In metal fabrication – or any trade for that matter – time is money. If you’re not producing, you’re not padding your pocket. That’s why cut speed is so important. Machinery manufacturers are racing to create lasers that can cut faster than the rest, while still maintaining precision and cut quality. When it comes to cut speed, Fiber Lasers are leading the pack. That’s mainly due to the almost limitless power these Fiber Laser machines wield.
The Incredible Possibilities of Fiber Laser Power
Over the past few years, Fiber Laser technology has been evolving, specifically to deliver more power. Although 6 kW is quite common 8 kW, 10kW, 12 kW are being adopted in the industry. Even more impressive is the revolutionary 15,kW Fiber Laser from Eagle Fiber Laser introduced last year. It only took two years to increase cut power by 25% from there. At that rate we could see 20-kW lasers in less than 4 years. Imagine what we could do with all that power!
Fiber laser cut speed for thin and thick materials
Fiber lasers are known for their unbelievable cut speeds, specifically when it comes to thin materials.
They are also improving in their ability to process thicker metals. When it comes to cutting thicker materials, high-power fiber lasers are able to compete with CO2 machines like never before. They have been shown to handle sheets ¼” or thicker at comparable speeds to CO2. For example, a 12-kW fiber laser can cut ½” mild steel at 150 IPM.
More power = more speed
Increased cut speeds go hand-in-hand with higher power. For example, when cutting 1mm carbon steel we can see an increase in speed from 708 inches per minute with a 2-kW Fiber Laser to 2165 inches per minute with a 6-kW machine.
Even for 10mm and 15mm carbon steel, we see an almost two-fold increase in speed from 2-kW to 6-kW power; going from 49 to 90 inches per minute and 26 to 61 inches per minute, respectively.
These jumps in cut speed from 2-kW to 6-kW are impressive, but to take it even further, the 12-kW fiber laser provides unprecedented cut speeds. The praise that came with the launch of Eagle Fiber Laser’s 12-kW machine was no surprise. For certain materials the increase in cut speed is almost linear.
For example, a 4 kW Fiber Laser will cut 1/8” stainless steel with a cut speeds of 355 IPM, while a 12 kW machine provide 1100 IPM for the same material. That’s a 310% increase in speed – and a lot of parts processed!
Need for speed
Your fabrication shop depends on throughput to stay afloat. Switching to a more powerful machine means more speed and more parts your fabrication shop can process in a day. The more you can cut, the more you can bank. More and more fabrication shops are adding powerful Fiber Lasers to their arsenal to amp up productivity and profit. How would you harness all that power?