The choice of metal processing is shiny.
The sci-fi Star Wars made laser a household name.
But 22 years ago, the film\'s laser was still floating around in the fantasy field of the playground, and it was easy for the laser to pass through steel and stone.
Today they can be found in everyday items such as disc players and laser indicators.
On the floor of the store
Lasers are as common as chips and coolant.
\"This is no longer Star Wars technology,\" said Mike Oteng, president of precision profiles, a laser cutting processing workshop based in Hamilton, Ohio.
The company employs about 8 to 10 employees and is equipped with the Cincinnati company\'s 90-ton folding brake, MIG, TIG and field welders, and the Cincinnati company\'s CL6 2000W laser, mr. Oteng called it the backbone of the company.
Mr Otten, one of the smaller shop owners, found that laser machine
s were a viable, often economical choice for metal processing, although Mr Otten was no stranger to lasers
He started his career as an engineer working in the manufacturing, quality control and aerospace industries.
Prior to launching the Precision Profile, Mr. Otten was a sales representative for laser professionals at Cincinnati, Ohio.
\"The laser is changing the sheet metal manufacturing industry completely,\" he said . \"
The fast-growing laser has always been a fast-moving technology, similar in some ways to the computer industry, says Brian Jarvis, national production manager/laser division at Akron Strippit/LVD, NY.
\"While lasers have not changed much so far in the main design, their efficiency and power have changed.
Laser power, mainly for welding and surface treatment, has now been used for new purposes in cutting.
\"The greater power seems to mean that cutting thicker plates will grow exponentially, but that\'s not necessarily true.
Although thicker materials are processed, material quality factors in soft steel and consistent high-pressure nitrogen delivery systems still frequently suppress the maximum practical potential of the laser.
In addition to the larger capacity, higher power lasers also bring a higher processing speed.
Mr. Jarvis said: \"For example,\" mild steel plates that process about 40 to 50 ipm with a 3 KW laser can now be processed between 70 to 80 ipm with 6 KW clean oxide-free stainless steel and aluminum.
However, while the overall operating and maintenance costs will not increase significantly for higher power equipment, the initial capital investment usually does that.
Potential users should conduct a thorough analysis of their respective needs when considering higher power.
Mr Otten continued: \"Science fiction and fact laser has been in the sheet metal industry for about 15 years, and the first industrial sheet cutting laser machine was a dinosaur.
The first is an improved turret punch with a laser cavity installed on it.
The first machine is not very accurate or reliable.
About seven years ago, the power range of the laser was 1 KW to 1. 5kW.
This reputation makes it difficult for laser machines to sell.
Mr. Oteng encountered many myths when he came into contact with potential customers.
Many people imagine that the operation cost is very high and the technology is too complicated. The radiation of the machine causes potential safety hazards and the process is too expensive.
All of this is untrue, Mr. Otten said.
For Precision Profile, the operating cost of its machines is about $12 and $15 per hour.
Most suppliers have access to the gas used to generate the laser at any time, and the application and operator can vary regardless of whether the lens lasts for a year or a few minutes.
The technology behind ordinary CNC lasers is quite simple.
In fact, the laser is a device to produce, amplify, and guide narrow and strong coherent light.
Atoms or molecules of crystals, gases, liquids, or other substances are excited to improve their energy levels until they are strong enough to perform the required tasks.
Jarvis said: \"In contrast, the laser power of four to five years ago is usually between 2 KW and 3 KW, and now between 3 KW and 4 KW. Today\'s market is 6 KW.
\"Another common myth is that laser is laser.
Mr. Jarvis said: \"It is certainly not true, and while most people do produce parts, the cost of producing parts may vary greatly between lasers, the same is true for laser maintenance and long-term stability.
RF and DC have always been a common argument for sales engineers and often lead to more confusion or misleading for customers.
\"While there are other types of laser excitation, these two types are the most common and there are several differences between the two.
Mr. Jarvis said that both have their own advantages and disadvantages in specific applications and environments.
\"Similarly, the education of customers and sales engineers is critical to making the right choices.
Never expect company A to make the right decision for your business.
\"But the biggest myth Mr Oteng has ever encountered is that it\'s too expensive to make things using laser machines.
\"Some people don\'t need the accuracy or clean edges that the laser provides.
But for some parts, the laser provides the most economical way . \"
\"People are being educated about the advantages of lasers.
They saw evidence in the pudding.