Industrial laser cutting machines are used for a variety of materials in the material processing and manufacturing industry. A laser cutting machine can cut or machine plastic, wood, composite material, fabric, and metals.
The selection of the type of machine is made according to the type of material, the thickness of the material, and the thickness of the cut.
Some materials cannot be processed for cutting and machining under a laser cutting machine. A few of the common materials are acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), PVC, fibreglass, coated carbon fibre, polystyrene foam, polypropylene foam, and polycarbonate.
All these materials have associated problems when machined or cut with a laser cutter. Some emit flames, a few catch fire and others can emit fumes and unwanted gasses/particles.
The cost of a laser cutting machine varies according to the cutting technology it uses. The cost of a laser cutting machine can vary between $45,000 and $145,000.
Furthermore, remote laser cutting machines are costlier compared to fusion laser cutting and flame laser cutting machines as they can provide a cut with substantially lower tolerances.
Numerous factors can affect the accuracy of laser cutting machines. The power and speed of a laser cutting machine greatly affect the quality of the laser cut. The high speed of the laser cutting machine can result in an incomplete cut whereas high power can result in the formation of burrs and edge deformation or melting.
The accuracy of laser transmission components and the shape of the beam emitted by the transmission systems play a key role in the accuracy of a laser cutting machine. If the beam of the laser cutting machine is cone-shaped, it will cut cone-shaped. Therefore, materials with high thicknesses are not accurately cut with the cone-shaped beam.
The amount of power a laser cutting machine consumes usually varies with its type, size and the type of metal which is being cut. A laser cutter that cuts metals uses more energy than a laser cutter that cuts plastics.
A CO2 laser cutter consumes 50 KWh of energy per month if used at a rate of two hours per day. Remote laser cutting consumes the most energy as it does not employ any other material such as nitrogen, argon, or oxygen.
Most popular Laser Cutter suppliers and brands on IndustrySearch are Applied Machinery, HACO Australia, Ron Mack Machinery Australia Pty Ltd, Delahenty Machinery, Plasquip Sales and Smart Manufacturing & Packaging Solutions, Trotec Laser, Punchtech Australia, Impact Machinery, Koenig Machinery.