As a wear-free cutting tool, lasers have quickly earned their place in industrial manufacturing. In conjunction with a scan system, they also offer compelling advantages such as high flexibility in shaping cutter contours, low setup costs and high process speeds (and hence shorter process times). Unlike traditional mechanical cutting methods, laser cutters can also process a wide range of materials – from films and paper all the way to glass and metals.
CO2 cutting processes:
Paper, cardboard and wood
Cutting applications are mainly characterized by large fields, small spots, high throughput and on-the-fly processing. With label cutting (kiss cuts), contours are only cut into the upper material layer, without damaging underlying layers. The key requirements for package manufacturing (cartons) are design flexibility and high contour-precision to ensure mechanical functionality, followed by rapid processing of large quantities. In the manufacture of grinding discs, one major contactless-cutting advantage is that the cutting tool is wear-free.
Technical textiles, fabrics and leather
Optimal flexibility means waste minimization, free-form cutting and cost-effective manufacturing even with the smallest production runs.
Plastics & films
Advantages of laser-cutting plastics and films include freedom from securing materials (because the process is force-free), and clean cuts that don't require post processing. Of course fast, precise and cost-efficient are further success factors.
The following scan systems are particularly suitable:
YAG cutting processes:
Glass and ceramics
With clean cut edges, high precision and freedom from wear, no wonder scan systems are so widely used to cut glass and ceramics. In conjunction with USP lasers, effectively simultaneous processing is possible, whereby defined contours are traversed rapidly, repeatedly and with high repeat accuracy (and without thermally impacting the material). Micro-cutting is typically applied to hardened glass, diamond, sapphire glass (corundum), gorilla glass or ceramics.
For micro-cutting of metal, too, lasers become superior cutting tools when combined with scan systems. For instance, the low distortion of the process allows fabrication of ultra-fine parts such as time-piece pointers and gears.
The following scan systems are particularly suitable for YAG cutting processes: