FABTECH REPORT: TRUMPF Inc. introduces laser blanking system for flexible, high-volume cutting

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A robot sorts the cut components from TRUMPF's laser blanking system. PHOTO courtesy TRUMPF.

At FABTECH 2023, TRUMPF showcased the TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition, a new laser blanking solution that’s now available in the North American market.

The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition can process up to 25 tons of coiled sheet metal from start to finish without any human intervention. It is an attractive option for companies interested in flexible, high-volume solutions for sheet metal fabrication, including automotive suppliers and automakers, electrical cabinet manufacturers, elevator producers, and HVAC manufacturers.

“The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition will help customers with high volumes of medium to large parts to improve material utilization and produce more flexibly,” says TRUMPF Inc. Executive Vice President Burke Doar. “This system is another solution from TRUMPF that enables North American customers to boost efficiency and manufacture more sustainably. Compared to conventional laser cutting, this system allows companies with high volume manufacturing to save up to 1,700 tons of steel a year, which reduces carbon emissions as well as material costs.”

Impressive flexibility extends to volume production

TRUMPF’s new laser blanking system helps companies enjoy the benefits of laser processing even in high-volume production environments.

“Volume manufacturers often use die presses for blanking operations, but that means any modification to their components requires adjusting or even replacing tools, which ultimately costs time and money,” adds Doar. “Today, many industries are seeing significant reductions in the scale of individual production runs, which makes modifications even more costly and time intensive. The laser allows users to carry out such modifications without requiring a new tool, so it’s much easier, faster, cheaper and more flexibly.”

The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition has already been implemented by customers in Europe. In one example, TRUMPF’s laser blanking system is used to produce high-strength aluminum structural components for vehicle-body manufacturing. Early adopters of the technology have noted production benefits thanks to the laser blanking system’s high flexibility and quality. They also highlight that the system requires fewer tools than conventional blanking presses.

Dynamic nesting results in material savings

Coil production enables users to achieve more efficient nesting of parts. Conventional sheets are limited by their four outer edges, which often makes it difficult for production workers to make full use of the entire sheet. Unused sections of the sheet either must be discarded as scrap or melted down. A coil solves this problem by allowing users to nest an almost endless number of parts on the sheet, which reduces material consumption by around 15 percent. Compared to conventional blanking presses, the new system also heralds a significant reduction in construction and logistics costs. The TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition makes production more profitable by eliminating tooling costs, optimizing material use, reducing assembly costs, and boosting flexibility in the production environment.

Compared to conventional 2D laser machines, material flow is different and leads to lower cycle times and new automation opportunities in high-volume production series. The system is designed for thin sheet processing, can handle sheet thicknesses of up to 0.25 inches, and can be flexibly adapted to any contours.

Automated laser cutting ensures cycle times

The production system is fully automated. An innovative system for transporting sheet metal during cutting keeps the material moving quickly through the whole process, with impressive gains in productivity. The new system also incorporates a TruLaser 3040 with TruDisk 8001 and uses many of the tried-and-tested features for which TRUMPF is renowned. These features include Smart Collision Prevention, which prevents cut parts from tilting and damaging the laser cutting head. The system includes technologies such as EdgeLine Bevel to enable chamfering, and Smart Rerun to save uptime while cutting with reentry techniques.

At the heart of this new system designed for laser processing in high-volume production environments is a proven TruLaser cutting machine. PHOTO courtesy TRUMPF.

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