Initial situation

Tubilaser srl is a company that for over 15 years has sold tubing and acted as a service center to provide laser cut parts. Customers belong to a wide variety of industries; construction (bridges and stadiums), agricultural equipment, ski lifts, metal furniture and general fabrication.

Effect

Products sold for construction projects and farm equipment have tremendous cost pressures. Customers demand first and foremost that the costs must be cheap. For Tubilaser purchasing the BLM GROUP Lasertube system was the way to stand out from the competition by offering higher quality products at a lower cost to customers.

The solution

The first tube processing laser systems were purchased when the company opened: a LT652 system and a LT20 system equipped with CO2 laser system. In 2014 the old lasers were replaced with a LTFiber for thin walled work. They also added a LT14 system with 3kW fibre laser to process large diameter thick walled tubes . Turning to laser for larger tubes was not a predictable decision. Although fibre laser considerably increases cutting speed on thinner materials, the advantages on thicker materials had not yet been acknowledged. Over time, all customers came to appreciate the accuracy, flexibility and versatility, finding innovative technical solutions to exploit its potentials. But the most considerable advantage was certainly in terms of cost. With traditional methods, the real processing time, and consequently the cost, cannot be easily estimated because of logistic and handling factors and more, in general, the single operator's ability. With laser processing, Tubilaser can supply a high quality product with guaranteed quality and costs.

One success story involved the fabrication of railway signal gantries. Traditionally these structures were erected on site and required a large amout of hand labor and rework. With the LT14 the pre-cut parts were delivered to the site and quickly assembled without the need for costly adustments to the parts. The accuracy of the laser cut parts saved MANY costly man hours in the field. In this case the winning factor was certainly saving.

Tubilaser has learned that the fiber laser’s redundant power modules can keep production going when a single module fails. This is different from CO2 technology. The fiber laser operates within a safety enclosure. Production progress is monitored via camera.

The advantages

The fiber laser cutting system provides production speed, accuracy, reliability and ease of use. Above all, it makes it possible to reduce operating costs. Electrical consumption is less than half compared to a CO2 laser and maintenance costs are dramatically slashed because there are no mechanical parts within the laser or along the optical path that need routine replacement

Technical aspects

Fiber laser versatility and flexibility can be exploited to process even large size tubes efficiently for clean and high quality results.