The use of CNC technology in all aspects of fabrication and machining has dramatically increased the ability to metal machining shops to produce parts and components to very tight tolerances.
However, it is a mistake to assume that simply using the latest in technology always results in the most precise parts and components. The combination of expertise, equipment, and operator or machinist experience is really the key to the production of any precision types of parts.
When it comes to steel plate cutting, knowing how to set up the systems, how to configure the equipment, and how to address any problems that may occur during the process is always critical. More than a basic working knowledge of the machinability and the challenges of working with different grades of steel plate is also essential for quality cutting.
Challenges to steel plate cutting using laser technology can start at the very beginning of the cut. Knowing how to create the ideal perforation to allow the laser to quickly and efficiently cut the desired shape is essential when the cut does not originate at the edge of the plate.
Two of the most effective techniques use a pulse perforation or a blasting perforation method. This process allows for a small hole to be created in the surface using auxiliary gas. This can be done very quickly to avoid heating the area around the perforation. Then, once the hole is established, the cutting process can begin.
Setting the Laser
Controlling all aspects of the laser is essential throughout the process of steel plate cutting. Incomplete cutting of the plate is typically a result of the incorrect match between the nozzle of the laser and the overall thickness of the plate.
Other issues, such as running the laser at a high cutting speed for the thickness of the plate can also create the same incomplete cut. Experienced shops always verify the correct configurations and setup of the equipment, eliminating these types of problems.