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A Rofin DC 020 CO2 slab laser is at the heart of the Delta laser machining system from Winbro Group Technologies, which has recently been delivered to an Eastern European combustor manufactuer.

An existing customer of Winbro, the company produces and repairs complex fabricated turbine components for aircraft engines and already uses Nd:YAG laser systems for drilling and cutting applications.

The requirement to further increase capacity and output has led to the purchase of this latest system.

This will be the first time that a CO2 laser system has been used by the company for cutting operations.

The system is capable of up to tenfold increases in the cutting speeds previously attained using alternative Nd:YAG laser technology.

At the heart of the Winbro Delta laser machining system is a Rofin DC 020 CO2 slab laser.

Rofin diffusion cooled slab lasers are claimed to provide high uptime, low maintenance and excellent beam quality.

The combination of 2,000W of output power, excellent beam quality and the enhanced cut-edge quality obtained from the CO2 laser has enabled average cutting speeds to be increased from 250mm/min to 1,700mm/min, with speeds of more than 25m/min deemed achievable by Winbro.

The Delta system is built upon a substantial monocoque chassis, which acts as the mounting platform for the positioning axes and the laser.

This construction also provides the stability required for the precision cutting operations that will be performed within the machine.

The Rofin DC 020 laser is mounted above the system and outside of the cutting environment, with the laser beam delivered to the cutting head via a series of mirrors.

Components up to 1,900mm in diameter by 900mm in height and weighing up to 500kg can be processed within the machine and its five-axis configuration allows complex profiles and contours to be machined.

Stable and repeatable positioning is said to be guaranteed by the use of ball-screw-driven linear slides and harmonic drives for the rotary axes.

This, combined with absolute-position encoders, linear scales and the Heidenhain ITNC 530 control system, allows accuracies of 0.015mm and a repeatability of 0.010mm or better to be achieved across the working envelope.

Cutting speeds up to 25m/min are achievable.

The Delta system incorporates a number of advanced features to minimise the amount of time spent getting new parts into production.

The system is comprehensive and flexible and uses a new programmer interface, known as the Laser Front End (LFE) system, which provides a range of geometric input methods directly from the user’s computer-aided-design (CAD) output.

The Delta system also uses a patented probing system to determine fixture and component position and alignment and to generate any offset data required for the part programme.

Once running, capacitive focus control is used to maintain the optimum gap between the nozzle and the workpiece.

Rofin-Baasel UK Ltd is the UK sales and support subsidiary of Rofin Sinar Technologies Inc, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial lasers and is quoted on the USA NASDAQ stock exchange. Rofin makes lasers and laser systems for marking, welding, cutting, drilling and perforating and offers sources and solutions across all the main industrial laser technologies CO2, solid state and fibre lasers. Our lasers are employed in most manufacturing markets to give customers unprecedented results in terms of quality and throughput. We have over 30,000 installations in industries such as medical device, electronics, automotive, jewellery, tool and mould, aerospace and solar power. Examples demonstrating the range of capabilities of Rofin lasers include: * In-line packaging material manufacturers use our lasers to create ‘easy open’ perforated lines in packaging. * High street jewellers buy our microwelding workstations to make and repair jewellery. * Surgical tool and implant manufacturers produce clean and permanent identification marks on their products with Rofin markers. * Photovoltaic customers rely on laser operations from scribing to drilling to make solar panels and wafers. Rofin-Baasel welcomes the opportunity to show customers what lasers can do for them.

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