Accurate metal cutting requires both high precision equipment and skillful operators who understand efficiency. The best scenario is to use an experienced technician who is equipped with modern machinery that is designed for both accuracy and speed. Here are some of the ways metal cutting is done to be as efficient as possible.
The reason why laser cutting is favored by metal fabrication shops is that it has multiple purposes and can cut metal into any shape, providing great flexibility. The technology is based on a beam of light concentrated on an area to create intense heat that can cut through and remove metal. The laser cutter is useful for high volume projects since it’s capable of automating multiple cuts per minute.
A waterjet cutting machine uses a high pressure water stream and garnet (sand) driven by pumps strong enough to cut metal up to 8 inches thick. The narrow injection of water is useful for metals that are sensitive to extreme heat. The aerospace industry sometimes prefers waterjet to laser because no heat effected zones can be achieved.
CNC Milling Machine
The CNC milling machine has existed since the early sixties when computer numerical control (CNC) technology began to surface. CNC machines have evolved to become multitasking machines (MTMs) that can handle various tasks based on the programming.
CNC milling machines include rotating platforms that allow for easy cutting and are commonly used by fabricators to make metal tools. One of the main reasons for using a CNC machine is to cut unique angles or shapes on metal. These machines are further defined by the number of axes they provide. The more axes added, the wider range of tasks the machine can perform. Serra Laser is equipped with a 3 axis Mitsubishi vertical mill. This machine has a 24 station tool changer to speed up the manufacturing process.
Plasma cutters are driven by a flammable gas that is pushed through a torch to create a flame hot enough to melt and cut through metal. Plasma machines are useful when high precision is a top priority. Edge quality is not as good as laser or waterjet cutting. Thicker metals where edge quality is not a concern can save the customer a lot of money.
Cutting metal properly comes down to meeting the goals of your specific project, making it a unique concern for each project. Ultimately, modern metal cutting machines are the solution for work that calls for a reliable high output solution. Contact us here at Serra Laser to learn more about the best options for your cutting needs.