Sliver of light IV: From plasma to laser cutting

Jan. 16, 2009
A decline in demand for plasma cut profiles and an increase in demand for laser cut profiles encouraged PP Plasma to invest in a laser cutting system

PP Plasma (Salford, UK), established in 1989, offers laser, plasma, and waterjet contracting. A decline in demand for plasma cut profiles and an increase in demand for laser cut profiles encouraged the company to make a 2008 investment in its first laser cutting system: a Bystronic Bystar. This further caused the company to develop an aerospace division that features argon assist laser cutting of metals such as titanium. The company found that when cutting certain grades of titanium with argon less post-cut machining was required.

Richard Mazurkiewicz (PP Plasma marketing) says, "As our company name suggests we began as a plasma cutting sub-contractor. However as advances have been made in laser cutting over the years we have moved with the times to ensure we can offer our customers the very best products and services. The original purchase of our initial 6kW laser has now driven an increase in demand for laser cut metals." Regarding the use of argon he states, "The greatest advantage has been the results achieved, which has enabled us to become a major supplier to the aerospace industry."

"To satisfy the demand created by our client base, we have purchased an additional 6kW laser to reduce lead times and increase our capabilities," he says. "We have found that many clients are opting for laser cut parts opposed to plasma cut parts, which previously formed an integral part of our product portfolio." As a result PP Plasma invested in a second Bystronic Bystar just nine months after the installation of the first unit.

The introduction of laser cutting facilities has enabled P.P. Plasma to diversify into existing markets and start to target new clients that would otherwise be inaccessible. And the company is now in the process of having argon installed along side liquid nitrogen to satisfy requirements of a certain aerospace organization.

P.P. Plasma houses the following machinery:
--Two 6kW Bystronic laser cutting facilities with 6500mm x 2500mm & 4000mm x 2000mm bed sizes.
--One 2-headed Kerf waterjet cutting facility with 4000mm x 2000mm bed size.
--One ESAB plasma cutting facility with 9000mm x 4000mm bed size.

The company has also expanded its product portfolio to offer additional services such as plate rolling, press braking, punching, and shearing. With this added investment it is able to roll cylinders and cones with the initial pinch method, eliminating excess material.

Contact Richard Mazurkiewicz at ([email protected]).

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