Automated hybrid laser processing machine
- April 25, 2019
TRUMPF has introduced the TruLaser Center 7030 fully automated laser processing machine.
Automated and synchronous processes range from programming to sorted and stacked finished parts. The machine works with a hybrid drive system to eliminate obstacles to laser cutting process, including interruptions due to collisions involving tilted parts, refinishing work on microjoints, spatter on the undersides of components and excessive programming work.
The TruLaser Center 7030 moves sheet and cutting head simultaneously, and the slats have been replaced by brush tables. The machine, which is almost entirely automatic, ejects small parts safely and sorts them into eight containers, disposes of dust and slag, sorts and stacks larger parts during processing, loads itself with blank sheets and stacks scrap skeletons.
The TruLaser Center 7030 works with a six kilowatt TruDisk solid state laser. When it comes to cutting productivity, the machine operates on par with high end machines equipped with flying optics, even though the sheet, with its relatively high mass, is moved precisely over the brush table in the Y direction. This was made possible in two ways. First, the sheet – a maximum of 60 in. by 120 in. (1524 by 3048 mm) – is moved across the short side. Second, the cutting optic, which moves mainly in the X direction, has an additional axis in the Y direction which travels about 2 inches (51 mm). With smaller contours, only small masses need to be accelerated, enabling high dynamics.
On this hybrid machine, the support table for the sheet must be divided beneath the path taken by the cutting head. This creates a gap where the laser beam can escape downwards, but through which slag, slugs and cutting gas is also extracted. To prevent any sheet contours from getting caught there as well as enabling a more efficient exhaust system, developers invented the SmartGate: two gates which move simultaneously below the material, in sync with the cutting unit.
They can also change their distance from each other to create different sized gaps. This results in two major benefits; the sheet is securely supported during the cutting process, and small parts measuring up to 6 in. by 6 in. (152.4 by 152.4 mm) can be ejected and sorted downward in eight separate user specified bins.
To ensure maximum process reliability, an ejector cylinder has been attached to the cutting unit that presses the sheet metal parts downward into the Smart Gate. The programming system, TruTops Boost, automatically calculates the ideal ejector cylinder contact point to suit the respective part contour. Since the Smart Gate slides below to form a counter-support under the sheet, the workpiece cannot tilt or tip. Scrap and slag fall directly into the scrap cart or are transported out of the machine on a conveyor belt. The finished parts are intercepted by a retractable sorting flap, and the SortMaster Box Linear distributes them into a maximum of eight containers.
For the automatic removal of the large parts from the scrap skeleton, TRUMPF developed SmartLift and SortMaster Speed, which represents an intelligent, new, reliable process solution. With one stroke on the SmartLift, the laser cut parts are lifted from the scrap skeleton via a total of 180 freely positioning pins located under the sheet. Each individual pin can lift up to 22 pounds, making the process more powerful than suction solutions. At the same time, the SortMaster Speed secures the part from above with its suction plates, ensuring precise linear guidance during lifting. As a result, any risk of parts tilting into the kerf can be safely ruled out. The two telescopic arms on the SortMaster Speed are each equipped with three suction plates and can sort and stack parts onto a maximum unloading area of 5 ft. by 15 ft. (1.52 by 4.57 m).
The machine has three powered drawer-type carts, which can be extended as far as the aisle. Pallets with stacks of blank sheets up to 5 in. (127 mm) in height, and weighing a maximum of 3 tons, can be placed onto the middle cart from the aisle by, say, forklift trucks. Similarly, there is a cart for scrap skeleton stacks up to 10 in. (254 mm) in height which transports pallets from the machine. Separating, lifting and insertion of the blank sheets into the clamping unit takes place automatically, parallel to unloading of the scrap skeleton.
The TruLaser Center 7030 works autonomously over long periods without operator intervention and is also equipped with all the necessary interfaces and functions. This makes it an ideal machine for Industry 4.0, and TRUMPF TruConnect solutions. The Dot Matrix Code supports connection to various processing technologies and creates transparency during part tracking.
The TruLaser Center 7030 is designed for sheet metal fabricators from all sectors who cut sheets from .04 in. to 1/2 in. (1.02 to 12.7 mm) thick at high capacity. Two shift operation yields processing costs of as much as 30 per cent lower compared to standard automated machines with solid state lasers.