Laser Cutting Speeds and Feeds

What are some early warning signs that maintenance may soon be required?

A noticeable reduction in cutting speed, feed rate or edge cut quality is a clear indicator that something isn’t right.  Other warning signs include a more frequent need to realign the nozzle or if the nozzle is hot to the touch.  Likewise departures from factory tech tables with regard to power, frequency, duty, gas pressure, and so on are also red flags.

Lasers, be they fiber or CO2, are only making money when they are operating at peak performance. It’s, therefore, important to closely follow maintenance protocol. Follow optics cleaning procedures closely and regularly, track your productivity and machine downtime and ask to see the machine alarm history to help identify and address recurring problems. Understand and plan for secondary operation bottlenecks that may put a strain on schedules and machinery. Remember to keep machine programming software current, minimize part tip-ups and follow OEM recommended maintenance schedules. It’s true what they say about an ounce of prevention: Take the time to create and follow a daily and monthly maintenance checklist; and find laser operators who understand the importance of this and who are interested in taking ownership of the machines they run.

Contributed by:

Patrick Medlin
Advanced Technology Sales & Service
1130 Tarrant Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409
Tel: 336-393-0030


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