1991-04-01

Case Studies: Keys to Success in Laser Processing Aircraft and Turbine Engine Parts 911167

Multi-axis laser machining systems are having a significant impact on the way formed sheet metal parts are being cut, drilled and welded. For example, in replacing conventional machining, laser cutting has replaced milling for trimming deep drawn gas turbine engine part and increased throughput from 18 pieces per day to 18 pieces in 30 minutes. Reduced trimming and tooling expense, faster turnaround and more consistent parts are benefits frequently associated with laser processing of formed parts. With laser machining, setup involves mounting a minimal amount of fixturing required to hold the workpiece in position during machining. Once this is done, the NC program describing the machining parameters (laser processing conditions) and motion path is loaded into the CNC, a process taking minutes rather than the hours required for setup of hard tooling.The objective of this paper is to present examples of current industrial applications of multiaxis laser systems and to identify keys to successful application of these for processing formed parts. These examples illustrate important features of laser processing equipment. They also show how users of laser machining systems have justified purchase of these and how they have integrated laser processing into the design and manufacturing functions to maximize their benefits.

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