Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Laser leverages its machines' 5C collets for parts as small as ¾ inch in diameter, machines are avail- able to handle parts with diameters as small as 2 mm and as large as 32 mm. With this wide range, they can also be useful for automotive, aerospace or any other work that can benefit from automatic tube loading and high-speed laser cutting of intri- cate, burr-free windows and slots, he says. Just as notably, cutting isn't the only laser process available on the LaserSwiss line. The most recently released models are also available with laser welding heads, whether in isolation or in combination with a laser cutting head. Laser welding on a Swiss-type lathe proceeds in essentially the same way as it does on a dedicated system, Mr. Noake says. That is, blow away cool- ant and other debris, envelop the part in an inert gas (usually argon), and weld. As is the case with adding laser cutting capabil- ity, medical work was top-of-mind for the supplier when it added laser welding to its Swiss-type lathes, Mr. Noake says. Most applications so far have involved welding preformed tips and plugs to tubular parts. Medical industry customers have also leveraged this capability to help close off the ends of tubes. This task is typically performed via swaging, a cold-forming process that is effective but can also create micro-cracks in the material. A Swiss-type-mounted laser can reflow the swaged material and close these micro-cracks. The line continues to advance. "The market for LaserSwiss didn't exist five years ago," Mr. Noake says, pointing out that initial "best guesses" about the features and accessories cus- tomers might demand have given way to a more nuanced approach to configuring the lathes. Examples include options for standard rather than through-coolant bar feeders, a wider range of power supplies (200 to 500 W) and higher maximum assist gas pressure (350 psi, versus 200 before). As for Northeast Laser, owner Richard Rosselli says the two LaserSwiss machines have made a significant contribution even without welding capability. "Our area of Connecticut isn't the man- ufacturing hotbed it used to be, but we've been able to thrive," he says. "We have good, qualified people, and we extensively employ automation to remain competitive and ensure quality. The Tsuga- mis fit right into that." An example of a part produced on one of Tsugami/Rem Sales' LaserSwiss machines. Puzzle cuts, spirals, long windows and slots, and other such features in thin-walled tubes can be difficult or impossi- ble to machine conventionally. Photo courtesy of Tsugami/Rem Sales. MMS JANUARY 2018 74 SWISS-T YPES Northeast Laser & Electropolish 203-268-7238 | Tsugami/Rem Sales | 860-687-3400 |

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