Laser System Solutions for the Tool Industry
Areas of Application in the Tool Industry
In mass production and assembly line production, short cycle times and maximum yield are essential. This BARRACUDA is a master in fully automated processing of palletized tasks. The grippers take the parts from the left-hand pallet and place them in the integrated dividing head of the rotary table. The rotary table moves the part in front of the laser lens. The high-resolution camera system recognizes the rotational angle and position of the part and rotates the part in the correct position. Now the laser creates a micro engraving at the cutting edge. The second gripper takes the part that has been processed and automatically places it in the right-hand pallet.
Automation in the tool industry with the example of a laser system for marking hand tools. Multi-cycle automation helps to combine many working steps, thus increasing profitability. Apart from the automation, individual marking and engraving are also possible on the system, for example for prototypes. Click here to open the video of the SHARK multi-position dial workstation. Depending on your browser, it may take several seconds before the video starts.
Lasered scale with a “twist” on a turned twist drill
This is a very demanding task for a laser system. The turned scale on the twist drill requires an NC-controlled dividing head and powerful software. The twist drill has to be rotated during lasering in order to ensure the precise positioning of the numbers. The material in this example is burnished HSS.
Marking on shafts of carbide tools
During white marking, the surface of the material is slightly fused. This way, small fusion craters are created, which then reflect the light diffusely, similar to a sand-blasted surface. Only the smallest amount of material is removed. The removed layer thickness for white marking is significantly less than 1 µm. In principle, white marking is a special form or borderline form of engraving marking. Engraving marking generally aims at achieving a dark alteration of the engraving surface color, whereas for white marking a lighter surface color is intended.
Marking of a tool support
In the automotive industry, every gram of weight counts. Laser technology is used for a wide variety of applications. This example illustrates an innovative application – plastic welding of speedometer panels. This process eliminates the need for screws, clamps or glue. The new fiber laser technology works at a big focal depth. As a result, process-tolerant welding is possible even if the materials have different wall thicknesses or are not entirely square during the welding process.
3D micro engraving of chip breakers on a wide variety of tools
One area of 3D laser engraving is the creation of step chip breakers on tools. In general, it is either very time-consuming or simply impossible to create the structure mechanically, for example by milling, because of the small size and high resolution of the structural elements.
3D step chip breaker in PCD (polycrystalline diamond)
Because of their intrinsic hardness, PCD cutting edges are very difficult to machine. Spark erosion or grinding with diamond grinding discs is only suitable for sharpening. If precise step chip breakers are to be created in the material, the laser is the only viable option. Entirely wear-free and regardless of the material, the focused light burns any required 3D shape into the material.
Laser engraving and marking of rubber and plastics in the tool industry
The example on the right shows an engraving on the rubber handle of a screwdriver. Speed and precision are just two advantages when using lasers for rubber materials. Other advantages include the repeatable accuracy and extremely long service life (up to 100,000 hours for a fiber laser).
Flexible material processing with the laser in the Heinrich Kipp factory
The BARRACUDA by ACSYS is a flexible high-precision laser machining center. For our customer KIPP, the laser system was equipped with a barcode scanner and database connection. This scanner is used for reading the different processes into the production systems and for automatically loading the respective software program. KIPP manufactures individual batches according to specific customer orders. These products are marked with the laser according to customer requirements. “Due to bigger traverses and high precision, the BARRACUDA offers a whole range of new possibilities for machining a variety of very different parts,” says Mr Angelicchio, team leader in the KIPP logistics center. “The laser system has numerous new features, in whose use we were specifically trained here at KIPP.” To date, more than 350 different machining programs have been stored on the laser system.