Robotic Laser Cutting Systems
Buying a quality custom automated laser cutting system for a production process is a challenge. Especially when a part has been made using traditional manufacturing methods for a number of years, it is hard to see the value in switching to new manufacturing processes like a robotic laser cutting system. Because Stryver has many years of experience implementing a wide variety of manufacturing methods, we are a great resource to use to assist you with automating your cutting process with a fiber or CO2 laser.
Robotic laser cutting has some unique advantages over other cutting methods. Laser cuts with a robot arm can be made more precisely than other cutting methods. This allows your parts to be held to a tighter cut tolerance and improves your part quality. Modifying or changing a laser cutting sequence is also easy to do because only software changes are required to modify a cut path. With robotic laser cutting, there is no reason to change the tooling or add a new cutting machine if the cut size changes, reducing your costs over the length of your production program.
Picking a type of robotic laser cutting system can be particularly difficult, especially if you are a novice to robotic laser cutting systems. There are a ton of options, a wide variety of manufacturers, and a lot of time invested in completing part trials to ensure the cutting process will complete the job as desired. Below is a quick guide for common laser cutting processes:
- Robotic CO2 Laser Cutting uses an electrically charged flow of a gaseous mix to cut materials in its path. The gas mix can be DC-current charged or Radio Frequency charged. Robotic CO2 Laser Cutting Systems are great for cutting non-reflective materials such as steel, wood, and plastic. These systems also struggle with cutting reflective materials and have a larger kerf than Fiber lasers, making it a less precise cutting method. In general, CO2 laser cutting is a less expensive option to use in a robotic laser cutting system. Robotic YAG Laser Cutting works similarly, but the CO2 gas is swapped for an Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet mixture.
- Robotic Fiber Laser Cutting uses a solid-state laser generally created by a bank of diodes. This beam is then amplified within a glass fiber, similar to how a fiber optic cable transfers data. A lens then focuses this light into a laser to use for cutting. Robotic fiber laser cutting is more energy efficient than Robotic CO2 laser cutting. Fiber laser systems also have fewer consumable parts, have few limits to what materials can be cut, and cut more quickly than CO2 laser systems. Fiber lasers are not as good at cutting thicker materials as CO2 lasers. Robotic fiber laser systems are typically more expensive to purchase initially than robotic CO2 laser systems but have fewer costs over their production lifecycle.