Advanced metal processing technologies company SET Enterprises (Sterling Heights, MI) recently ordered a Schuler (Canton, MI) laser blanking line for its facility in Chicago. The new line will be the first high-output system of its kind used in North America.
SET Enterprises, which supplies blanks and slit multiples to the domestic automotive industry, has customers that include several major automotive OEMs, Tier 1 stampers, and large automotive producing sheet mills. In addition to its Chicago facility, the company is ideally positioned for direct customer access with steel processing and service locations in New Boston, MI; Jackson, AL; and North Vernon, IN.
Beginning in 2019, SET Enterprises will use the Schuler laser blanking line, which has combined laser power of 12 kW, to produce blanks for exposed and unexposed automotive stampings. The automotive supplier chose the system because of its demonstrated high output capability and flexibility offered by its DynamicFlow Technology. This features three laser heads with the ability to simultaneously cut blank shapes of all types with straight line cutting speeds of over 100 m/min from a coil-fed, continuously forward-moving strip of coiled metal, itself traveling at speeds up to 60 m/min. This high output feeding and cutting capability makes conventional blanking dies unnecessary and, as a result, allows for optimization of blank shape and nesting optimization to achieve improved blanking yield and support formability.
Installation of the line will begin in summer 2018, with the operational handoff scheduled for spring 2019. With this equipment in place, a total of five Schuler laser blanking lines with three lasers will be in operation, producing class A blanks for the European and U.S. automotive industry.