Recent 11,000 Square Feet Expansion
New Trumpf 3030 Fibre Laser
Increased Capacity!

Examples of Laser Cutting Projects In August

This image shows our customers free issue box section lengths banded and ready for collection. Each 1540mm long length is fixed directly onto the cutting table of our 7040 production 5 axis laser to have the 3 slots cut in. These sections are then used in the reinforcement of super energy efficient doors and windows in both domestic, and commercial environments.

 

This image shows one of our five axis fixtures. These are all designed from our customer cad model, then laser cut on one of our flatbed machines, before being assembled and welded in house. This actual fixture has been designed to enable the cutting of 5 sections of tube within a single cutting cycle. Vastly decreasing production of large batches.

 

This image is of a new updated version of an existing blank. To increase formability and strength, the material used is a ‘boron steel.’ We have produced a relatively small batch of the initially for our customer to develop to ensure that the final part, which would be a major structural piece in vehicles globally, is fit for the intended function and exceeds all safety levels.

 

This image shows a large panel, measuring roughly 2metres in length by 1 metre in width. These are free issued to us in the final pressed form. On our 7040 split cabin 5 axis laser trim the excess material from the outside edge. We then proceed to include all fixing holes and slots, before finally removing the centre section to create an external panel for the public transport sector. To reduce overall waste we later cut the required stiffening ribs from the removed centre section. The fixture has been designed in such a manner that it is usable for each and every stage of the 5 axis laser cutting of these panels which also vary in overall size.

 

This pictorial illustrates the smooth ‘Tongue tested’ cut we are able to achieve direct from the laser cutting of 15mm S355 mild steel. These actual parts, which have been oxygen cut on our 3030 3.2kw CO2 laser machine will later become the base plate of a welded assembly within the yellow goods sector.

 

This image shows parts which have been nitrogen cut on one of our current three Trumpf flatbed laser cutting machines. Cut from pre galvanised material measuring 5 millimetres in thickness, each part is produced using our customer supplied CAD files. This ensure that, once on site, they simply bolt together accurately without modification. This enables the erection of industrial buildings in the quickest and most cost effective manner, whilst ensuring strength and safety is never compromised.

New Press Brake Equipment At GF Laser

“We, here at GF Laser Ltd, are delighted to announce the arrival of our new Amada HFE 3i press brake. Our third Amada press brake machine features a press capacity of 220 tonnes, coupled with a bend length of 4 metres which means we are now able to offer an even greater level of service to all of our customers. The state of the art 19”, 3 dimensional touch screen controls enable our fully trained operators to process parts quickly with a consistently high level of accuracy and repeatability.”

 

Laser Cutting at Grazebrook Dudley

Laser Cutting at Grazebrook Dudley

As with any laser cutting business continual investment is vital to keep the company growing and to remain competitive as laser cutting machines become faster and faster.

With this in mind GF Laser purchased their fifth laser cutting machine in May 2017 which is now up and running and ready for business. The new model joining the GF Laser family is the Trumpf 3030 Laser

Although GF Laser had only recently moved to larger premises they had outgrown them in the two years due to the growth in the laser cutting industry. The Directors decided to look for additional premises and when a suitable, 11,000 square feet site just a few hundred yards away became available, the company moved quickly to secure a lease.

New Fibre Laser

Given the success of the fibre laser working at GF Laser’s main site it was decided to purchase another fibre laser. The new generation of lasers were extremely fast at cutting thinner and medium gauge material and used around 40% less electricity than a traditional CO2 laser.

Whilst the site at Grazebrook was a great location with a large yard, cranage and excellent access for large vehicles there was still some work to do to prepare the site for laser cutting.

This included the following investments:

1 – Designing and constructing a new floor for the laser to ensure that it met the flatness and depth requirements.

2 – Installing CCTV and alarms to ensure the safety and security of staff.

3 – Installing a 30,000-litre nitrogen tank that could cope with the demands of laser cutting using fibre lasers.

4 – Compressed air system to serve the laser and for general use of the operatives.

5 – Suction sheet metal handling system to load material onto the laser without scratching material and to increase handling speeds.

6 – IT infrastructure so that laser programming can be undertaken at the main office including remote monitoring of the laser.

Stock Holding & Storge

Setting up the additional site, whilst a significant investment, does allow GF Laser to serve a wider range of companies with the additional capacity and space for storage of stock and customer material. Furthermore, the proximity of the site to GF Laser’s main factory and the excellent I.T links means that managing the operation will fit within the company’s existing management and quality systems.

Finally, the site has extensive room for expansion that will hopefully serve GF Laser and their customers well over the coming years.

Why Laser Cutting Aluminium Isn’t Easy.

Trumpf 3030 Laser in action

When GF Laser started in business, over 10 years ago, the laser cutting of aluminium was something that was quite specialist. Some subcontract laser cutting companies wouldn’t even cut the material because of the fact that it tended to burr and was generally problematic to run. Furthermore, the reflective properties of aluminium mean that there was a high risk of the laser beam reflecting back into the laser cutting machine causing serious damage.

With laser cutting machines costing hundreds of thousands of pounds little wonder that cutting aluminium with a laser wasn’t something that companies relished.

Soft Metal Laser Cutting

The reason that aluminium isn’t easy to laser cut is because it is a softer metal than say stainless steel. Its soft properties make it ideal for forming using a press brake or traditional press but those same properties make laser cutting aluminium a little harder.

Save On Deburring

Fortunately, GF Laser had bought a brand new laser in 2006 and with the support of Trumpf (Laser machine manufacturers) they achieved consistent results with aluminium minimising any burr so that the parts could be pressed without a deburring operation. During this time the team at GF Laser learnt some valuable lessons about cutting aluminium such as the grades that performed better, how constant attention to the cut whilst time consuming initially paid dividends in the quality of the finished product and reduced the time and cost of deburring.

Increased Capacity

Fast forward to today and with five lasers operating at GF Laser including two modern fiber versions then those early lessons in cutting aluminium have proved invaluable. Coupled with the massive improvements in laser cutting technology means that whilst laser cutting aluminium isn’t as easy as cutting stainless steel it’s certainly not as difficult as it was a decade ago.