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Optimizing Laser Cutting

Kollmorgen Enhances Performance and Precision for a Leading International Laser Company

Challenge

Since 1992, an Italian-based company has specialized in the design and manufacture of laser machine systems that are used around the world to cut a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, methacrylate and composite materials.

Key to the success of these machines is the ability to produce complex parts with consistent accuracy. As customers shifted to larger parts made from thicker or harder alloys, machine performance became limited by mechanical compliance that reduced the necessary bandwidth to perform the dynamic moves to cut parts in 3D. As the company’s long-standing motion partner, Kollmorgen was enlisted to implement a new motor solution to enhance accuracy, reduce cogging, and deliver exceptional machine positioning performance.

Solution

Kollmorgen, working in conjunction with the customer, implemented a water-cooled IC Series direct drive linear motor to enhance continuous force capabilities. By eliminating compliance caused by mechanical transmission components such as gearing and belting, the direct drive system design was able to achieve a new level of accuracy, stiffness, and dynamic positioning. Its high level of precision and minimal cogging surpassed customer expectations, while the added benefit of zero-maintenance dramatically improved productivity.

Further collaboration led to the implementation of the KBM Series direct drive motor for the machine’s rotating laser head, which resulted in a reduction of kinematics, increased accuracy of movement, and reduced laser head size. The direct drive frameless motor was easy to implement, using the machine’s own bearings to support the rotor.

Results

Kollmorgen’s collaborative design approach and partnership transformed this machine builder’s laser cutting machine performance to deliver a higher level of precision and accuracy.

  • Dramatic improvements in precision, rigidity, and high acceleration resulted in a 20% increase in machine productivity.
  • Large-format 3D metal cutting is now possible, even for items as large as metal tanks 13 meters long and 3 meters in diameter, allowing manufacturers to quickly assemble parts into higher level assemblies.
  • Specific cuts, such as chamfering or bevel cutting, can now be performed to complete all necessary machining passes without additional finishing processes.
  • Flexibility to cut sheet metal to a wide range of sizes from large to smaller decorative items.

“Close technical partnership from the earliest stages of design has enabled us to explore new roads together and accelerate the introduction of new machine capabilities required to meet ever-more-complex end customer needs.” - Fabio Massari, Sales Manager, KOLLMORGEN Italia

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About Kollmorgen

Kollmorgen has more than 100 years of motion experience, proven in the industry’s highest-performing, most reliable motors, drives, linear actuators, gearheads, AGV control solutions and automation platforms. We deliver breakthrough solutions that are unmatched in performance, reliability and ease of use, giving machine builders an irrefutable marketplace advantage.