As market competition intensifies, the fiber laser cutting market has moved from the brutal growth phase of pursuing power to a more refined stage of fully exploring user needs. In this stage, the technological gap between brands is constantly narrowing. The key to breaking through for laser equipment manufacturers is to accurately target user positioning and provide users with more suitable products and solutions. Laser-cutting users will also have more diverse options and are expected to improve cutting efficiency without increasing power.
Power has been increasing every year. Will 60kW be the ceiling?
There is no doubt that increasing power is the most direct way to improve cutting speed and cutting ability. Over the past decade, the power of laser cutting in the metal field has increased from several hundred watts to over a thousand watts, to tens of thousands of watts, and then to 30,000, 50,000, and 60,000 watts. Each power increase has brought about significant improvements in cutting speed and cutting thickness. At the CIMT International Machine Tool Exhibition, Penta Laser showcased a 60kW ultra-high-power fiber laser cutting machine. This is currently the highest power product for laser cutting among users in the industry, and it will also pose a strong challenge to traditional processes such as plasma in industries such as shipbuilding, heavy machinery, steel structures, and other industries with a high demand for thick plates.
It can be said that for users with high demand for thick plate processing, the 60,000-watt laser is undoubtedly a “magic tool” to improve the quality and efficiency of production lines. However, after 60,000 watts, will there be 70,000-watt, 80,000-watt, or even 100,000-watt cutting machines? Penta Laser President Wu Rangda said in an interview with laser.ofweek.com, “The development of laser cutting machines can be concluded with 60,000 watts, because the current 60,000-watt laser cutting machine has the ability to completely replace plasma and flame cutting. Further increasing laser power will not significantly contribute to cutting efficiency and cutting ability, but will increase user costs and energy consumption.”
Although the current application end does not have a significant demand for higher power, laser manufacturers have already prepared in advance. In 2021, Raycus Laser delivered a 100kW laser, which laid a foundation for the launch of higher power cutting applications in the future at the light source level.
Unlocking the potential of power: 12kW can be comparable to 20kW
Higher power can bring higher efficiency, but it also means higher procurement costs and higher energy consumption. For the vast majority of users in the market, the demand for processing medium and thin plates is more common. In the past, the only way to improve the processing efficiency of medium and thin plates was to increase power by spending more money. Now, these types of users have a new choice.
At this exhibition, HGLaser, Raycus Laser, and Friendess jointly released a new generation of 12kW laser cutting machine named “12000-HP Cutting War God”. This cutting machine is an intelligent device that features a super strong core, super stable system, and super fast processing. It is also a cutting tool tailored for medium and thin plates.
At the core light source level, Raycus Laser’s 12000W-HP laser source provides significantly better results than conventional 12000W sources. Data shows that at full power, the 12000W-HP laser source can increase the cutting speed by an average of over 40% for commonly used thicknesses of 3-10mm, especially achieving an efficiency increase of up to 85% when cutting 6mm carbon steel. When compared to a conventional 20000W laser cutting speed, we found that the two have similar overall speeds, but the 12000W-HP has a faster cutting speed when cutting 6mm stainless steel and carbon steel.
At the core component level, Friendess provides a variable beam cutting head that can switch beam shapes at any time for different thicknesses of sheet metal, while also meeting the processing needs of thin and thick sheet metal, achieving doubled efficiency. For example, when cutting thick plates or requiring higher section quality, the A beam with uniform beam quality can be selected to improve the section quality and obtain smaller perpendicularity. When cutting thin plates, the B beam, which can further enhance the energy density, can significantly improve the cutting efficiency of thin plates. In addition, this cutting head also has functions such as real-time air pressure monitoring, protective mirror temperature monitoring, protective mirror explosion-proof detection, and cutting head anti-collision design, ensuring stable long-term processing.
In addition to combining Raycus Laser’s next-generation light source and Friendess’s variable beam cutting head, HGLaser has also upgraded the machine tool structure, intelligent interconnection, and cutting process. The 12000-HP cutting machine uses a hollow bed and cast aluminum crossbeam, with a maximum acceleration of 4G and a maximum XY linkage speed of 200m/min. It only takes 0.1 milliseconds to read communication data. At the same time, HGLaser has also tackled many pain points of laser cutting technology and, with the support of Friendess’s new generation system, can achieve functions such as perforation detection, intelligent back cutting, contactless perforation, markless micro-joints, and sharp corner cutting, achieving high-quality and efficient cutting.
It can be said that HGLaser, Raycus Laser, and Friendess have joined forces to create a cutting-edge laser-cutting machine for medium and thin plates, maximizing the 12000W laser power and greatly increasing processing efficiency. This collaboration has created a powerful tool in the laser industry.
How do users choose? They need to consider their own needs and do a proper economic analysis
For the vast majority of processing users, the ultimate goal of improving processing efficiency is actually to create greater value. At the same time, whether the equipment can reduce costs and increase returns is also an important factor for users when choosing equipment.
As mentioned earlier, the efficiency of Raycus Laser’s 12000W-HP laser is significantly higher than that of the conventional 12kW laser, and it is close to or even surpasses some thicknesses of conventional 20kW lasers. At the same time as efficiency is improved, the operating cost of the 12000W-HP laser is also reduced. According to calculations, the costs of processing 3-10mm thick stainless steel and carbon steel have significantly decreased, with the highest cost reduction being up to 50%.
Taking the example of cutting 6mm carbon steel, processing 100,000 meters with the 12000W-HP laser can save about 5,300 yuan and 59 hours of time compared to the conventional 12kW laser. Taking the example of cutting 10mm stainless steel, processing 100,000 meters with the 12000W-HP laser can save about 4,300 yuan and 42 hours of time compared to a competitor’s product.
In addition, the Raycus Laser’s 12000W-HP laser has reserved 1000W of power, and the power stability can be controlled within ±1%. The laser also has multiple anti-high-reflection designs and intelligent monitoring functions that can perform real-time monitoring of visible light, feedback light, and leakage light signals. These designs ensure that the laser can operate stably for a long time, while also ensuring that users can operate continuously for a long time, reducing additional costs from maintenance and losses from production stoppage.
Whether it is to pursue higher laser power and open up the application market for thick and ultra-thick plates, or to unleash the potential of applications in the same power range and strive to help customers create greater value at lower costs, it all brings new benefits to the laser cutting industry. For the more common thin plate processing needs in the market, the 12000-HP cutting machine can truly help users achieve higher quality, lower costs, and increased efficiency, making it the best cost-effective option for customers.
It is worth mentioning that with the advent of this cutting machine, the “power-only” approach in the laser industry has been broken, and companies have found new development directions beyond just increasing power. That is, to focus on exploring the maximum potential of products in each power range so that users can truly get the most out of their equipment and achieve maximum value. Although the growth of the laser cutting market is not as rapid as it was a few years ago, the competitive model of precision and meticulous work will give birth to more new ideas, and will take the Chinese laser cutting market from quantity growth to quality upgrading.
Source from ofweek.com