Laser Cutting with Gas-Flow Control, for Finish and Edge Quality

Sept. 8, 2011
Stainless plate processor can cut up to 28 mm thick, with a tolerance of +/- 0.10-in.
The Tanaka LMX VII 6kW TF6000 system at Penn Stainless Products, with a proprietary nitrogen cutting capability, is one of just two of its type operating in North America.

Penn Stainless Products in Quakertown, Pa., installed a new laser-cutting system for plate recently, with gas-flow technology that produces high-quality finish and edge conditions for cutting stainless steel. The Tanaka LMX VII 6kW TF6000 system, with a proprietary nitrogen cutting capability, is one of just two of its type operating in North America. It was supplied by supplied by Metal Processing Systems Inc.

Penn Stainless processes stainless steel sheet, plate, bar, structural, pipe, and tubular products, in stainless, high-temperature, corrosion, duplex and PH alloys.

Nissan Tanaka Corp. develops systems for heavy-gauge plate cutting and joining. The TF6000 is outfitted with Tanaka’s gas-flow technology option that reportedly achieves excellent finish and edge conditions after cutting, and it can cut stainless steel up to 28 mm (1-1/8-inch) thick, with a cutting envelope of 13-feet wide×62-feet long.

Tanaka’s plate laser system cuts to a tolerance of +/- 0.10-in. (depending on size and gauge), with a 0.020-inch beam and within less then 1-degree taper. Also, the system can cut a hole that is less than half the thickness of the material being cut — a feature that’s said to be unique to the TF6000. Its cutting technology also results in a very small heat-affected zone (0.012-in.), so it’s possible to tap a laser-cut hole without secondary operations that might be needed to avoid breaking the tap in the process.

“The new Tanaka Plate Laser System perfectly complements our other processing services,” according to company president Jim Seward. “With the system’s precision performance and massive cutting envelope, we can produce high-quality, large-scale jobs with fast turnaround. Coupled with our new cut-to-length line, we can laser-cut product in excess of 40 feet.”

Mark Eckard, of MPS called the TF6000 system “incredibly efficient, allowing for extended maintenance cycles and greatly reduced labor and operating costs.” Its improved beam delivery containment and longer lens cleaning intervals will reduce processors’ downtime, and automated set-up procedures and long-term unattended plate processing will free operators to perform other tasks.

In addition, the supplier noted that Tanaka’s TF6000 system is reducing Penn Stainless’ electricity consumption by 10%, and cutting laser gas consumption by 50%.

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