Literature describes a high performance, competitively priced high speed plasma cutting machine, which offers an option for oxy-fuel cutting.]

New literature has been published on ESAB Automation's Combirex CXL-P CNC cutting machine. This is a high performance, competitively priced high speed plasma cutting machine with an option for oxy-fuel cutting. It is a modularly designed heavy duty portal machine for high productivity and can be supplied with a variety of plasma cutting systems for material thicknesses 1-40mm.

It can also be supplied with up to four oxy-fuel cutting heads for cutting even thicker material.

The Combirex CXL-P has a powerful three axis drive system that delivers speeds up to 20,000mm/min.

The transverse master drive carriage is guided by a linear guiding rail and driven by a rack and pinion planetary AC drive.

The longitudinal drive is by twin rack and pinion AC drives.

This design ensures a smooth machine motion with rapid acceleration for higher part tolerance and quality.

The Combirex CXL-P is supplied with ESAB's Vision LE CNC controller, a high performance PC based control designed for fast and easy use.

Along with the graphics, it shows the outside dimensions of the part and gives the operator control for the required area needed to cut the shape.

Power tool removes laser cutter slat bed slag

Removing slag produced during laser cutting from the support slats in the machine beds need no longer be laborious when using a low power hand tool.

Just last year it was still quite laborious to remove the slag produced during laser cutting from the support slats of systems. With the award-winning power tool TSC 1 from Trumpf that's no longer the case: Any necessary cleaning can now be done quickly and without using a lot of power. The TSC 1, used to clean laser cutting systems and presented for the first time by Trumpf at the Munich Handicraft Tradeshow, Germany, in March 2006, was successful 'right off the bat'.

Market developments along with being awarded the 2006 Federal Prize for Innovation both confirm this fact.

Werner Cloos, director sales and marketing, Power Tool Division, at Trumpf reported that: 'The success of the TSC 1 is phenomenal'.

'Since its launch, we have seen extremely high demand throughout.

Users have been waiting for exactly this kind of device.' That's no surprise because the Trumpf TSC 1 solves a problem that is unavoidable when operating flatbed laser machines: When metal workpieces are processed, slag is produced that collects on the support slats of pallets.

Sometimes the growing slag thickness reduces the quality of the workpieces because the laser can no longer make the usual clean cuts.

To clean the support slats in the past, it was usually necessary to use a hammer or a similarly heavy tool which took several hours and was difficult, dirty work.

'Many companies change the support slats, which is unnecessarily expensive because the slats are washed about five times,' added Cloos.

The TSC 1 slat cleaner from Trumpf solves this problem.

A standard-sized pallet of 1500mm x 3000mm can be cleaned in about only 20 minutes with this tool and requires very little power usage.

All operators have to do is put it on a slat row and switch it on.

The device then automatically removes the collected slag from the slat, moving forward by itself.

A sliding block ensures that the guiding is secure.

Operators simply keep the TSC 1 on track.

Because vibration is minimized, the device is easy and pleasant to use.

A stripper sheet removes slag that is stuck and won't fall off on its own.

If a slat is clean the device is put on the next slat until the entire pallet of the machine is cleaned.

By working so quickly, the Trumpf TSC 1 pays for itself in no time because it costs only about one-fourth of the cost of exchanging the pallet.

Compared to manual cleaning, the cost is still about two-thirds lower.

The slat cleaner can in principle be used with any flatbed laser machine equipped with a pallet changer.

Not only was the cleaner tested in every Trumpf model, but it has performed well with competitors' machines in practice.

It is rarely necessary to dismantle the support slats.

Usually it takes place parallel to the uptime without any preparation.

Cloos was asked: 'Mr Cloos, you introduced the TSC 1 slat cleaner in March 2006'.

'What has been the result in terms of demand?' Cloos replied: 'Interest in the device was very high from the very beginning and even after over a half-year it has not let up at all.

Apparently, users were waiting for this kind of work relief.

Which actually doesn't surprise us because we are familiar with the slag problem from our own experience.

Since its launch, we have seen very high demand throughout and are working furiously to serve all of our customers.' How did the idea for the TSC 1 actually come about?

Cloos answered: 'As I suggested, we were already familiar with the problem from our own experience.

Slag on the pallet slats can lower parts quality, so it has to be removed.

But there was never any fast, cost-effective solution'.

'Using tools such as hammers or pneumatic chisels made cleaning slow and exhausting.

The frequent practice of exchanging the slats was very expensive.

We discussed a lot of possible solutions in-house and with the TSC 1 ultimately built a tool that meets all requirements in terms of ergonomics, thoroughness and economy.' What are the most important features of the tool from the user's perspective?

Cloos said: 'The greatest advantage is probably its ease-of-use.

The user doesn't have to adjust anything because the TSC 1 automatically adapts to the slag thickness.

The same is true of the forward motion.

Benefiting from the guidance provided by a slide block, users of the TSC 1 have a tool with which hardly anything can go wrong and which is pleasant to use because of minimal vibration.' Do the support slats have to be removed for cleaning and can the TSC1 also be used for flatbed laser machines made by other manufacturers?

Cloos said: 'Removing the support slats is almost never required.

We have tested the tool in all of our models, even older machines.

Of the approximately 20 Trumpf machines in recent years only the TC L 2510 requires that the slats be dismantled.

But then again the work is quite a bit faster than with other tools.

Furthermore, we know that the TSC 1 is regularly used without any difficulty in the machines of all our significant competitors.' * About the Power Tools business division of Trumpf - sheet metal processing power tools have a long tradition at Trumpf.

As early as 1934 the company from Ditzingen, Germany, presented the first motorized handheld shears for cutting sheet metal, thereby laying the foundation for the entire corporate group's 'sheet metal competence'.

Ever since, the sheet metal specialists have been constantly developing professional power tools - in addition to stationary machines for punching and forming, laser processing and bending - and as leaders of innovation they have set the pace in this area as well for changing market requirements.

During fiscal year 2005/06 the Power Tools business division of Trumpf, which has had its headquarters in Gruesch, Switzerland, since 1980, recorded EUR 72 million in sales revenue with 255 employees.

The current product range includes power tools for cutting and connecting sheet metal and for forming welding edges.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Plate-cutting programming saves 7% materials

An optimized programming system enables easier, more effective and cost-efficient design of thermal cutting processes in industrial plate profiling and cutting - saving 7% materials.

Up to 7% less material consumption, significantly lower plate handling requirements and lower item costs - the optimized COLUMBUS programming system enables easier, more effective and cost-efficient design of thermal cutting processes in industrial plate processing and machining. At the euroblech 2006 exhibition stand of ESAB, visitors could convince themselves of the speed and ease with which the users can design their own individual cutting and marking programs with COLUMBUS. Installation of COLUMBUS on a PC running Windows (95/98, ME, NT and 2000) is a 'cinch' (easy - Ed), and the programming system can be integrated into existing EDP structures easily via PPS.

This enables, for example, accurate import and export of existing parts lists and calculation data.

User friendliness is additionally enhanced by the new graphical design of the user interface, with a clear organization and largely self-explaining symbols.

To support automated cutting processes, this programming system is open to all applications for central process control and was designed such that the customers can specifically select the software modules they actually need.

This reduces initial costs and the system can be adapted to changing requirements quickly.

COLUMBUS can be used for converting drawing data in machine-readable CAD data, for nesting and inserting cutting parameters as well as for plate management.

With the new nesting system, the cutting specialists of ESAB Cutting Systems from Karben near Frankfurt am Main, Germany, succeeded in increasing material utilization in plasma-arc, flame and laser cutting even further.

COLUMBUS is a sophisticated, flexible and intelligent tool with which the users can easily create their own NC cutting programs.

Bevel head produces precise 3D plasma-arc cuts

A bevel head serving as a carrier and guide of the plasma-arc torch is used for precise and variable bevel and section cutting of three-dimensional parts.

Visitors of the recent euroblech 2006 exhibition stand of ESAB Cutting Systems were given the opportunity of convincing themselves of the impressive flexibility of the innovative VBA-Wrist bevel head. It serves as a carrier and guide of the plasma-arc torch and is used for precise and variable bevel and section cutting of three-dimensional parts. Typical applications include arc cuts in tank and boiler construction (dished boiler ends), tube cutting as well as all common contour cuts.

With the VBA-Wrist, the plasma cutter can be moved, fully automatically and program-controlled via AC servo motors, in five axes and positioned exactly.

When combined with the ESAB Vision controller, even the tightest bevel tolerances can be realized according to the manufacturer.

Thanks to its compact designs and low weight, the VBA-Wrist can be used with almost any machine size The function of VBA-Wrist follows a completely new, patented principle.

In contrast to conventional systems, the tool centre point (TCP) remains fixed in space during swivelling.

The integration of VBA-Wrist into a CNC machine system allows for an uncomplicated control all cutting tasks, including bevel cutting.

The cutting parameters are automatically set for various material thicknesses and bevel angles.

Completely integrated process parameters ensure a smooth cutting process.

Exactly repeated cycles in bevel cutting for Y- and X-cuts provide highest cutting quality, even for complex geometries.

With the software packages specially developed by ESAB, it is even possible to create complex and individual NC cutting programs quickly and easily.

The anti-collision plasma torch system and the integrated tactile height setting system of VBA-Wrist reduce maintenance requirements and adjustment work to a minimum.

Now, ESAB Cutting Systems also offers the system in combination with a cameral-based plate position monitoring system.

Visual control via the control panel display makes tedious adjustment at the workpiece unnecessary and the user is always kept updated on the current state of the wearing parts at the torch.

With the VBA-Wrist, ESAB has developed a marketable and practical solution for industrial cutting tasks which, so far, mostly required the use of expensive robots.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Plasma-arc update speeds metals cutting, profiling

Plasma-arc plate profiling and cutting system achieves cutting speeds of up to 35m/min for fast production cuts and can make highly accurate, sharp-edge precision cuts.

At the recent euroblech exhibition in Hannover, Germany, the cutting specialists of ESAB Cutting Systems from Karben near Frankfurt/Main gave an impressive presentation of what state-of-the-art plasma technology can achieve today. A combination of the flat-bed machine Eagle, the m Plasma system and the Vision 55 controller demonstrated that high-speed and high precision are no longer antonymous parameters. With m Plasma, ESAB succeeded in improving this efficient, energy and wearing part saving cutting technique significantly.

With m Plasma, impressive cutting speeds of up to 35m/min can be realized.

What makes the system particularly special is the fact that the user can perform both fast production cuts and highly accurate, sharp-edge precision cuts using one and the same tool and without having to replace any wearing parts.

m Plasma can be used for plate thicknesses up to 150mm, efficient, fast productions cuts can be performed up to 50mm.

Punching is possible up to 40mm.

The best results as regards the cutting quality are obtained when m Plasma is used for cutting carbon steels.

In this case, the cutting edge is almost rectangular and forms a perfect burr-free weld edge.

Another advantage of m Plasma is that the user can even mark the workpieces without having to replace the torch, by simply changing the corresponding parameters on the central control panel.

All processes of the cutting plant presented are controlled by the Vision 55 controller featuring the real-time operating system Windows CE 5.0 NET and ESAB's COLUMBUS programming system.

The all-inclusive solution is completed by an integrated drilling device as well as a camera-based visual monitoring system for exact alignment of the plates on the cutting bed.

Said Soeren Carlsson, sales manager Germany at ESAB Cutting Systems: 'The cutting plant presented at EuroBLECH, featuring the Eagle and m Plasma as the basis of the system, clearly reflected the current trend, i e, higher efficiency by linking different work steps in one complex machine concept which can be adapted specifically to meet the customer's individual requirements.'

Plate processing centre doubles throughput

An innovative plate processing centre is equipped with two flame cutting units and has options of plasma-arc cutting and can be equipped with carbide drills, reducing drilling times by about 30%.

The innovative plate processing centre KF 2512 of Kaltenbach increases the efficiency by up to 100%. While the other plate processing centres of Hans Kaltenbach Maschinenfabrik in Loerrach, Germany, have one flame cutting unit, the new KF 2512 is equipped with two flame cutting units. They allow the production of two identical parts in just one pass.

The plate processing centre KF 2512 presents the latest and biggest machine within the KF series.

It is developed to meet the special demands of the steel construction and steel service centres.

It is the perfect machine for the efficient drilling and flame cutting of steet metal and flat steel.

The working range of KF 2512 starts at plate dimensions 220 x 500mm up and goes up to 2500 x 6000mm.

Beneath the impressive increase in efficiency the use of the innovative Kaltenbach machine produces further advantages.

First to mention is the optional plasma-arc cutting unit.

Compared to a autogenous flame cutting unit the plasma-arc unit saves about 80% of the processing time.

Furthermore the KF 2512 can be equipped with carbide drills, reducing drilling times by about 30%.

The hard marking process takes up just approximately one second per character or number.

Additionally the plate processing centre is equipped with an AutoSorter for fully automatic, operator-free handling.

Like the other KF models the tool changing at the KF 2512 is realised automatically.

Two tool changing units with six magazine positions for different drill sizes.

The tool changing device consists of a disc tool magazine which is arranged directly adjacent to the drill carriage.

The modern steel fabrication specific software package CIM-PLATE is used for program setting of the machine control.

The program running under Windows XP Professional ML processes the input workpiece data and generates the NC-program for the plate cutting and drilling centre.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bevel head plasma-arc torch does edge-preps

Plasma-arc cutting and profiling machine has a bevel head that allows profiling and edge preparation on plate profiles to be carried out simultaneously and accurately.
Afon Engineering of Swansea, UK, is a fabricator that specialises in cutting, profiling, rolling, bending and forming plates from materials up to 50mm thick. Typical contracts include pressure vessels, bridgework, offshore skidwork and pipework. Whereas parts were previously guillotined and manually cut with gas cutting equipment, the company has now purchased an ESAB Suprarex precision plasma cutting machine - which has transformed the business, such is the improved productivity and accuracy.
The Suprarex machine is unusual in that it has an ESAB 200A precision plasma-arc cutting torch mounted on a bevel head that enables profiling and edge preparation to be carried out simultaneously.
Not surprisingly, this makes a substantial difference to how quickly plates can be prepared.
The exceptional accuracy also helps to streamline the production of fabrications as well as being beneficial to Afon Engineering's customers.
Furthermore, the same plasma head can be used to mark the plates so that other components can be positioned ready for welding.
Again, this saves a considerable amount of time.
Yet another time saving is achieved by using the machine to stitch-cut apertures prior to the plates being rolled, which reduces the amount of manual gas cutting that is required later.
Because of the varied nature of the work undertaken by Afon Engineering, the Suprarex machine is called upon to cut a wide range of materials in thicknesses from 1mm to 30mm on plasma-arc (a maximum plate thickness of 50mm can be plasma cut if required).
It also features gas cutting with the option of straight line bevelling heads for thicker materials upto 150mm.
Materials processed include mild steel, boiler plate, stainless steels, Hastelloy, chrome moly, inconel and titanium - in plate sizes up to 12 x 3.5m.
In addition to the cutting machine and control system, Afon Engineering also bought ESAB's Columbus nesting software that has enabled savings to be made through increased material utilisation.
In conjunction with the materials database held on the machine's controller, this software makes it quick and simple to set up each job on the machine, with very little risk of operators making any errors.
Andrew Beaujean, the sales engineer at Afon Engineering, was extremely pleased with the machine saying: 'It really is phenomenally quick.
Compared with the way we worked before, the machine prepares plates five or six times faster, and with better accuracy.
Taken as a whole, the faster cutting, edge preparation, stitch-cutting, marking, nesting software, materials database and high accuracy has transformed our business.' In addition, he was also complimentary about the level of service from ESAB: 'When we were talking to various suppliers prior to making a final decision, ESAB was more helpful than the others.
We also liked the way ESAB stocked spare parts in the UK or could get them delivered quickly from Germany.' Beaujean concluded: 'The machine was a good price and has proved to be reliable, too.

Lower cost laser does 80% of cutting/profiling

Compared with other high quality laser cutting machines, a customer can invest in a machine at around half the investment cost, and process some 80% of the spectrum parts.
Bystronic UK has launched the ByVention laser cutting system. The ByVention is not only a completely new laser innovation but also a new business model for the Bystronic Group and the industry in general. The ByVention has been designed to meet the needs of the market.
A theoretical survey showed that approximately 80 per cent of all parts cut by laser cutting machines are processed using a sheet thickness of a maximum of 8mm and in size 500 x 500mm.
However, the ByVention has a cutting area of 1562 x 772mm and is equipped with a 2.2kW resonator which allows a maximum sheet thickness of 4mm for aluminium, 6mm for stainless steel and 8mm for mild steel.
Compared with other high quality laser cutting machines, a customer can invest in a machine at around half the investment cost, with which they can process some 80% of the spectrum parts.
The machine is easy to operate and as a result training time is reduced to a minimum.
This is achieved as the ByVention is operated via pre-defined programs and cutting parameters using a touch screen.
New operators benefit from the simple and logical operation and after a short period of training are familiar with the control and its integrated function and are able to operate the machine to its full capacity.
A further highlight of the ByVention is its compact design, which makes it the smallest laser cutting machine for standard-sized metal sheets.
The machine requires just 6 x 6m of floor space and therefore customers can utilise even the smallest of spaces.
The control cabinet and the system's laser source are integrated in the machine frame and form a single unit.
Additionally, the cooling unit and the used air filter have been combined in a compact, powerful unit.
The operating area of the ByVention is completely accessible and the user does not have to worry about photo-electric barriers thanks to the machine's integrated safety system.
Due to the compact design, the laser beam is kept short and is therefore for high precision cuts.
The ByVention is equipped with an innovative Bystronic designed materials flow concept, which makes all parts instantly available and ensures flexibility when using various sizes of material and partially used sheets.
Cut parts are continuously and automatically transported from the cutting area and are immediately available to the user even during the cutting process.
The removal area is fully accessible; therefore removal of cut parts is simple and convenient.
The cutting area is also readily accessible from the front via a large sliding door.
The new processing concept makes a shuttle table unnecessary and it can be used with various European and US American standard metal sheet formats (patent registered).
When the machine was designed emphasis was placed on rapid and easy service.
The machine is covered by a two-year Bystronic warranty as well as two years preventive maintenance.
This ensures high reliability of the machine and avoids expensive repairs.
The highest quality control standards during the manufacturing process and the fact that the ByVention, like all Bystronic machines, is built for round-the-clock operation and a long life span ensures maximum reliability and a high re-sale value of the machine.
The cost of the ByVention also includes the Bysoft CAD/CAM software package, commissioning and basic training as well as the two year warranty and preventive maintenance.
The machine is offered at a fixed price.
Thanks to the 'everything included' concept, the customer knows exactly what the investment costs are.
This latest concept in laser cutting will appeal to a wide range of customers.
Companies that already use laser cutting machines and require additional capacity for standard size sheets can extend their added value for a reasonable price.
An increased added value can also be achieved by companies who wish to negate the need for external sub-contractors and bring jobs in-house.
The machine is economical even in single-shift working.
Relatively low investment costs make the ByVention a viable prospect not only for new users of laser technology but also for companies that have limited capital available or are planning to invest in a second-hand machine.
It is also a fist choice where space is at a premium.
Also original equipment manufacturers that produce a large number of standard sized parts can profit extensively from a ByVention.
The ByVention is not just a new machine and operating concept.
Far more, this highly efficient laser cutting machine is also a new business model.
This includes the fact that the ByVention is sold at a uniform price worldwide.
The net price, to which only taxes and customs duty have to be added, means that no variations or additional options are offered.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Waterjet software adjusts cutting automatically

Waterjet cutting control software automatically adjusts for cutting speed and material thickness and can improve cycle time performance up to 35% and optimise cutting speeds.
Flow, the world's leading developer and manufacturer of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) waterjet technology equipment used for cutting, cleaning (surface preparation) and food safety applications, just launched FlowMaster 6.0, FLOW's innovative Windows-based waterjet control system. FlowMaster software is now even easier to use and more powerful than ever before. * The system's new features give operators the ability to do the following.
Improve cycle time performance up to 35%.
Program and cut parts with varying thicknesses with programmable Z-axis capability.
View and path parts in full 3D for easy design.
Optimize cut speed for part corners to reduce cycle time.
Improve edge quality through the ability to control cut speed to reduce marks on parts.
Save time through automatic calculations - there's no need to stop and manually calculate and adjust the settings.
Reduce the number of operational steps and increase output.
Enhanced file support including dxf for AutoCAD 2004.
'Waterjet software is evolving to help solve the challenges faced by manufacturers,' said Robert Peterson, Flow's waterjet market manager.
'With Flow's innovative software, waterjet operators are no longer restricted to cutting only on the X-Y plane, and can easily design and cut parts never imagined on a waterjet with varying height and thickness.
In addition, FlowMaster 6.0 will help customers lower cost per length on projects through the software's ability to improve cut speed and thickness.' * About Flow - with more than 30 years of experience and more than 9,000 installations FLOW is the world market leader in the development, design, and sales of ultrahigh-pressure pumps and complete waterjet and abrasivejet cutting systems for processing a wide variety of materials.
Flow Europe is a subsidiary of Flow International Corporation, USA, and the European Headquarters for all products relating to ultrahigh-pressure waterjet cutting technology.

Contour follower avoids waterjet collisions

Height and collision sensor for waterjet and other cutting processes increases efficiency and accuracy by maintaining optimal cutting distances and preventing cutting head impacts.
Dynamic contour follower avoids waterjet collisions Height and collision sensor for waterjet and other cutting processes increases efficiency and accuracy by maintaining optimal cutting distances and preventing cutting head impacts. Flow, the world's leading developer and manufacturer of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) waterjet technology equipment used for cutting, cleaning (surface preparation) and food safety applications, introduces its new Dynamic Contour Follower (DCF), designed to increase efficiency and accuracy by maintaining optimal cutting distances and preventing cutting head impacts. The DCF is a key component of an abrasive waterjet system in helping customers achieve superior cut quality and part accuracy by maintaining perfect stand-off height.
Whether the waterjet is cutting at perpendicular or in dynamic mode with an angle, the DCF allows for automatic set and track of the stand-off distance between the mixing tube tip and the material being cut.
If the DCF senses a change in material contour, the Z-axis vertical position adjusts to avoid crashing.
The DCF is designed to work in conjunction with the PASER ECL Plus cutting head system and Dynamic waterjet cutting heads.
The DCF is ideal for job shops and metal service centers, needing to cut precise parts in a cut quality that is independent of height variation, or applications that require extra protection when cutting material is warped, stacked, stressed (such as tool steel), or slightly curved.
'The DCF will help users improve their operations by increasing machine uptime and operator productivity since the DCF senses material variations and continues cutting by automatically adjusting around it,' said Andreas Meyer, technical director of Flow Europe.
Flow's ultrahigh-pressure waterjet shapecutting systems have become the global 'machine technology of choice' for many applications.
Flow's abrasive waterjet cutting systems are ideally suited for cutting a variety of materials ranging from stainless steel and aluminium to titanium, Inconel, composites and even stone and glass.
Flow waterjet systems can cut virtually any material up to 254mm (10in) thickness with accuracies down to the range of some tenth millimetres depending on material and complexity of contour.
* About Flow - with more than 30 years of experience and more than 9,000 installations Flow is the world market leader in the development, design, and sales of ultrahigh-pressure pumps and complete waterjet and abrasivejet cutting systems for processing a wide variety of materials.
Flow Europe is a subsidiary of Flow International Corporation, USA, and European Headquarters for all products relating to ultrahigh-pressure waterjet cutting technology.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dynamic waterjet system cuts accurate parts

An innovative dynamic waterjet system with active tolerance control produces more accurate parts at significantly higher cutting speeds than parts cut with a conventional waterjet.
Since the introduction of Dynamic Waterjet Flow was able to further strengthen its world market leader position in waterjet cutting. Tremendous cost advantages and cut part quality improvements are not the only reasons for this successful business development. The high flexibility and the easy handling add to the reasons why customers decide in favour of Flow systems.
The innovative Dynamic Waterjet system with Active tolerance Control produces more accurate parts at significantly higher cutting speeds than parts cut with a conventional waterjet.
Dynamic Waterjet utilizes a newly-developed advanced motion system that incorporates unique mathematical cutting models, which control a small, articulated wrist that is attached to the waterjet cutting head.
This wrist allows the cutting head to tilt in any direction, compensating for the stream lag and taper experienced with conventional waterjet cutting machines.
Stream lag and taper are a natural, but undesirable, result of cutting with a beam-type cutter such as a waterjet.
The faster parts are cut, the greater the stream lag.
Stream lag causes part geometry errors.
In addition, as cut speed is increased through a given material, the waterjet beam produces ever-increasing taper.
Conventional waterjets must slow down in order to reduce or eliminate finished-part tolerance errors caused by stream lag and taper.
Now, with Dynamic Waterjet, these limitations are overcome.
Summary of Dynamic Waterjet advantages.
Significantly improves cut part geometry and tolerances (+/-0.05mm under optimal conditions possible).
Cuts parts 25-300 % faster than conventional flat stock waterjet cutting machines.
Virtually eliminates taper.
Reduces cost per part by up to 75%.
True part stocking ability with consistent tolerance layer to layer.
Cuts a variety of materials, such as metal, stone, glass, and composites.
Easy to use and easy to program.
Dynamic Waterjet is available for both of our machine types, the Waterjet machining center (WMC2) and the Integrated Flying Bridge (IFB2).
* About Flow - with more than 30 years of experience and more than 9,000 installations Flow is the world market leader in the development, design, and sales of ultrahigh-pressure pumps and complete waterjet and abrasivejet cutting systems for processing a wide variety of materials.
Flow Europe is a subsidiary of Flow International Corporation, USA, and the European Headquarters for all products relating to ultrahigh-pressure waterjet cutting technology.
Flow Europe has subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain, and UK.

Waterjet profiler offers versatile cutting

Water jet cutting and profiling machine s ideal for high-production, high-speed cutting, as well as the low production rates and high job variations.
On the occasion of the recent EuroBLECH, in Hanover, Germany, Flow presented the WMC2 Waterjet Machining Center, the next generation of the successful WMC series. The WMC2, designed by a worldwide team of multi-disciplined Flow employees and customers, is ideal for high-production, high-speed cutting, as well as the low production rates and high job variations commonly found in job shops. Through its flexible and fully modular design customers can equip the Waterjet machining center to meet a myriad of individual needs now and in the future.
* WMC2 offers even higher productivity - in the growing Europe today's cutting systems need to be very flexible.
In order to meet customer requirements now and in the future and to guarantee high productivity the WMC2 has been designed.
With its new electric and software the WMC2 offers higher cutting speeds and thus faster cycle times.
The WMC2 is much more flexible, versatile and easy to use compared to other cutting processes, such as laser or punch.
Also compared to conventional waterjet systems the Waterjet Machining Center WMC2 offers higher productivity.
Furthermore the user benefits from the sophisticated design and up to date manufacturing processes that reduce maintenance requirements.
'The WMC2 is an amazing waterjet machine that we are extremely proud to introduce to the market,' said Andreas Meyer, director of Product Development X-Y Systems at Flow Europe.
'The WMC2 improves upon what was already the most technologically advanced waterjet in the world, and is one machine customers will be proud to have on the shop floor.' * Additionally, the new Waterjet Machining Center features.
Faster part cutting cycle times.
Streamlined operation.
Enhanced ergonomics with features such as a roll around cabinet.
For the utmost in cutting control, it is available with either the latest generation of FlowMaster PC or Siemens CNC control.
The machine's modular design means the WMC2 can be equipped with variety of Intensifier or HyPlex pumps and cutting heads so customers can select the right pump and number of cutting heads for their appli-cation today and upgrade later should their needs change in the future.
Optional multi-head PASER ECL Plus cutting system or dual head Dynamic Waterjet capability for high productivity.
'Through the WMC2, we've developed the fastest and most flexible waterjet system on the market today,' said Michael Sienz, general manager of Flow Europe.
'Our goal is to keep our customers competitive now and into the future, and the WMC2, with its simplicity, high reliability, and ease of use, is designed to do just that.' With more than 30 years of experience and more than 9,000 installations Flow is the world market leader in the development, design, and sales of ultrahigh-pressure pumps and complete waterjet and abrasivejet cutting systems for processing a wide variety of materials.
Flow Europe is a subsidiary of Flow International Corporation, USA, and the European Headquarters for all products relating to ultrahigh-pressure waterjet cutting technology.
Flow Europe has subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain, and UK.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

CMS UK now offers waterjet cutting systems

Tecnocut waterjet CNC cutting systems - with hundreds of systems installed worldwide - are now available from Nottingham based company CMS Group UK.
Tecnocut established in 1992 are specialists in the design and manufacture of CNC waterjet cutting systems with many hundreds of machines installed worldwide. * Mutual Benefits - CMS a large Italian company specialising in the design and manufacture of a range of sophisticated 5-axis CNC machining centres for a wide variety of applications. Further enlargement of CMS came in 2005 when Tecnocut joined the group.
Mutual benefits from the merge ensure Tecnocut have the opportunity of benefiting from the CMS global distribution network, with 25 branches operating in 120 countries world wide, whilst CMS are able to integrate the Tecnocut waterjet technology into some of their larger five axis machines typically used in the automotive and aerospace sectors where larger Z-axis clearance and articulating robictic cutting head is required * Specialist company - waterjet cutting system consists of three parts: pressure intensifier, working table and a CAD-CAM programming system.
Tecnocut can boast of being the only manufacturer in Italy who designs and produces the entire system in house.
The pressure intensifier is the heart of the waterjet cutting system, Tecnocuts Jetpower system consists of parallel, synchronized and independent pressure pumps that assures: a more constant and steady pressure level.
Various units are available ranging from 60hp-120HP.
* Applications - the success of the waterjet machine is its amazing flexibility without complex change over the machines can process almost any material, typically metal and metal alloys, brass, copper aluminum as well as glass and stone based products.
Set up time is further reduced as the system requires very little in the way of clamping of the raw material

Dynamic laser cutters reduce production costs

A drastic reduction in production costs and times is being achieved with a laser profiling and cutting machine equipped with a highly dynamic, lightweight head.
Effectively two machines in one; the Syncrono incorporates a highly dynamic and ultra-lightweight head integrated with a machine with a large operating envelope, both of which are perfectly coordinated to optimise processing times. With the highest dynamics applied to the smallest masses, this concept achieves extreme performance, excellent cutting quality and reduced running costs, while active compensation of masses and control algorithms ensure smooth and vibration-free motion. The result is a machine that guarantees hitherto unimaginable processing times; 6G acceleration enables more than 1000 holes to be cut in a minute, twice that of other laser machines currently on the market.
The flexibility and quality of laser cutting has allowed a continuous and steady growth of the laser machines sector during the past decade.
Plasma-arc cutting and punching are no longer the undisputed leaders, as the laser has become the leading technology in the sheet metal cutting field.
Today's market requirements are forcing manufacturers towards solutions that not only provide excellent quality and great flexibility but also high cutting speed and therefore, greater and greater productivity.
Syncrono is Prima's answer to this market need.
Machine, laser, CNC and electromechanical parts are all integrated in a compact, modular structure that is easy to transport and which does not require machine foundations.
The bed is manufactured from synthetic granite, while aluminium carriages ensure high mechanical stability and rigidity.
The machineandsup1;s key features include the following.
* Flying optics: providing speed and precision, irrespective of the gauge of metal being processed.
* Compact design and easy installation: machine foundations are not required.
* Modular construction: choice of a large number of configurations plus flexibility to meet future production needs.
* Application versatility: the rapid adjustment from 5 to 7.5in optics enables a wide variety of different materials and thicknesses to be processed.
Syncrono also features independent and programmable control of the focal position and an active workpiece collision avoidance system.
The innovation of Syncrono is its fusion of two synchronised machines; an ultra-lightweight and super-fast head providing 'micro' level movements, effectively mounted on a 'macro' machine with a large working area.
Both mechanisms are coordinated by algorithms that automatically control the local axes of the head and the main axes of the machine.
The local axes perform 'micro' movements (to cut holes, corners, small shapes, or paths with frequent changes of direction), while the main axes carry out 'macro' movements (for contours, large shapes, etc).
The 'micro' and 'macro' movements are undertaken simultaneously, like those of a human hand and arm when writing or playing a keyboard.
The numerical control, like the human brain, synchronises them in order to ensure continuous, rapid and coordinated movement.
The focusing head utilises parallel kinematics with direct drives to achieve more than 6G acceleration during cutting cycles.
Syncrono performs even the most complex paths with unrivalled cutting quality and speed.
Typically, high dynamic laser machines use direct drives in all axes.
However, their combination of large mass and rapid movement make them prone to vibration.
By contrast, Syncrono uses direct drives only for the micro carriage, dramatically reducing vibration.
Reliability and accuracy are through an active anti-vibration system, which minimises impulsive stress on the machine's structure.
The machine's design ensures a constant length optical path throughout its cutting cycle - for high precision and repeatability across the machine's entire working range.
Syncrono is offered with Prima's fast axial flow CP 4000 or new CV 5000 laser.
The company's latest generation of CV lasers utilise magnetic bearing turbines, solid state high voltage power units and servo-controlled gas mixing to enable high powers to be achieved with maximum efficiency.
Syncrono is designed throughout for maximum operational efficiency.
* The worktable is divided into segments for optimising fumes extraction and its pallet for holding 2D workpieces.
* Wheeled scrap collection drawers provide fast and easy movement.
* Polycarbonate glazed cabin with large windows, for total safety and optimum visibility of the work area.
* Internal cabinet for storing frequently used tools and materials (lenses, tips, kits for cleaning and centring optics, handbooks, etc) reduces machine maintenance and down time.
Even the most basic Syncrono model has all the technological solutions developed through Prima Industrie's long experience of laser machine technology; enabling extremely short cycle times and excellent cutting quality to be achieved as a matter of routine.
They include the following.
* Laser piercing monitor.
* Advanced restart functions.
* High-speed cutting with plasma formation.
* Automatic management of technological parameters for small and complex profiles.
* Microjoints.
* High-pressure cutting for high cutting speed and oxidation-free edges.
* Automatic detection of the metal sheet position for consequent adjustment of the program.
Programming Syncrono is extremely simple.
The primary and secondary axes are controlled fully automatically and 'transparently' for the user.
The Primach-20L CNC has an operator/machine interface with Web technology, Windows 2000 operating system, LCD flat screen, touch-screen and trackball; the 'Easy Cut' option enables fast programming directly on the machine.
Syncrono can be programmed off-line with PICAM, CAD-CAM 2D software for fast and simple generation of the complete machining program, based on mathematical models of the workpieces.
Parameter tables allow a choice of the best cutting parameters for every process.
Offering easy customisation to specific user requirements, these tables are always available in official versions of Prima's CNC and PICAM system.
Similarly, production times and costs can be further optimised by using the company's nesting and common line cutting modules.
What makes Syncrono unique?
* It is the fastest machine on the market (more than 6G acceleration during cutting), for consistently shorter cycle times, and corresponding production cost savings.
* Extreme speed and maximum cutting quality without compromise, i e, without the need to sacrifice one parameter to achieve the other.
* Uniform precision and cutting quality throughout the entire work area.
* Minimised operating costs through innovative machine design - with high dynamic minimum masses.
* Vibration-free for in-service precision and reliability over extended production runs.
Complementing Syncrono's capabilities is the following range of Prima productivity enhancing solutions.
* Automatic pallet changer; for minimum loading/unloading times - a virtually necessity for such a fast machine.
* PrimaServer range of automated material handling and storage systems.
The modular design of these systems allows installations to be upgraded at a later date, as production requirements increase, up to fully automated production units.
* PrimaServer Manager for controlling unmanned production.
* Remote sensing and safety cut out - with automatic reporting on the status of the machine via CNC.
Using the above options, it is possible to tailor installations precisely to customer production needs, right up to fully automatic, 'lights-out' operations.
With PrimaServer, a number of unmanned production options are available.
TowerServer (customisable with additional towers and rack feeder).
Automatic stacker/de-stacker for handling blank and processed sheets.
Tower unit with up to 15 storeys.
Elevator for loading and unloading work pallets on and off the tower.
Single sheet separation, measuring systems and sheet reference.
Unmanned production.
* Or CompactServer (extremely compact overall dimensions).
Automatic stacker/de-stacker for handling blank and processed sheets.
Twin-storey units (one for the blank sheets and one for the processed sheets).
Single sheet separation, measuring systems and sheet reference.
Controlled directly by the Syncrono CNC.
* The company's LaserServer with PrimaSorting systems enable stand-alone automatic manufacturing cells to be created.
LaserServer for automatic loading/unloading of sheets.
Three stations for loading sheets, unloading the 'skeletons' and unloading finished parts.
Sorting gripper for picking up and stacking finished parts.
Automatic programming of sorting cycles.
Other solutions, integrated to specific customer requirements, are available as multi-tower and multi-machines.
Multi-tower systems enable plant production capacity to be increased in stages.
They operate in conjunction with the automatic pallet changer - the interface point of with the machine - and provide virtually limitless configuration possibilities.
Multi-machine solutions link several machines simultaneously.
At their heart is The PrimaServer Manager system, which controls unmanned production and ensures both simplicity and efficiency - even in complex installations with several machines operating in extended workshop areas.
Syncrono's unparalleled capabilities can be demonstrated by simple analysis of the cycle times it achieves.
The following examples provide direct comparisons with machines that were regarded as benchmark laser cutters prior to the Syncrono's launch.
The first shows Syncrono's ability to cut a matrix of holes in light gauge sheet metal (1mm carbon steel).
The machine produces 1034 holes/min, against a 'benchmark' of 600 holes/min.
The second example represents the complete production cycle of a test workpiece including contouring, plus the production of a series of holes and slots with various shapes.
Using linear motors machines, the benchmark cycle time was 22s for the production of this component in 1mm thick carbon steel.
By comparison, the Syncrono completed the component in just 13.4s.
These cycle times demonstrate how Prima's new machine represents an effective answer to the market's ongoing demands for enhanced productivity.