Laser cutting all shapes and sizes of tube
The optimal laser cutting of tubes, whether round, square, rectangular or asymmetrical in shape, is difficult to imagine without lasers. Laser systems have revolutionized tube cutting machining, especially when it comes to complicated shapes.
Advantages tube laser cutting
- Design freedom
- High speed
- High quality without post-processing such as deburring
- Laser cutting and punching complex shapes
New cheaper product designs
Laser cutting offers possibilities for completely new product designs. Innovative and complicated shapes are easy to achieve with the laser and can make a product stronger or aesthetically better without sacrificing strength. By applying special laser-cut features, tube profiles can be bent or joined more easily, which simplifies assembly and welding steps and reduces production costs.
Quick to program, also for prototyping and smaller series
Simple programming from a computer-aided design drawing makes it possible to quickly program a part for laser cutting, even when it comes to small series production or prototyping. Not only can the tube laser machine parts quickly, but set-up time is minimal, allowing you to make parts just-in-time to reduce inventory costs.
Tube laser cutting from soft/thin to hard/thick tube material
Most tube lasers are equipped with resonators that provide 1KW, 2KW to 4KW of cutting power. This is sufficient to efficiently cut the typical maximum thickness of mild steel tubing (8mm) and the typical maximum thickness of aluminum and stainless steel tubing (6mm). Manufacturers processing large amounts of aluminum and stainless steel will require a machine with the higher laser power.
Pipe length – 6 meters or more
Pipes are usually supplied in standard sizes, usually 6 to 8 meters and sometimes longer. For high volume applications, the tubes are custom made to minimize waste. Tube lasers can process up to 6 meters of tubes as standard longer on request.
Loading and unloading of material
A tube laser normally spins so fast that manual loading processes cannot keep up. That is why tube laser cutting machines are usually supplied with a bundle loader, which loads bundles of up to 8,000 kg of material into a warehouse. The loader separates the tubes and loads them into the machine one by one. It is also possible to manually load the machine.
Automatic seam and shape detection
Welded tubes are much more widely used in fabrications than seamless tubes, and the weld seam can interfere with the laser cutting process and possibly final assembly. A laser machine equipped with the right hardware can usually detect welds from the outside, but sometimes the pipe finish hides the seam. A typical seam detection system uses two cameras and two light sources to look at the outside and inside of the pipe to detect the weld. After the vision system detects the weld, the machine's software and control system rotates the pipe to minimize the impact of the weld on the finished product.
Profiles suitable for tube laser cutting
Most tube laser systems can cut round, square and rectangular tubes, as well as profiles such as teardrop shapes, angle iron and C-channels. Asymmetrical profiles can be challenging to load and clamp properly, so an optional camera with special lighting inspects the tube during the loading process and adapts the chuck to the detected profile. This guarantees reliable loading and cutting of asymmetric profiles.
After you determine the value a pipe laser cutting system can add to the manufacturing process, you need to configure the equipment for your application. For example, a loading system that is too short can seriously affect the nesting efficiency of finished parts, increasing scrap, while a system that is too long requires a higher initial investment and more floor space than necessary. MetaQuip can advise you on this and in most cases also cut test pieces first. This allows you to evaluate all available options to ensure that your investment delivers the best possible return.
Want to get a quote, demonstration or your own material?
You are most welcome to see whether laser technology is a suitable solution for your cutting or engraving application or application. Bring your digital design or material to a demonstration and we can view the result on the spot. Of course you can also send it.
Tube laser cutting for motorcycles and frames
An example of tube laser cutting for motorcycles and frames for ATV (All-Terrain Vehicles) /UTV buggy frames popular in a number of countries for their speed and minimal footprint.
As a manufacturer of road motorcycles and ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) for recreation and sports, the total production volume is high, but the individual batches are small and change rapidly. There are many types of frames, bodies, engines and mechanical parts and often runs of only a few hundred pieces of each part are required. Despite the very large number of products, quality levels and delivery times must be observed.
Investing in laser technology means guaranteeing maximum flexibility and efficiency to quickly produce even very small batches while maintaining the high level of quality.
Essential in the improvement process was the application of versatile systems that can guarantee precision machining, adaptability, repeatability and high production speeds.
The MetaQuip laser tube cutting machine with automatic bundle loader is equipped for the development of new products and for the laser cutting of tube profiles for the manufacture of frames and many other components. The use of the laser tube is flexible and fast.
Fire protection in buildings
More and more, traditional fire protection is not sufficient and IoT connected automated fire prevention in buildings and cities is being looked at.
One of the most important parts in this is the fire protection pipe network and nozzles. Tube lasers are perfect in realizing the wishes and requirements of such systems.
Laser machines suitable for profile and tube laser cutting
Fiber laser tube/profile laser cutter
MetaQuip also supplies solutions for the metal laser cutting of tubes and profiles up to standard lengths up to 6 meters, but longer is also possible. These machines are mainly used for industrial applications. In addition to 2D tube laser cutting, MetaQuip also supplies 3D solutions.