When one thinks of BLM GROUP’s laser machines, one immediately thinks of Lasertube systems.
It is quite natural that BLM GROUP is firmly associated to laser tube cutting as the technology was invented, developed and brought to the current level of reliable high productivity systems, by BLM GROUP.
This spectacular success in the tube sector sometimes makes people forget that BLM GROUP has been manufacturing laser sheet cutting systems for the past 30 years.
As you can imagine, the tube cutting process is more complex than sheet cutting; especially if one is cutting square/rectangular tubes or complex-shaped hollow profiles due to the need to control algorithms of a rotating object.
In the case of non-round tubes, the movements of the cutting head and other machine axes, have to be perfectly orchestrated. BLM GROUP has amassed a tremendous amount of experience on laser tube cutting and all that knowledge has also enriched their sheet cutting machines.
The present sheet metal laser cutting machines manufactured by BLM GROUP are as advanced as their tube laser cutting systems in terms of technology, versatility, automation, and ease of use.
The BLM GROUP LS5 is a sheet laser cutting system available in several configurations, empowered with the necessary features and functions to provide optimal performance in all fields of application.
The LS5 can be enhanced by adding an automatic laser tube cutting module transforming it into the LC5. The LC5 model is a complete factory in itself, with the capability of cutting sheet metal and tube in a completely automated cycle. The sheet cutting system, LS5 derived from LC5, has all the features of a modern sheet cutting system.
Here are the highlight features of LS5:
- Multiple Table Sizes
- Flexible Layout
- Lasertube Module
- Multiple Power Sources
- Cutting Head
- Active Focus
- Active Zoom
- Active Cool
- Cutting Parameters
- Assist Gases
- Active Piercing
- Fly Cut
- HMI – Operator Console
- Active Camera
- Active Nozzle Centering
- Active Mail
- Active Nozzle Changing
- Dust Collector
- Scrap Management
BLM GROUP’s laser cutting systems are completely safe for the operator and are certified as Class 1 systems. The machine is completely enclosed in a safety cabin that protects the operator not only from laser radiation but also from noise, dust, and fumes generated during the cutting process.
The safety enclosure has large viewing windows made of certified filters that protect the operator from dangerous laser radiation while allowing easy and safe monitoring of the cutting process as needed.
Multiple Table Sizes
The LS5 is available with different table sizes to meet all Customer requirements.
The most common size is 1.5 m x 3.0 m, (118” x 59”) then 2.0 m x 4.0 m (157” x 79”) and 2.0 m x 6.0 m (236” x 79”). The pallet structures and the pallet changing mechanisms are also accordingly modified to support the bigger size sheets with higher weight.
Two different layouts are available for the predominant 1.5 m x 3.0 m (118” x 59”) and 2.0 m x 4.0 m (157” x 79”) table sizes. One can opt for the pallet change movement towards the left side of the operator or towards the backside of the machine.
In this way, the Customer can choose the most suitable layout, considering the available space and ease of material movement inside his factory.
One can opt for the pallet change movement towards the left side of the operator or towards the back side of the machine.
LS5 is the only sheet laser cutting machine that is extendable with a Lasertube module to convert it into an LC5. The tube cutting module is a completely automatic tube laser cutting system like any other BLM GROUP tube cutting machine.
It can laser cut round tubes 12 mm to 120 mm (.5” to 4.72”), square 12 mm x 12 mm to 100 mm x 100 mm (.5” x .5” to 3.93” x 3.93”) and rectangular tubes 10 mm x 12 mm to 120 mm x 70 mm (.4” X .5” to 4.72” x 2.75”). It can also cut open profiles like C and L sections.
The fully automatic loader has a capacity of 4 tons and can load tubes from 3.2 m to 6.5 m (126” to 256”) in length. A longer loader with 8.5 m (335”) length can also be supplied. The unloader is available in two configurations: up to 6.5 m (256”) or 4.5 m (177”).
Thanks to the tube module, the LC5 becomes a very attractive system for job shops as well as for OEMs It offers flexibility and versatility and for those who have a stand-alone sheet laser cutting or tube laser cutting machine it offers a very valuable backup.
Unique in its category, LC5 is the combined sheet and tube laser cutting machine, produced by BLM GROUP.
A wide range of laser powers is available on these systems to suit the Customer requirements. LS5 can be equipped with a fiber laser generator starting from 2 kW up to 10 kW.
A higher power laser not only allows the Customer to cut thicker materials, especially Stainless Steel and Aluminum but it also cuts the low and medium thickness materials at a faster speed.
The dynamics of the system are well designed to support the achievable higher speeds.
The front doors to the system can be opened wide to access all the working area of the machine.
The operator’s console (HMI) can be moved along the length of the machine to place it in an optimal position when one is carrying out test cuts.
This means the operator can save time by walking less after each test in order to make changes in the program. These two features of large doors and a mobile console enormously increase the system’s ergonomics.
The front doors to the system can be widely opened to access all the working area of the machine.
The laser cutting head used on the LS5 systems is equipped with an array of sensors to continuously monitor various parameters like the temperature of the lens and the protective window. This continuous monitoring guarantees constant cut quality and also helps the operator to carry out real-time preventive maintenance resulting in higher machine uptime and productivity.
The cutting head used on the LS5 systems is equipped with an array of sensors to continuously monitor the laser cutting head’s “health” parameters like the temperature of the lens and the protective window.
The laser cutting head has a system for automatic focus position adjustment. This means the operator does not have to manually change the focus position with the change of material or its thickness or the assist gas used. It is automatically controlled by the system as per the cutting parameters already loaded on the system.
The head is also equipped with a capacitive sensor to maintain the distance between the nozzle and the material being cut.
To obtain the best combination of speed and cutting quality, the ideal laser beam parameters like diameter and divergence are different for different material thicknesses.
Active Zoom automatically changes these parameters depending upon the material thickness being cut and thus optimizes the laser cutting speed and cut edge quality for each thickness.
This feature is useful for laser cutting of very small size geometries on thick sheet metal.
While cutting small geometries on the thick material, the sheet metal temperature rises quickly thus heating the nozzle along with it. This negatively affects the cutting process and cut quality.
Active Cool uses a liquid, mostly water, to cool down the material being cut to guarantee constant, high cut quality.
Laser cutting parameters for most of the combinations of material, thickness and assist gas are pre-loaded on the system.
These parameters are “protected” and cannot be erroneously changed by the operator. If the operator needs to make some changes to the parameter, he can generate a new set by copying the original parameters then make the desired changes.
The parameter set contains dedicated parameters suitable for piercing, small contours and large contours thus ensuring the highest laser cutting quality in all conditions.
The systems are equipped with three types of assist gases; Oxygen, Nitrogen, and a third line is provided for a third gas. All the components on the gas lines are suitable for the pressure range used for each of the gases.
If the Customer wishes to use compressed air as the assist gas, a compressed air kit is offered. This kit includes a high-pressure compressor, filter banks to remove any oil and water content from the compressed air, and a reservoir to ensure constant pressure/flow during cutting. The kit ensures that the machine receives a supply of clean compressed air and thus eliminates any danger of damaging the optical components due to a dirty air supply. Use of shop-air as assist gas is not allowed because its quality cannot be guaranteed.
Active piercing monitors the piercing process. As soon as the piercing is completed, the machine starts moving to execute the programmed cut. In this way, the piercing routine management becomes entirely automated.
Conventionally the operator had to calculate the time required for piercing the material and then would add a little extra time as a safety factor to make sure that the piercing is completed every time.
This small amount of time multiplied by each pierce per day accumulated into a sizable time period of unproductivity. Active piercing saves this time and improves productivity.
Fly Cut is used to save time when laser cutting a grill of square or rectangular holes.
In the conventional method, each square or rectangle is completely cut before proceeding to the next one. This equates to the machine head changing the direction of movement 4 times.
For each change of direction, there are phases of acceleration and deceleration preventing the highest possible cutting speed from being maintained.
With Fly Cut, all the horizontal lines are laser cut at the same speed with only the laser beam being controlled, then all the vertical lines are cut in the same fashion thus completing each shape and finally the grill.
A grill of round holes can also be cut using this same technique but obviously with lesser advantage.
To cut grills successfully, the machine has to be very precise and rigid. If it is not, then all the horizontal and vertical lines would not meet at the corners and the grill would not be cut.
Successfully cutting a grill in Fly Cut not only saves a lot of time but it also provides direct proof of the machine’s quality.
HMI – Operator Console
The 19” touch screen operator console is supported by the HMI software developed in-house. It offers intuitive menus, large size icons, and most of the information in graphical format. It also has many helpful functions to assist the operator, including video clips, to guide the operator incorrectly operating the machine.
This is an extremely useful option that enables the Customer to use leftover pieces of sheet metal.
It is a common experience that there are pieces of sheet metal (skeletons) left after finishing a production batch. These pieces tend to be of a non-regular, odd shape without precise dimensions.
Without knowing the correct dimensions, it is not possible to nest components on these skeleton pieces offline.
Active Camera allows the Customer to nest components manually on the sheet’s image using the information Active Camera presents on the operator’s console. As a result, these odd-shaped leftover pieces are efficiently used thereby optimizing the material usage and reducing non-productive inventory
Through the intuitive console, the operator has access to all the machine’s functionalities, maximizing its performance and production.
Active Nozzle Centering
This camera-based system enables the operator to exactly center the laser beam in the nozzle’s exit hole in a safe and simple manner. Better nozzle centering results in consistent cut quality in all directions.
This function sends an e-mail to Customer-selected e-mail addresses regarding maintenance alerts, production interruption alerts, and other information appearing on the system. This way, all the responsible persons in the organization are aware of the status of the system and all the necessary corrective actions can be promptly taken thereby improving overall machine availability and productivity.
Active Nozzle Changing
The 18-position automatic nozzle changer allows the Customer to run production without the presence of an operator to change the nozzle with each change of the material type or thickness. The nozzle change system also cleans the nozzles and monitors their status.
The LS5 system has a very effective fumes exhaust and filtering system. The fumes are taken away from the suction ports located in 4 separate zones of the working area. The ports open and close in correspondence to the cutting head’s position thus optimizing the suction of the dust collector.
Effective suction means the machine does not collect dust and fume deposits even after long-term use; if the preventive maintenance schedule is properly respected.
There are multiple scrap collecting drawers below the cutting table. These drawers can be easily extracted out; lifted with a manual pallet truck or a fork-lift truck to be emptied in the general scrap collection bin of the Company.
BLM Group offers a wide array of automated solutions to handle continuous automatic operation of the system. These include automatic sheet loading-unloading systems, tower warehouses to store raw and cut sheets, etc. All are available in various configurations so that a suitable solution can be easily found to satisfy every Customer’s requirements.
BLM GROUP offers a wide array of automation solutions to handle continuous automatic operation of the system.