Precision, speed, and low waste are the three main reasons laser cutting is growing in popularity for industrial applications. It is estimated that the laser-cutting machine market is expected to reach $1.78 billion by 2024. This can be attributed to the faster development and improvement of laser technology over the years. That said, companies must learn to stay on top of emerging laser-cutting trends to leverage the full capabilities of the technology. This article highlights crucial trends in laser cutting that firms should watch out for.
High Power Lasers -- Cutting thick materials with a laser beam has been a problem for fabricators. The process takes longer, and the workload is too much for laser machines with an average power rating. The only way to cut thick material is to set aside enough time to prevent rushing and overworking the laser-cutting machine. However, such an approach is not ideal because it affects total throughput. Manufacturers of laser-cutting machines are privy to the challenge; therefore, they are developing high-power laser cutters. For instance, 15kw high power laser cutters are finding their way into fabrication shops for two reasons. The first reason is that they can easily cut metal pieces 0.75 inches or thicker. Secondly, it is easy to turn down the power to a 6kw for the thinner materials, and this eliminates the need for multiple cutters with varying power outputs.
Low Gas Consumption Nozzles -- The nozzle is a critical part of a laser-cutting machine since it dictates how much gas the machine uses. Traditional nozzles on older versions are slow when used on thick material, which leads to higher consumption of gas. Therefore, the need for low-gas-consuming nozzles is growing even though most fabricators don't deal with thick material regularly. Low-consumption nozzles are new to the laser-cutting industry, and they are excellent at efficient use of laser-cutting gas. Furthermore, low consumption laser nozzles focus the laser beam on a small surface area, thus ensuring a clean cut in the shortest time.
Custom Fume Extractors -- Industrial laser-cutting machines release dangerous fumes into the atmosphere. This explains why fabrication shops must invest and install fume extractors near laser-cutting machines. However, you should note that most of the fume extractors are not custom-designed. This makes it easy to buy one that does not match the fabricator's fume extraction needs. Luckily, manufacturers are working closely with fabricators to develop customised fume extractors. For instance, customisation equips laser-cutting machines with a pre-filtration system, which enables the filters to achieve total fume extraction.