Fiber optic laser cutting system

May 4, 2009
With only one mirror, no gas consumables, no turbine, no glass tubes and no moving parts, the L1Xe is a model of simplicity and efficiency.

The L1Xe from Salvagnini (Hamilton, OH) is a totally new kind of laser cutter for sheet metal fabrication. With only one mirror, no gas consumables, no turbine, no glass tubes and no moving parts, the L1Xe is a model of simplicity and efficiency. All made possible by the latest in fiber optic technology from IPG Photonics.

By eliminating many of the restrictive variables, this fiber optic laser cutter is economical to own, energy efficient, and ecologically responsible.

The nature of a fiber optic resonator is such that it requires 50% less energy to achieve the same level of performance as a CO2 laser. What's more, the L1Xe's cooling circuit is only about one-third the size of those required by CO2 lasers, further reducing energy consumption.

Because the laser beam is carried along an optical fiber, there's no need for a series of perfectly aligned mirrors to direct light from the source, nor are there any restrictions on the optical path, or on the position of the source. That means no alignment problems and minimal maintenance costs. And because there are no gas consumables and no moving parts, maintenance requirements are even further reduced.

Because modern manufacturing is all about time, Salvagnini made sure that the L1Xe was built for speed. Fiber optic laser technology harnesses light with a wavelength one-tenth that of a CO2 laser, yielding a high beam density and improved focus on thicknesses below 3mm that permits high-speed laser cutting.

In addition to the benefits of fiber optic laser cutting, the L1Xe is equipped with a lens crack sensor on the focusing head to lower cycle times and reduce instances of unplanned downtime.

The L1Xe was designed around the process of production. The L1Xe can operate as a standalone laser cutter, or as in integrated production cell with ASRS, sheet loaders and the MCL Cartesian sorter.

Salvagnini's newest generation laser Tradjust software is incorporated into the proprietary Salvagnini SiX controller to effortlessly consider the requirements of any application in generating the most efficient axis trajectories. In essence, Salvagnini builds the craftsmanship into its processing software, reducing the demands on the operator.

The L1Xe is characterized by an uncluttered machine architecture made possible by the absence of the optical path restrictions that characterize CO2 lasers. The L1Xe provides easy access to the workpiece owing to a simplified design facilitated by the use of fiber optics.

The L1Xe is tailor-made for shops where space is at a premium. With the decreased number component parts required by fiber optic technology, Salvagnini was able to design the L1Xe to a smaller footprint, aided by a more compact resonator and chiller. In addition, the L1Xe features an efficient, space-saving pallet changeover unit, in keeping with the machine's compact design parameters.

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