Shining a Light on Cutting TechnologyThu, 09/01/2016 - 11:52
Fire and Water. The two major elements have an integral place in the automotive process and companies like BINZEL, OEM Lasers and Laser Systems and Aqua Machinery are among the innovators that are putting those elements to work. BINZEL is a leading welding company with more than 30 subsidiaries worldwide, TRUMPF is a top global supplier of industrial lasers and Aqua Machinery paces the international market for water cutting techniques.
The three share a common experience embracing the unrelenting advances of technology and the challenges of implementing the latest innovations in a highly demanding industry. Here, they discuss their views on the impact new technologies have had on their sectors, the latest innovations being made with laser and water technology and the products that have resulted from these advances.
HL: We specialize in high-performance welding torches. The automotive industry is dabbling with the use of lighter and thinner materials, which require the use of hybrid welding techniques. Laser technology allowed us to improve our welding procedures to the point at which we can now perform remote laser functions. This process allows the laser to be up to 50cm away from the piece and still perform an excellent welding job. These procedures are the result of new materials so we must always consult our customers’ engineering departments to ensure the desired outcome is achievable. The welding industry has particularly benefitted from this evolution but the fuel efficiency of vehicles has also been positively impacted.
MN: At TRUMPF, analyzing industry trends and technological innovation in the sector has been fundamental. We try to stay one step ahead of industry requirements. When hot stamping was implemented in OEMs we only had versatile laser-cutting products. In response, we developed the TruLaser Cell 8030. We optimized our multi-axis laser-processing machine by adjusting the product to make it faster and easier to maintain. All laser processes in the industry have advantages depending on the industry’s requirements. Laser procedures are fast, precise and machinery suffers no tool wear since they have no physical contact with the material. But laser cutting is not needed for every process. Here at TRUMPF we help our clients evaluate which is their most appropriate option to fulfill their machining needs.
MT: The versatility of our machinery allows users to cut mechanical seals, fabrics, insulating materials, rubber, steel, glass, plastics and titanium with a precision up to 0.001 inches. Our water jetting machines can cut a thickness of 12 inches, which reduces time and production costs. Its software will even automatically calculate the optimal number of sheets it can stack and cut simultaneously. The main advantage of our machinery is cold-cutting. Hot cutting can alter the material’s mechanical properties, changing the customer’s specification and making a refinishing procedure unavoidable after machining the component. However, cold cutting maintains the materials’ properties, allowing for quicker, more efficient and cheaper processes. The software we use is unparalleled, user friendly and it is free of charge for customers.