Introducing the Powerful Laser Sword! High-powered laser cutting equipment showcases multiple advantages

Jan 03, 2024

In recent years, Penta Laser has continuously revolutionized the performance, power, speed, and quality of laser cutting equipment, achieving many new technological and application breakthroughs. This article introduces the four key technological breakthroughs, cutting process innovations, and industrial application advantages of the 30kW high-speed, high-precision, ultra-thick plate intelligent laser cutting complete set of equipment, showcasing the main application indicators such as speed and maximum cutting thickness of different metal materials with 30kW laser cutting, as well as how to improve cutting quality and efficiency of machine tools through ultra-high power laser process innovation and explore the broad market prospects in the industrial application field.  f

In January 2022, Penta Laser's "30kW high-speed, high-precision, ultra-thick plate intelligent laser cutting complete set of equipment" was approved by the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Economy and Information Technology as the first set of products with international titles. Once again, it demonstrates that Penta Laser is already in a leading position in the world in the field of high-power laser cutting equipment. After being launched on the market in 2021, it has received widespread praise from customers, with sales exceeding 100 million yuan and achieving small-scale exports. Its domestic market share ranks among the top.

Currently, this 30kW high-speed, high-precision, ultra-thick plate intelligent laser cutting complete set of equipment has achieved multiple patent achievements. Now, the BOLT8 "magnetic levitation" series of ultra-high power laser cutting machines with 40kW power have completed testing and are put into use.

Supporting the design of a high dynamic response heavy-duty independent bed mechanical structure for cutting super-thick whole plates

This 30kW laser cutting equipment adopts the principles of large-scale heavy-duty CNC machine tool multi-modal combination design and digital analysis methods, making the machine tool base have excellent dynamic characteristics, static characteristics, thermal characteristics, and stability.

Ultra-high power laser source poses higher and newer requirements for machine tool design. The first is the issue of machine tool thermal management. When cutting materials with ultra-high power laser, both the machine tool bed and the workpiece material will undergo significant thermal expansion effects, which will affect the precision stability of the machine tool. Secondly, there is the problem of stress micro-deformation caused by the super-thick whole plate heavy load. Ultra-high power laser cutting equipment needs to cut steel plates with a thickness of 40-100mm. When placing a whole plate workpiece with a size of 12m*2.5m on the workbench, the gravitational force of the load will cause varying degrees of elastic deformation in the machine tool bed made of welding parts. During the cutting process, there are also dynamic changes in the weight and center of gravity of the plate workpiece, which affect the dynamic running accuracy of the machine tool.

To solve this problem, Penta Laser has proposed a split dual-machine bed hollow structure design solution. The advantages of separating the bed and the worktable support include thermal isolation, heavy load stress isolation, and achieving high-precision stable cutting of thick plates over the full surface. On the Lightning 8 machine tool, a high-precision grating ruler-based rail precision closed-loop dynamic compensation servo drive system is used to achieve high-speed and high-precision long-term stable operation.

Intelligent laser cutting heads and intelligent beam control systems that support high power are the cutting-edge technology in laser cutting equipment. Penta Laser has proposed a new system architecture for high-power laser cutting heads based on edge computing principles, called the "Opto-Mechanical-Electrical-Computational" architecture. It has developed adaptive dynamic focusing technology and high-power laser cutting heads to completely solve the problem of focal drift.

The focal drift problem in high-power laser cutting is mainly caused by the thermal lens effect and refractive index gradient distribution effect in the optical system of the cutting head, as well as the thermal deformation of the mechanical structure. The optical lens group inside the cutting head undergoes uncontrolled fluctuations in the focal position due to long-term exposure to high-power laser during the cutting process. Without the adaptive dynamic focusing function, the focal drift test results can reach up to ±4mm for a 30kW laser. This means that when the focal point drifts within the range of ±4mm, it is difficult to guarantee cutting efficiency and stability, especially during thick plate cutting.

Based on the simulation results of the thermal-induced focal drift in the opto-mechanical integrated system of the cutting head, several innovations have been made in the design of the cutting head and control software, resulting in the "Opto-Mechanical-Electrical-Computational" architecture for high-power laser cutting heads. Multiple temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and stray light sensors are arranged inside the cutting head, and the D-S evidence theory data fusion principle is used to realize edge computing of online focal drift and dynamic focus compensation. This controls the dynamic focal drift in the process of high-power laser cutting within an allowable range, ensuring the stability of long-term cutting of thick plates.

At the same time, the adaptive optical focusing intelligent laser cutting head is designed with an M2.5 optical amplification factor and uses a long focal length focusing lens to increase the Raleigh length of the focused laser, resulting in a more vertical cut seam during thick plate cutting. While ensuring stable cutting, it improves cutting efficiency by over 30%-50% compared to regular cutting heads, and also enhances the section quality and perpendicularity. The developed low-pressure cutting nozzle significantly reduces operating costs, saving over 60% of gas consumption.

Five-axis RTCP (Rotary Tool Center Point) laser bevel cutting swing head Currently, laser bevel cutting is also a major application focus. Laser bevel cutting is a new type of bevel processing method that has the advantages of low thermal deformation and good cutting quality. Equipping a bevel cutting swing head on high-power laser cutting equipment can flexibly complete the bevel processing that traditionally requires multiple processes such as cutting, welding, and milling, greatly improving processing efficiency, product quality, workpiece precision, as well as resource and cost savings, promoting technological innovation and equipment upgrade in various industries.

Penta Laser has independently developed a five-axis RTCP laser bevel cutting swing head. Based on the three machine tool axes X, Y, and Z, the bevel cutting swing head introduces two additional rotation axes. The introduction of the rotation axes converts the movement of the tool tip (i.e., the focused laser beam focal point) into a coupling of rotational and linear movements. The RTCP function, customized based on the Z32Florens series CNC system, ensures automatic movement of the tool tip point (laser beam focal point) along the bevel trajectory.

Generally, single bevels are relatively easy to process, but V-bevels, K-bevels, and root-removal bevels pose greater difficulties mainly due to issues of positioning and consistency. In bevel cutting, the change in bevel angles leads to variations in cutting heights. If height adjustments are not made promptly, it will inevitably affect the accuracy of the actual cutting. To address this, Penta Laser adopts a closed-loop control height adjustment system to calibrate the machine tool accuracy (0.01mm). Additionally, calibration functions are set for both standard nozzles and nozzle compensation modes, eliminating the need for adjustment of the light core and focal length when replacing nozzles.

This 30kW laser cutting equipment solves the technical challenges of stability in the processes of ultra-thick plate cutting, high-speed cutting, high-precision high-quality cutting, providing a new processing technology and method for high-end equipment manufacturing in China. The equipment has been in operation for over a year in the market, with more than 60 units of 30kW equipment being used at customer sites, all of which have provided excellent feedback on their stability. According to expert assessments, the relevant technical indicators of the 30kW equipment have reached the forefront of international similar technologies.

In summary, the extensive application of Penta Laser's ultra-high-power laser cutting complete equipment fully demonstrates its advantages of wide range of processed materials, narrow kerf width, high precision, good cutting section roughness, high efficiency, high degree of automation, high material utilization, cleanliness, environmental friendliness, safety, flexibility, and versatility. In the future, Penta Laser will continue to increase the introduction of high-end talents and research and development efforts, focusing on intelligence, greenization, customization, and reliability, tackling key technologies in the field of laser processing equipment. Utilizing 5G, artificial intelligence, big data, and industrial internet technologies, it will build digital factories and service-oriented manufacturing enterprises, expand the application areas of laser processing, allowing laser technology to replace traditional tools more extensively and comprehensively empower the equipment manufacturing industry.

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