Laser cutting machines
Laser cutting machines are the right solution when it comes to precise cutting with minimum time expenditure. State-of-the-art laser cutting systems combine precision, speed and maximum multifunctionality.
How is a laser cutting system designed?
A laser cutting machine is surrounded by a robust safety cabin and other safety devices to protect CNC machine operators from invisible and high-energy laser beams and the fast moving machine components.
Touch display with machine control
Control consoles with a large touch screen provide full control over the cutting process of the laser machine. They can be designed to be either fixed to the machine or free-standing. Additional monitors at the safety cabin allow permanent monitoring of the cutting process in the laser cutting machine with the help of camera systems as well as the simultaneous programming of further cutting jobs.
Gantry with tool stations, guideways and cutting table
The laser cutting head itself, together with other optional tool stations (e.g. drilling or marking), is attached to a steel gantry – the so-called gantry beam – which moves on a linear guiding system (guideways).
An automatic alternating cutting table ensures smooth and time-saving loading and unloading into and out of the cutting zone of the laser cutting system. While already cut parts are transported from a shuttle table to the unloading position, a table already loaded with new material sheets moves into the cabin of the laser machine for the next cutting task.
The dusts, gases and particles occurring during laser cutting are collected either by an extraction system directly at the cutting head or at the cutting table and the air is cleaned in a filter system.
Advantages of laser cutting machines
Advantages of laser cutting systems
- High flexibility, as a wide range of materials can be processed
- Small contours and precise cutting edges at high cutting speed
- High efficiency and high material utilization
- Short processing times
Differences between fiber laser and CO2 laser
Technically, the difference between a solid-state laser and a CO2 laser lies in the properties of the optical laser medium used. While the CO2 laser is a gas laser (gas mixture of He, N2 and CO2), a fiber laser is a solid-state laser whose laser medium is a doped glass fiber. Although the CO2 laser has proven itself in many industrial cutting tasks, it is rarely used in new cutting machines, because the fiber laser can score with a variety of positive characteristics. These include:
- High economic efficiency
- Low operating costs and less maintenance
- Cutting of non-ferrous metals possible
- Better energy efficiency compared to the CO2 laser
- Compact and space-saving design
- Consistent beam properties at any point within the cutting zone
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Laser cutting system in action
Laser machines can also be extended by pipe and profile cutting devices.
The cutting operation with two laser cutting heads ensures efficient and time-saving production thanks to the possibility of processing identical cutting jobs in parallel.
Automated material handling is a smart solution to save time in production.
Which materials can be processed with a laser cutting machine?
A laser machine can be used to cut many types of metal. With fiber lasers it is – in contrast to the CO2 laser – also possible to process reflecting metals with a high thermal conductivity. Materials with a material thickness of up to 25 mm (mild steel) can be cut.
Multifunctionality & automation
Laser cutting machines can also be expanded with a wide range of options and automation solutions, enabling an additional increase in the efficiency of production processes. Options such as a pipe and profile cutting device or units for drilling and marking save production time, distances to further processing stations and protect the health of employees.
Strengths of MicroStep's laser cutting systems
Laser cutting systems from MicroStep impress above all with their flexibility, their high cutting speeds with maximum precision and their multifunctionality. In one work step, sheets or pipes can be cut, bevel cuts made and provided with drilled holes and markings. Another advantage is the space-saving, compact design of the laser cutting system.
A laser beam source from the market leader IPG Photonics provides an output of at least 1 to 5 kW as standard. Optionally, each laser cutting system can be equipped with a device for pipe and profile processing. This allows pipe cutting and profile cutting up to a material diameter of 500 mm. Depending on the requirements, MicroStep supplies three different versions of the pipe cutting devices in terms of workload (min/max pipe sizes, manual or automatic loading of pipes and unloading of the cut parts).
For easier operation and maintenance of the laser cutting system (besides the integration of the latest designs of cutting heads with automatic focus positioning and focus adjustment), additional standard functions have been integrated to increase the performance of the laser cutting machine: automatic sheet edge and sheet position detection via a capacitive sensor in the cutting head as well as automatic nozzle calibration and nozzle cleaning. In addition, a real-time camera is integrated into the nozzle calibration station for visual control of the laser nozzle condition.
The standard version of the laser cutting machines includes a shuttle table for fast and safe loading and unloading of flat materials; the laser cutting machines can optionally be extended with a smart and fully automated material handling system for sheets, pipes and profiles.
The laser cutting machines are suitable for cutting tasks that require high precision and high cutting speeds. At the same time, companies benefit from the low maintenance and operating costs thanks to the robust construction and durable machine components.
CNC laser in various industries
Thanks to their wide and flexible range of applications, laser cutting machines can be found in numerous industries that are generally dedicated to metalworking and cutting technology. However, CNC lasers are mainly used in industries where high precision, high efficiency and flexibility in material processing are important and where thinner material thicknesses are processed.
- Automotive industry: material processing in the high-tech segment as well as in mass production, prototype construction, airbag and composite parts cutting
- Precision engineering: manufacturing of small parts in the watch and jewellery industry
- Semiconductor industry: cutting and separating lead frames, cutting through copper wires, cutting SD cards
Overview of MicroStep's laser cutting systems
The MSF series
High speed and flexibility in 3D: the precise all-rounder MSF is a world novelty among laser cutting machines in terms of multifunctionality. No other laser system offers such a degree of vertical integration for sheet metal processing. Tubes and profiles can also be cut optionally.
- 2D cutting
- Bevel cutting
- Drilling, tapping, countersinking
- Pipe & profile processing
The MSF Compact series
The MSF Compact combines precise 2D laser cutting with compact design. It convinces above all by its small footprint with the usual high cutting quality of the laser cutting system. A manually retractable cutting table allows easy and uncomplicated loading and unloading of the laser machine.
- 2D cutting
The MSF Max series
The MSF Max is the giant among the laser cutting machines. Developed for processing large-format sheet metal for shipbuilding, it enables precise high-speed 3D processing of flat material. Thanks to the safety cabin that moves with the machine, a working area of up to 50 m length and 6 m width is available for the laser machine.
- 2D cutting
- Bevel cutting
- Drilling, tapping, countersinking