BLM GROUP debuted the LT8 in 2006. It became an instant success. Over the years the technology evolved and the LT8 became LT8.10 and later the LT8.20. The LT8 family is the most popular Laser tube cutting system in the world.
It is easy to understand why. Some of the reasons are listed below:
- Capacity to cut a wide range of tube – from 12 mm to 240 mm dia. round tube and 12 mm x 12 mm to 200 mm x 200 mm square hollow sections (SHS), rectangular hollow sections (RHS) and open profiles. Apart from regular sections, it can also cut non-standard shapes (special sections) and has the capacity to be extended to some H and I beams;
- Double automatic loader;
- Totally automatic change of production;
- Tilt head enabled capability to execute chamfer cuts;
- “Spoon” device to guarantee clean inner surface of round tubes;
- Series of Active Tools to improve productivity and precision;
- Flexibility with multiple loading and unloading options in terms of both length and position.
LT8 tube laser cutting loading and unloading systems
Multiple loading and unloading options in terms of both length and positions, give rise to different configurations of the system. One can choose the suitable configuration considering individual production requirements and the nature of activity. It is not easy to decide when multiple options are available: we are here to offer help. Let us first understand the different types of loaders available on the LT8.20 tube laser cutting system.
1. Bundle Loader
The automatic bundle loader is the standard loader on the system. It can be 6.5 m/8.5 m or 12.5 m long with a total weight capacity of 5.000 kg. It can be placed on the front side (operator side) or on the rear side of the machine. This loader is ideal for medium to large production volumes for parts that use the same cross-section tubes.
Bundle loader for an LT8.10.
2. Step Loader
This automatic loader is normally installed on the front side of the system, but can also be installed on the rear side. It can be used to load both standard and non-standard cross-section tubes. The operator must place the raw material individually on one or all of the steps of the loader. The system will then automatically load and process the tubes/profiles one by one.
Step loader for an LT8.10.
3. Single Bar Loader
This loader allows the user to load one tube/profile at a time. It can be placed on either side (front or rear) of the machine. The single bar loader or the step loader provides an alternate loading method to the bundle loader.
Single bar loader for an LT8.10.
4. Chain Loader Available with the COMPACT Version
This type of loader is available only with the compact version. It can load 6.5/8.5 or 12.5 m long tubes. The chains are 2 m long and can accommodate multiple tubes being placed on them. The system will load the tubes one by one and process them as programmed.
The chain loader conveys the tubes into the machine.
LT8 – Machine configuration
Now let us review various standard configurations of LT8.20.
1. Bundle Loader and Single Bar Loader
This configuration is suitable when one has to process large batches of parts to be cut from raw material with the same cross-section. The single bar loader is useful when the need arises to urgently cut a small quantity of parts that uses raw material with a different cross-section/material properties or material type. As mentioned above, if one did not have the single bar loader, it would be necessary to remove all the raw material from the bundle loader and load the new type of material. The single bar loader solves this problem and facilitates the variation in the planned volume production.
LT8 with bundle loader and single bar loader.
This configuration is extremely useful in cases when the customer needs to produce parts in “kit concept” and if the kit has many parts with one type of material and a few parts with a different type of material.
In this configuration, the customer has the freedom to decide the position of these two loaders; which one is positioned at the front side and which one at the rear side of the machine taking into consideration the desired material flow of the raw material in the plant.
Kit concept is very common on the production of frames. Learn more on how Artube and a Lasertube can simplify the production of a tubular frame.
2. Bundle Loader and Step Loader
This configuration is suitable when one has to process large batches of parts to be cut from raw material of the same cross-section and yet also has the requirement to process non-standard cross-sections, open profiles and has a fair amount of work with small batch sizes. As explained before the step loader is also useful there is an urgently need to cut a medium volume of parts that use raw material with a different cross-section/material properties or material type than the one already loaded on the bundle loader.
This configuration is also suitable for “kit concept” production where the kit has more than “a few” parts that use a different material type/cross-section raw material than the one already loaded on the bundle loader. With the step loader the operator can load a few tubes at a time on the loader and run the batch production.
LT8 with bundle loader and step loader.
3. Compact Version
This version is suitable for small to medium production volumes even with a mix of different cross-sections/materials. Such a situation is typical in job shops.
Job shops may use the compact version as their only laser tube cutting machine or pair it with one or more BLM GROUP tube lasers to exploit all the advantages of their high flexibility.
LT8.20 compact version.
Now that you have reviewed the preliminary information about the different LT8.20 configurations, you can decide which configuration is most suitable for satisfying your requirements. If you need further help, we are only a telephone call/e-mail away!