We are excited to announce the arrival of our new Amada EML 2515 fibre punch-laser combination machine.
A new substantial investment for our business, this machine represents the latest in CNC fibre laser technology and has hugely increased our output capacity, whilst reducing energy consumption.
The benefits to our customers are significant – reduced lead times, increased capacity, increased energy efficiency and higher quality of product.
This investment came about because our previous CO2 laser/punch machine was at full capacity and fibre laser is the next generation in cutting technology, achieving high-speed productivity.
After 2 years of exploring the latest advances in combination machinery, viewing Amada’s machine in its infancy in Japan in 2017 and seeing the demo in Munich last year, we finally installed our fibre laser machine this Autumn.
We are only the 2nd firm in the UK to install this machine with the adjoining fully-automated tool-changing carousel.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the many benefits for our customers:
REDUCED LEAD TIMES
On average the fibre laser machine is 65% more efficient. This reduction is due to both the fibre laser which saves production time and the intelligent automation which saves manual labour and intervention, this enables us to hold prices in an ever-changing market.
The laser is delivered via a single fibre cable directly to the cutting head and this process is more energy-efficient than the delivery of a CO2 laser. The fibre laser machine runs faster and at higher precision and accuracy so lead times are reduced.
Due to the highly intelligent automation, the machine, once set up, requires very little human intervention. This means we are able to leave the machine running for long periods of time, even overnight. The features of the machine make for very stable production, for example:
- The machine has a nozzle changer with up to 8 nozzles which can machine one material, pause change material and run again.
- It will load new sheets of material and unload finished parts and remnant material automatically with zero down time.
- We can remotely look into the machine via the virtual factory software when off site at any time.
- The fully automated tooling carousel contains all the punches and dies required for a part. These will have been efficiently “nested” by the software and are identified by laser etched QR codes on the tools.
- The carousel interfaces with the laser machine and automatically switches the tools when directed by the software.
- The system even keeps track of when a tool requires sharpening and the remaining life of the tool.
SCALEABILITY OF PRODUCTION
Reduced lead times mean we can gain back time in motion, our capacity is higher therefore we have improved scaleability of production. Previously our laser combination machine was running 24/7 and we couldn’t increase capacity which meant that certain customers were struggling to increase theirs, despite plenty of demand for their products. We are delighted that we can now help our customers to scale up their operations.
The fibre laser machine as a stand alone unit has an overall lower energy consumption than the CO2 laser, resulting in energy savings of over 60% versus a CO2 laser. In some cases, up to 70% electrical savings can be achieved. This is mainly due to the efficiency of the fibre laser and the driver on the punch which is electric rather than hydraulic and results in lower power consumption.
Nitrogen gas generator
Fibre laser machines uses nitrogen for the majority of materials, our nitrogen is generated on site with an ancillary machine that interfaces with the fibre laser machine, making it a 100% sustainable and self-sufficient supply. The generator is tuned to match production levels and cover peak demand so we don’t pay for what we don’t need.
It is an extremely cost effective method, consumes less power, has minimal wastage and no tanker deliveries are required.
There are many aspects of the machine that contribute to improved quality of product:
- The intelligent digital system on the fibre laser machine monitors piercing and profile cutting and adjusts its speed accordingly, resulting in trouble-free production without cutting problems.
- With fibre laser there is no oxidisation so you don’t get any burning on the sheet edges, which eliminates the need for secondary cleaning before finishing Processes ( IE Painting ).
- High quality cuts and forms are produced without scratches or burrs due to the stable processing and Brush table.
- The fibre laser also ensures an outstanding degree of accuracy, running at tolerances as tight as + / -0.1mm.
- A wider tapping range is available so we can create bigger threads and thread forms. The taps are changed automatically and the tapping operation is integrated into the process, again saving time.
- Due to the low set up time, we can run as few sheets as we like which is ideal for prototyping and sending samples off ensuring you get the right tooling and end result.
- Finally, even the nitrogen generator plays a part as it ensures high quality nitrogen which has a direct impact on the edge quality of cut parts.
The fibre laser can cut reflective materials, unlike the CO2 laser which struggles with the reflection. So we can cut Mild steel, Stainless steel, aluminium and now brass.
If you have any questions about the capabilities of the fibre laser machine or would like to see it in action for yourself, please do get in touch!