December 1, 2022
Fibre laser cutting heads: Serviceability in the field
Blog by Steve Haddrell.
Recently I visited a potential customer who had a very nice and relatively new 10 kW fibre laser. This wasn’t a Nukon fibre laser, but a recognized European brand.
Standing with the manager, I watched the machine cut 10mm mild steel with nitrogen, at high speed.
Although the machine was cutting well while I was on site, it previously had a difficult initial period when it was installed. It had taken six new cutting heads, over six months to get the machine cutting consistently at full power.
Why so many heads? Well, once the first one had failed, each time they changed out the head, a small amount of contamination had got into the new head, caused a hot spot on one of the optics, resulting in another failure.
The root cause behind these issues: the head design used did not allow the collimator, cutting lens, or protective windows to be demounted and checked for contamination, and/or cleaned.
Modern industrial fibre lasers are growing in power. As lasers of powers greater than 10 kW become more common, the ability to service the head and its optics in the field will become more and more critical. These high-powered devices become less and less tolerant of contamination as the power increases.
To address this, Nukon have designed the NLCH, which is capable of powers up to 20 kW, to have fully field-serviceable optics, along with monitoring of temperature, errant light, humidity, pressure and other parameters.
Heads that don’t have these features are the past, not the future.
Contact us now to chat to Steve about your fibre laser cutting problems.