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AMF’s Tube Laser Changes Everyday Job Shop Work

Jan
Industry Related January 23, 2020

A day in the life of AMF’s amazing job shop fabrication includes this complex stainless-steel test chamber which will be shipping to Seattle, Washington where our customer will be doing small explosion tests inside of it.

The test stand was fabricated with an intricate skeleton of 2” x 4” x .25” stainless steel rectangular tube (some visible in the picture) welded and assembled inside the .25” stainless steel skin on the exterior of the stand. The tube fabrication is nearly hidden from the customer but an important part of the assembly because it provides the structural strength to withstand the explosion tests performed inside the enclosure.

This is a typical job for AMF and makes great use of our Tube Laser technology because of several factors as follows:

1) Saw cutting 2” x 4” x .25” stainless steel rectangular tubing is a very slow process for any saw. It is also an inaccurate, sloppy process when it comes to tube manufacturing. The saw cut will create an enormous burr and likely not be very square.

Slow saw cutting is one factor but deburring and dealing with out-of-square cuts creates more manufacturing waste downstream during the welding and assembly processes.

Tube laser cutting, on the other hand, generates very square and accurate cuts with almost no burr. Those factors alone will speed up the welding process by as much as 30%!

2) Many of the tube sections in this assembly also require small holes to allow pneumatic and electric lines to chase through the inside of the tube.

Those holes were cut on the tube laser, avoiding the incredibly slow and inaccurate process of hand marking and drilling the parts. Drilling a 1.0” diameter hole through .25” thick stainless-steel tube wall could, depending on a company’s equipment, take as long as 15 minutes per hole.

Cutting that same hole on the tube laser took 30 seconds—that is over 15 times faster and, again, the hole is perfectly placed which eliminates quality hassles and waste downstream.

3) Tube section are cut and etched by the tube laser so the welding team downstream knows where each piece fits, eliminating hand measuring and old school fit-up techniques prevalent in any weld assembly fit-up process.

In this example, AMF’s tube laser actually etched the rectangle-shaped line so the welder could set his tube right on the mark. This is, again, a good real-world example of every day work that people may not understand (unless you are in the business).

Fit-up is tedious work and suspect to quality errors—with the tube laser these problems nearly vanish.

Ultimately, the customer in this example has no idea that AMF is using a tube laser to make their project a giant success. In all honestly, they probably don’t care but what they do love is that their test stands look and function perfectly; they do care that it delivered on time, and they do care that our price was very competitive!

So while they may not know our manufacturing processes, sheet metal process and tube fabrication processes, they do know how happy they feel when this test stand delivers!

Manufacturing tube or sheet metal takes both craftsmanship and technology—we give it our all to have both.

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