Initial situation

Aperam is a major manufacturer of welded stainless steel tube  and automotive exhaust systems  for customers in over forty countries worldwide. Aperam Stainless Services & Solutions Tubi CZ, based in the Czech Republic has a long and interesting history.

Effect

Their production has increased eightfold since 2005. Today, there they have eleven sawing machines on cutting lines producing about four million parts per month. We are talking about tubes from 10 to 90 mm (.400” to 3.5”) in diameter made of stainless steel for exhaust systems. Their interest in laser cutting developed  over time. Initial calculations indicated that it was not economically advantageous. Then BLM GROUP introduced a specific version of the Lasertube LT5 dedicated to making straight cuts on round tubes.

The solution

With the Lasertube LT5, production increased by 30% compared to their fastest sawing machine. In addition to being more productive, the LT5 is also more cost-effective. The greatest advantage of the laser is the ability to cut austenitic steel, the properties of which are known to greatly decrease saw blade cutting life. What is more, the machine consumes less electricity compared  to a traditional saw. This provides a  significant reduction in running costs on the process as a whole. Choosing the LT5 over a traditional sawing machine means saving 5% on total costs. Laser operation is very simple: simple straight cuts can be programmed directly on the machine with amazing ease.

The benefits

Laser cutting improves efficiency, system productivity and part quality while reducing running costs. From the commercial point of view, it also offers good opportunities for expanding their range of products and services.

Technical aspects

The version of the Lasertube LT5 specifically designed for straight cut off on round tubes is particularly effectivel for cutting stainless steel and other high strength matierals. The maintenance-free fiber laser offers a sizeable savings on the electricity bill. It also offers the potential for cutting reflective materials such as aluminum, copper , brass and galvanized.