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Laser manufacturing trend: from production line to processing service

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Laser manufacturing trend: from production line to processing service

The emergence of laser technology has brought subversive changes to the manufacturing industry. The processes represented by cutting, welding, marking, cladding, etc. continue to penetrate the processing of various materials. After more than 20 years of development, laser processing has been fully developed in my country's metal manufacturing. In the future, it will have great potential in materials such as glass, plastics, and cloth fibers. As a tool, the application of lasers has achieved full coverage from traditional low-end industries to high-end industries. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that laser processing will still have decades of development in the future.


Speaking from laser cutting


As far as metal is concerned, the cutting of plates relies on hydraulic shears, CNC punching, or waterjet or flame cutting, which has always been relatively slow, and it is difficult to improve the efficiency. The emergence of laser cutting has made it easy to cut sheet metal, and the efficiency is the highest among all processing methods. The productivity of sheet metal cutting has been increased many times at once. This is the fundamental reason why laser has replaced traditional processing. Then switch to metal pipe cutting. The saw blade completes a section of pipe cutting in 20 seconds and the laser completes a pipe cutting in 1.5 seconds, which is not on the same level at all. It is also a general trend for laser tube cutting to replace grinding wheels and saw blades.


With the rise of the ultra-high power market in recent years, 20kW and even 30kW fiber laser cutting machines have been shipped in batches, which promotes the maturity of the laser process and continuously breaks the limit of cutting thickness. In the future, the functions of laser cutting will be further refined, and there will be more new highlights for laser cutting opportunities in special industries. For example, laser drilling machine, bevel laser cutting machine; heavy pipe and small pipe laser pipe cutting machine and other equipment will demonstrate higher specificity and high efficiency.


The general function of laser metal cutting is to realize the initial end processing of plates and pipes into parts. At present, it is widely used in dozens of industries such as construction stainless steel, machinery, kitchenware, elevators, home appliances, auto parts, engineering vehicles, and cabinet structures.


Laser equipment is of course used on the production line, but if we trace the final orientation of these laser equipment, we will find that some large companies do not purchase the most laser equipment, such as a division of Midea Electric Appliances, and the production capacity of a certain household appliance in batches. It is very large. There is a lot of stainless steel processing, but only three cutting machines with a power of 4KW or less have been purchased. Midea is already a large-scale enterprise, but laser cutting is only one part of their blank parts production, and only three machines have been purchased.


In fact, we have seen the current shipments of 30,000 to 40,000 laser cutting equipment in a year. Most of the products have not gone to well-known large companies, but have entered metal processing products factories.


From production line to processing service


Many well-known enterprises and terminal consumer product manufacturers have developed to the end, mainly doing product design, technology research and development, brand promotion, product integration and assembly, etc. Some fragmentary parts processing and parts production have chosen to outsource and external purchase. For example, home appliance companies, automobile companies, and mobile phone manufacturers have many small supporting parts factories around them. These large companies are responsible for outsourcing processing and purchasing parts and back to assemble. The same is true for automobiles. Automakers are responsible for stamping parts, body welding, spraying and final assembly, while many other parts of the car rely on supporting factories to purchase. Apple's mobile phone even outsourced product integration and assembly to Foxconn.


This is a major trend in the division of labor in the industrial chain after the manufacturing industry has matured. Therefore, in the area of laser metal material processing, a large number of professional laser foundry service manufacturers have developed, which may also be a major trend in the future.


We know that the United States first developed the laser industry and is also the country with the most mature laser technology and applications. There was a saying that nearly 50% of industrial manufacturing in the United States is related to laser technology. The development of laser manufacturing in the United States is closely related to the tens of thousands of laser processing service providers that it has developed.


In recent years, there have been thousands of large and small laser processing service providers in our country. They purchase at least one or two, and more than a dozen equipment. They are currently the main body of laser cutting processing equipment with the largest purchase volume. . Laser manufacturing has gradually derived professional processing service providers. At present, in some industrially developed cities, you often see laser processing stores on the streets and alleys, indicating that my country's laser processing services are gradually mature. Some of these service providers already have a certain scale and have realized corporate operations. The development of the laser processing service chain will greatly promote the promotion of laser applications in my country and will be an important trend in the development of lasers in my country.


Laser processing needs a good chiller


This kind of professional laser processing service provider generally accepts processing orders for a long time, and the machine's start-up operation time is often very long, and it is very likely that it will be calculated 7x24 when the work is in a hurry. Then the lasers, machine tools, and processing heads are all major tests, and they are easily damaged if they are not maintained well. The laser and the processing head heat up for a long time, so the chiller responsible for cooling is very important.


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