VIDEO: Advancing Fiber Laser Cutting with “Zoom” Head Technology
James Anderton posted on November 18, 2015 |
Introducing the 6 kW eX-F laser cutting machine.

While fiber laser cutting technology is slowly encroaching on CO2 cutting territory, CO2 is still the laser of choice for fixed section and difficult materials.

Mitsubishi Electric’s popular CO2 laser, the eX, now has a 6 kW fiber version called the eX-F, which uses an IPG fiber resonator and a unique “Zoom” head. This head can change focal length and beam diameter automatically to adapt to changing laser cutting conditions.

ENGINEERING.com had the chance to speak with David Kloos, laser field application manager at MC Machinery about the details. Interview highlights are documented in the video above and the Q&A below.

James Anderton (JA): Everyone wants to sell their products on power, but there’s a lot more to laser cutting than just power, isn’t there?

David Kloos (DK): It’s all about the head design. Everyone’s got power, but how are you going to get the best value or bang for your buck? So we developed our new zoom head, [the 6 kW eX-F] with which we can control the size of the beam and focus input. This head can do 3.75 focal ends up to ten inches. We cut up to an inch at CO2 feed rates with nice edge quality and quick piercing. We’re getting the best for every world with thin, medium and thick.

JA: Is it controlled through the same machine control?

DK: Yes, the same machine control, it’s just a more advanced design in the head system.

JA: What applications do you anticipate for this technology?

DK: We’re hoping anyone using CO2 lasers that have been kind of teetering on the jump to fiber will be interested.

Fibre has been predominantly all thin cutting. Right now, we have a chance to say we can do thick cutting and we’re getting the same cut quality. We’re piercing faster. Users can get high feed rates cutting thin materials as well as mild steel nitrogen cutting. We have higher feed rates [compared to the competition] and we’re taking away a second operation for dressing the oxidized edge for painting and welding. That’s the stuff our customers are looking for.

JA: If you’re faced with a highly polished stainless or aluminum thin sheet to cut, how would you approach it?

DK: With our technology, we’d be able to just cut up the material thickness and hit start.

To learn more about MC Machinery’s latest technology, visit their website here.

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