Industrial laser cutting and trimming for stamped metal parts is a technology that has been in use for over three decades. In its infancy, laser cutting was limited to simply 3 dimensional surfaces, and cutting speeds were quite slow. But continual advances in laser technology have transformed the laser cutting process and contract laser cutting industry in a remarkable manner.
Reduced lead times, greater product design flexibility and lower tooling costs are just some of the advantages of CNC laser cutting in metal component manufacturing. Contact ATACO with questions or request a quote to get your project started:
Industrial laser cutters use a laser beam to vaporize metal material resulting in a finished edge. A computer numerical control (CNC) directs the laser beam so it cuts the programmed pattern onto the workpiece.
With the evolution of the technology, contract laser cutting services providers are now able to purchase equipment capable of cutting thin gauge materials at speeds of 1600 inches per minute. Laser power has increased as well and allows for cutting materials that exceed thicknesses of ¼ inch for most materials.
ATACO’s multiple 5-axis CNC laser cutting systems are capable of cutting most metals and alloys, including:
…as well as many other ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
In addition to 5-axis CNC laser cutters we also have 2D CNC laser cutters which are ideal for flat components.
Applications that are best suited to 5-axis laser cutting equipment are products with complex 3-dimensional shapes. These parts, which are usually deep drawn stampings often require both external and internal trimming and cutting.
The cutting of complex shapes was often difficult to execute with older machines or sometimes had to be done manually. CNC laser cutting not only saves time but can significantly improve quality.
There are quite a number of benefits to 5-axis laser cutting, all of which are evolving as laser technology has improved. One of the most notable is significantly higher laser cutting speeds.
Another is a reduction in tooling costs as hard tooling can be very costly and becomes almost prohibitive for low unit production. In more instances, we are seeing a hybrid approach where 5-axis CNC laser cutting equipment is combined with minimal hard tooled stamping operations to achieve a cost effective result.
A significant benefit of CNC laser cutting is production flexibility. Parts with dimensions that reach up to 45″W X 140″L X 40″H can be accommodated in certain CNC laser cutting systems. Production quantities can range from a single part to runs of 10,000 pieces and more.
Time to market is often important too. Laser cutting not only eliminates hard tooling costs, it also reduces long lead times since less tooling is required.
Finally, CNC laser cutting can often make it possible to replace multiple parts with a single more complex part, eliminating the need for multiple operations. This technology provides more flexibility in product design and reduces capital expenditures, all while reducing time to market.
Located in Cedarburg (near Milwaukee), ATACO Steel provides CNC laser cutting services to clients throughout Wisconsin and nationwide. Our ongoing commitment to technical advancement through strategic equipment investment means we’re able to deliver consistent quality metal parts with quick turnaround and competitive pricing.