Getting your Engineering Mind Wrapped Around Tube Laser Parts
One in a while, when we see something anew, we can have an aha moment—a paradigm shift of sorts.
These creatively engineered parts are all part of a fixture assembly that a clever engineer designed once he understood what kind of cutting a tube laser could do!
All of these would have been machined parts and expensive—now they are tube laser cut, even the channel, and done with relative ease.
Tube Laser allows for parts to have slots, miters, complex angles, etc. and all done at one work station with the fast cutting people have learned to appreciate from laser technology.
Contact us today and learn more!
Tube Laser vs Bundle Cut Sawing
Tube lasers, obviously, are limited to cutting one stick of tube (or angle or channel) at a time.
How does that stack up to saw cutting bundles of tube when comparing labor time?
The answer may be surprising.
Bundle cutting is very efficient, but it has draw backs. Here are a few the bundle cutting advocates should consider:
1) The time it takes to ‘assemble’ the bundle.
2) The time and expense that is encountered when bundle pieces disassemble or flay about causing the saw blade to break.
3) The time it takes to deal with pieces that are not cut exactly right because the bundle isn’t cooperating perfectly.
4) The time it takes to deburr all the parts (normally left with a rough burr).
5) Here is a big, big one that most people forget or fail to recognize…the time it takes to manage downstream fit and weld issues because the parts are not cut squarely or are out of tolerance.
Tube Laser technology has come a long way. We are not talking about a flat laser, meant to cut sheet metal, that has a tube cutting add on. We are talking about a dedicated sixty foot machine that is cycling through 20’ lengths of material in automated fashion.
If the tube is square and the parts have no holes, miters or angle cuts, bundle cutting may still win, particularly if there are very large quantities.
However, if you had any kind of miter or angle cut, or any kind of hole or slot, tube laser technology will prove significantly faster.
Here is why:
1) Tube Lasers eliminate the huge amounts of time consumed in multiple setups needed to saw, deburr, cope, fixture, drill.
2) Tube Lasers eliminate huge amounts of waste in material movement (from work center to work center).
3) Tube Lasers eliminate waste of space as piles of batch and queue parts can be removed from the shop floor.
4) Tube Lasers vastly improve the fit and weld time down stream because the parts are perfectly cut, +/- .01, which keeps fitters from struggling with alignment and welders from filling gaps (and fighting all the warping that comes from excess welding). This is a huge benefit!
Even more, parts can be laser cut to fit into each other with tabs and slots making it virtually impossible for down stream quality errors.
Even more, parts can be cut with etching, tabs and slots that make fixtures unnecessary.
Bundle cutting may still have a car in the race but only on the rare exception. The first notion of anything beside square cuts and the Tube Laser will easily win the race.
Call us or email for more information—the costs savings are real!
Explanation of What 5-Axis Means for Tube Laser
5-Axis Tube Lasers sound pretty cool but what does that actually mean?
Pictures well help explain—hopefully a few sentences will help as well.
Axis #1: Material is moved from Left to Right (or Right to Left) along the horizon, as it were, of the machine.
Axis #2: Tube Laser Head is moved from Front to Back (or Back to Front) across the material like saw cutting across a two-by-four.
Axis #3: Tube Laser Head is moved Up and Down (or Down and Up) above the material like a drill press moving up and down to drill.
Axis #4: Tube Laser Head is Pivoting on a radius (or arc) on the same horizontal plane as Axis #1 like sketching an ark with a hand compass.
Axis #5: Tube Laser Head is rotating on a 360 degree radius above the laser nozzle like an owl’s head so-to-speak.
Ultimately, with all these axis operating simultaneously, the Tube Laser can cut a huge array of shapes and sizes with cutting surfaces that are normal and angle cut to the surface of the metal.
For more information, we invite you to contact All Metals Fabrication at 801.392.9494 or email@example.com.
What kinds of Material & Shapes will Tube Lasers Cut?
Much like flat sheet lasers, Tube Laser’s can cut Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum.
AMF’s tube laser, a Mazak 3D 220 Fabri Gear, is also equipped with tapping capacity for threaded holes and seam detection so the machine can cut the material knowing where the seam lies inside the tube.
This extensive list of material types and shapes types gives AMF a wonderful amount of capacity.
AMF’s machine allows for 25.5 feet of infeed and 20.0 feet of outfeed.
It is capable of handling round shapes up to 8.66” OD and 6” x 6” Square.
With auto loading and dedicated work space, AMF’s tube laser is set to chunk through vast amounts of material.
The machine is hungry for work—give us a call to find out more about our great lead times and fantastic customer service.
Tube Lasers vs Machining Centers
Tube lasers do battle with tradition fabrication methods very well!
Sawing, deburring, coping, mitering, drilling are common fabrication processes, but one might question how tube lasers stack up against the likes of traditional machining centers.
The answer—very well.
Frankly, the main issue when comparing a tube laser to a machine center is tolerance.
Dedicated tube lasers are very good at holding tolerances in the +/- .01 range.
The question potential tube laser customers should ask is what kind of tolerance is really required on my part.
Engineers are generally good at designing fabricated parts at +/- .01 and machined parts at +/- .005 (or less) but many times those tolerances are more a result of the engineer’s drawing template then the part requirement. Drawing templates are infamous for creating unnecessarily expensive, high-toleranced, parts.
Many of our customers save significant money by simply asking the engineer if the tolerances can be modified for certain parts that could be done on a tube laser which results in a substantial savings.
This drawing is a good example. Saw cutting, machining to size and then tapping…verses stacking a 20’ length of tube into a tube laser and letting the machine go to work. In this example, because of the tolerance allocation, the tube laser will essentially replace three work centers and, obviously, will be much faster—both in processing time and material handling time.
Dedicated Tube Lasers are leading edge technology that save people money. Find out more by contact AMF at 801.392.9494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can Tube Lasers Cut C Channel?
The answer is, again, a resounding YES!
Just like Tube and Angle, Channel can be sliced, diced, notched, mitered, slotted, hole-patterned and cut with obscure shapes.
These type of cuts, because of the Tube Laser’s ability to rotate the channel, combined with a 5-Axis beam head, can happen in the web or on the legs of the channel.
AMF boasts a fully loaded 60’ Tube Laser with cutting capacity to handle round tubing up to 8.6” and square or rectangular tubing up to 6”x6” square.
AMF’s machine will load and off load lengths of tubing up to 25 feet.
Finally, with 4000W of laser power, AMF’s tube laser can blast through steel wall up to .75” thick all the while holding tolerance in the +/- .01 range.
AMF can cut steel, stainless steel and aluminum channel.
Our goal is to make fabrication easier than it has ever been. We work for other fab shops, OEM’s, contractors and any customer that has a CAD file and a Purchase Order.
Does a Tube Laser cut Angle Iron?
The answer is, yes, yes & yes.
People are often surprised when we tell them that our 60’, 5 Axis Tube Laser will cut angle—steel angle, stainless angle & aluminum angle!
TUBE LASERS cut angle with ease.
Here is where IT GETS BETTER—Tube Laser technology can cut angle with the following additive features:
- Irregular Shaped Ends
Here is where IT GETS [MORE BETTER]—Tube Laser technology saves huge amounts of processing time!
Only one setup—avoiding:
– Saw cutting
– Hand Measuring
– Fixture Setup
– Prick Punching
- Parts can be cut with beveled edges, ready for welding.
- Parts are cut so accurately that fit up and welding are 30-50% faster.
Tube Laser cutting is new technology and many people are still in the dark about what this machine can accomplish.
Tube Laser in Live Action
Tube Laser in Action
Engineers are getting the idea of how to utilize dedicated tube laser technology. The parts and assemblies partially shown below are a wonderful example of how tube lasering can change engineering, design and assembly.
Engineers should consider that 5 Axis cutting capacity, combined with the machines ability to handle 25’ lengths of material are completely possible. Those are game changing ideas when assemblies are considered.
All said, these engineers have designed:
1) Faster cutting
2) More accurate cutting
3) Elimination of multiple material handling steps
4) Elimination of heavy deburring
5) Perfect fit up
6) Significantly decreased fit and welding time.
7) A better part for less money.
AMF invites engineers to call or email and discuss what is possible with 5 axis tube lasering—it is a game changer!
Take Advantage of a Powerful, Dedicated, 60 Foot, 5-Axis Tube Laser
Take Advantage of Dedicated, Big-Time, 5 Axis Tube Laser Technology
AMF has a fully functional 60’, 5-Axis Tube Laser that wants to EAT work for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks!
SERIOUSLY, stop and think about EACH of the following questions:
1) Do you have any long lengths of Angle, Channel, Round, Rectangular or Square Tube that get cut regularly?
2) Do you have any lengths of angle, channel or tube or custom extrusion that get cut with one holes, slots, complex miters or angles?
3) Do you think stack cutting with a saw can beat the speed of a dedicated tube laser?
4) Have you considered the time wasted on fitting parts for weld that do not fit together perfectly?
5) Have you considered the time wasted on filling uneven gaps with weld?
6) Have you considered the time wasted on chamfering edges for weld prep?
7) Have you considered the time wasted on deburring saw cut angle, channel or tube?
8) Have you considered the time wasted on moving parts from work station to work station (saw, debur, drill)?
9) Have you considered the time wasted in queuing and stacking materials at multiple work stations?
10) Did you know our tube laser can tap holes?
11) Did you know our tube laser can cut up to 8.66” Round and 6×6 Square?
SERIOUSLY, contact us to discuss these questions and you will be shocked about how dedicated tube laser 5 Axis technology can save you BIG money and VOLUMES of time.
Leading Indicators, Lagging Indicators & Your Nephew’s Wedding
When a specific job is completed and labor hours are reported—the most obvious first question is usually about labor hours: were they over or under the estimated prediction?
Truth is, at this point, other than knowing, it doesn’t really matter. The job is complete and the infamous colloquialism (which I really despise) comes careening out, “It is what it is!” This is the very definition of a—Lagging Indicator!
In other words, what’s done is done and nothing can be changed to correct the outcome.
Lagging Indicators are all around us—your children’s school grades, your month’s end bank statement, even your damnable weight on those ever-lying bathroom scales. We obviously need or want the information but like your bulging waist-line-predicament when grabbing an old pair of dress pants for your nephew’s wedding, once the day arrives, there ain’t much your gonna do about it!
Much more positive, however, is the wildly undiscovered benefits of Leading Indicators. When done right, leading indicators are a nearly fool proof way of heading off the dreaded let down of “It is what it is.”
For example, if your nephew’s wedding is logged for three month’s time, the smart attendee will start measuring his calorie consumption every day to make sure he is not heading across the gaining-weight line. What other leading indicators could he use? It is obvious—exercise, or calories burned, food macros, sleep, perhaps even stress levels.
All these metrics become very early indicators as to how much one will weigh the night of the wedding.
Weight maintenance may be easy to predict. However, in metal fabrication, it can take work hard to find the right leading indicators to promote jobs being completed in less hours than they were estimated. Machines like tube lasers and flat lasers can be measured for what we call, beam-on-time. In other words, how much time is the machine actually running verses sitting idle waiting for material, setups or other starters.
Other things might be measured like incorrect programming, human error, tooling issues, etc.
The whole idea is to get a handle on what leading indicators are best suited to drive the lagging results your company wants and expects. When those leading indicators are rigorously measured and reported the lagging indicators are usually no surprise.
All Metals Fabrication takes the business of metal fabrication seriously. We want to drive process improvement at every corner of the business because the ultimate leading indictor is happy customers. Happy customers mean repeat work and repeat work means staying in business for a long time.
Finally, I have to say it: It is not what it is—it is what we make it!
Best of luck at your next wedding!