In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how the laser cutting process is used within the automotive manufacturing industry. Because precision and detail are so important in this world, laser cutting is a common process, one that’s used in a few different specific areas.
At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer a huge selection of laser cutting and press brake services, and we apply our solutions to numerous industries. What are some of the other reasons this process is so valuable and popular within car manufacturing? Here’s a general primer.
Compact Machinery and Process
Space is always an important consideration within any manufacturing process, and auto manufacturing is no exception. Manufacturing facilities are looking to maximize their output per square foot, and the compact nature of laser cutting machines can open up a lot of possibilities in terms of how quickly and efficiently manufacturers can produce parts.
Compared to what it produces, the laser cutting machine is extremely small, which allows it to be housed in tight spaces, while still offering maximum output. This compact nature of the laser cutting process can increase productivity without increasing floor space.
No Downtime With Proper Maintenance
As long as a standard preventive maintenance program is employed, laser cutting machines experience basically zero downtime. This means that manufacturers can run their laser cutting machines for extended periods of time without worrying about any need to stop and get the unit serviced or repaired.
Once again, this is huge for auto manufacturing plants that are looking to maximize their output. Mistakes are extremely uncommon, allowing for high-quality parts that can be pushed out in high quantity.
Since lasers utilize high-power density and a small heat zone, the actual material being heated won’t rise in temperature too much. This means the properties of metals like steel won’t be measurably altered. What this translates to is very high tolerance levels, again allowing manufacturers to produce parts with extreme precision and accuracy without worrying about changing the properties of the steel or increasing wear on expensive machine tools.
This non-contact characteristic of laser cutting also contributes to its ability to create extremely close tolerances between two separate components that need be placed in close proximity. This has huge benefits in terms of assembly efficiency within auto manufacturing plants.
Getting Faster and Faster
Laser cutting machines have only continued to improve in recent years, and can now cut as fast as 40 meters per minute — this makes it similarly efficient as other low-cost cutting options like cutting dies or punch presses, both of which are much more time-consuming and less efficient. Laser cutting, on the other hand, is computer-controlled and moves much faster without sacrificing detail.
For more on the value of the laser cutting process in the automotive manufacturing industry, or to learn about any of our laser cutting, metal fabrication or other services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.