BLM GROUP Blog

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LT360: The most cost-effective way to enter the 3D laser cutting world

May 13, 2020 3:10:37 PM

LT360 is the result of BLM GROUP’s strong experience in laser cutting straight or bent tubes and more generally 2D or 3D parts.

It is a highly innovative robotic 3D laser cutting system that combines the qualities of a robot with those typical of a CNC laser cutting machine.

 

 

 

The advantages of a 3D robotic laser cutting

  • Cost: On average, a laser cutting robot with six degrees of freedom is more cost-effective than a five-axis CNC system. This is both in terms of the purchase price and energy consumption.
  • Dexterity: The freedom of movement and being able to process complex geometry parts.
  • Adaptability: Robots can be mounted in any position within the enclosure.
  • Simplicity of installation: Installation of robots is simpler. The required time is shorter and the weight is lighter.
  • Repeatability: The path accuracy and repeatability of the robot is optimized to model the results of gantry systems.

There is the possibility of mounting the cutting robot on a carriage driven by an additional CNC axis, which makes it possible to significantly increase the working volume and optimally cut parts whose geometry mainly develops in one direction.

On systems in which a second robot is used for handling workpieces, it is also possible to add one or two interpolated axes to increase the ability of the cutting head to reach any point on the workpiece.

 

From programming to part production

The part program can be fine-tuned on the machine as well as the cutting process and the technological laser parameters can be optimized. This allows production to be kicked off very quickly, even if the operator doesn’t have much experience using the system. The LT360 offers a wide range of possibilities in addition to the self-teaching programming possibilities typical of robotic systems:

  • CAM programming: The ArtCut software, tried and tested on LT-FREE laser cutting systems, can be used to import, create, simulate and optimize the offline work cycle, while the machine is engaged in another production.
  • Settings of the machine: The machine interface, unified with the other LT-FREE 3D laser cutting systems, can be used to carry out all operations, such as of part program set-up, modifying cutting geometries, adding micro-joints, etc. very easily and intuitively.
  • Functions for optimizing the production process: The LT360 has an array of features to enhance quality and productivity. The Active Tools features are shared with other BLM GROUP 3D laser cutting systems.

LT360 is the perfect combination of these features. It is a system with the versatility and cost-effectiveness of a robot paired with the flexibility and technology of a 3D laser cutting system.

LT360 has other interesting advantages that make it a unique robotic laser cutting system.

 

LT360-entry-level-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3dLT360 ENTRY LEVEL: compact and essential layout to enter into the world of 3D laser cutting (4.4 m x 4.5 m x 3.2 m - 14.5’ x 14.8’ x 10.5’).

 

Layout: The LT360 has a compact layout that can be adapted to a wide variety of space and workflow needs. The enclosure is designed in a modular way, which makes it easier to change the machine layout, switch from one configuration to another or change the enclosure size to process parts of particular dimensions.

 

layout-LT360-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3d

 

Robot handling: Together with the laser cutting robot, the use of the robot as a work piece handling element is an extremely advantageous feature in 3D laser cutting of parts, such as bent or hydroformed tubes. Robot handling improves the accuracy of the finished part and greatly reduces the cycle time. In LT360 the programming of the cutting positions reached by the handling robot during the work cycle is directly offline in ArtCut. Therefore, you will not need a dedicated operator with experience in robot programming.

 

LT360-one-flex-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3dLT360 ONE FLEX: Cutting robot and workpiece handling robot (5.5 m x 4.3 m x 3.2 m - 18.1’ x 14.1’ x 10.5’).

 

LT360 ONE FLEX and LT360 TAILORED in addition to the cutting robot are both equipped with manipulator robots.

LT360 TAILORED configuration uses a dual-robot set-up:  a dedicated robot for load/unload and part manipulation and a dedicated robot for the laser cutting and trimming process. This configuration can greatly simplify the working cycle if the machine receives tubes from an upstream tube bending machine, not only because the compact layout of the LT360 offers the space needed to integrate the tube bending and machine loader into your production line, but also because the bent tube can be transferred from the tube bending machine to the part fixture in the LT360, without the operator having to enter the enclosure.

LT360-tailored-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3dLT360 TAILORED, optimized layout to better manage your workflow (4.4 m x 6.0 m x 3.2 m - 14.5’ x 19.7’ x 10.5’).

 

Learn more about the advantages of robot handling in 3D laser cutting systems.

 

LT360: Start production of new parts immediately

In addition to harnessing the self-teaching programming possibilities typical of robot systems, the LT360 can be programmed offline via ArtCut, in a similar way to BLM GROUP five-axis laser cutting systems: LT-FREE. The LT360 has a simple and powerful interface for rapid set-up of the part program on the machine, an essential feature for those starting out in a new field and need to show what they are capable of doing, right away.

 

The speed of starting production on the machine starts from the programming software

With ArtCut, the operator can program the entire work cell offline. This means that the part program can be created, simulated and sent to the machine when it is ready, without ever having to stop the system. The features of ArtCut include:

  • Import any 3D part from third party CAD files, STEP or IGES.
  • Automatic recognition of cutting paths and guided programming of the entire work cycle. Operators have all the controls they need during the creation of the part program and the programming process at their fingertips in a simple, user-friendly manner.
  • Automatic Collision Resolution is a fundamental aspect especially in the cutting of bent and hydroformed tubes, where the transfer paths from one cutting geometry to another must take the geometric complexity of the part into account.
  • Programming not only the movements of the cutting robot but also of any handling robot without having to be programmed in parallel by a dedicated operator.

With ArtCut, the operator can make use of a complete 3D graphic of all the main components of the system and the cycle time estimation during the work cycle simulation.

ArtCut has an updated database that can be used to optimize cutting parameters, according to the material and thickness of the part to be laser cut. It is exactly the same technological database found in the machine interface, developed over the years by BLM GROUP for 3D laser cutting systems.

Floating single-user and pay-per-use ArtCut licenses are available.

 

programmazione-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3d-taglio-tuboWith ArtCut, the operator can make use of a complete 3D graphic of all the main components of the system and the cycle time estimation during the work cycle simulation.

 

Bent tube scrap management - a special feature of ArtCut

Straight tube sections are generally left over at the ends of the bent tube because of the bending process. These scraps need to be trimmed off.

In ArtCut, the waste generated by the bending process can be shaped directly on the bent tube, quickly and easily, or imported from VGP3D files. This latter feature allows BLM GROUP tube bending machine users to import the file generated by VGP3D of the bent tube including the above-mentioned scrap. VGP3D automatically calculates the elongation caused by the bending process and ArtCut includes the related trimming operations in the cutting cycle.

The advantage of this function is that it accounts for potential collisions with the scrap during offline programming. These collisions would not be visible in the CAM if the scrap was not represented, with the risk of discovering the collision directly in the machine.

 

Machine interface, the link between programming and production

The LT360 machine interface entirely similar to that of the LT-FREE five-axis laser systems and other Lasertube systems, implements a host of fundamental features designed to facilitate the production of the part and make the system extremely flexible.

 

interfaccia-sistema-robot-di-taglio-laser-3dThe LT360 machine interface entirely similar to that of the LT-FREE five-axis laser systems and other Lasertube systems, implements a host of fundamental features designed to facilitate the production of the part and make the system extremely flexible.

 

  • Clarity: The part program has a tree structure, which allows you to operate on multiple levels and implement changes to any point of the path, to the geometries or to the cutting positions.
  • Routine maintenance: The wear of the main machine parts can be monitored in the maintenance area. According to the hours of operation and the lifetime of the system, LT360 alerts the operator of the need of operations in advance (cleaning, checks, mechanical inspections, inspections of the technological part, electrical system checks and lubrication).
  • Efficiency and productivity control: The machine interface allows monitoring of the cutting process progress and countdown before opening the workpiece loading door.
  • Micro-joints: Particularly useful for parts obtained by cold plastic deformation, micro-joints prevent the piece from deforming once the stresses accumulated in the plastic deformation process are released as a result of laser cutting.
  • 3D graphics: All possible activities can be managed by viewing the part to be cut and the presence of the robot gripper, including taking points, simulating the work cycle, identifying the geometries and all reference systems in a simple and user-friendly way.

 

LT360: Cost-effective from all points of view

The number of applications in the world of 3D laser cutting is virtually unlimited, which is why flexibility is a prerequisite for maximizing ROI.

For a company that decides to innovate and enter the world of 3D laser cutting, LT360 can offer production flexibility, reduced cycle times and an extremely short ROI. In other words, it is the most convenient and competitive way to start cutting 3D laser parts.

 

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Highlights