A versatile CNC laser cutting service

Utilising the latest in laser cutting technology including C02 and Fibre Laser machines, we are able to offer a versatile precision laser cutting service in various material types including:

  • Mild Steel
  • Coated Steels
  • Stainless Steels
  • Aluminium
  • Wood
  • Plastics

Accurate laser cutting technologies

Laser cutting is a precise method of cutting a design from a given material using a CAD file to guide it. This thermal cutting process uses two forms of laser sources: Fibre laser and CO2 laser. The fibre laser is the most innovative laser cutting technology currently on the market.

Operating since 1989, we have a team of experts that have extensive knowledge of many material types and applications in a broad range of industries.

Laser cutting is a precise method of cutting a design from a given material using a CAD file to guide it. This thermal cutting process uses two forms of laser sources: Fibre Laser and CO2 laser. The fibre laser is the most innovative laser cutting technology currently on the market.

 

Advantages of Laser Cutting

Versatility

The laser can cut materials that are flat, tubed or profiled

Power

CO2 lasers use a gas mixture and have an exceptionally high voltage

Precision

Laser cutters have a positioning accuracy of 10 micrometers and repeatability of 5 micrometers


Ensuring that we are continually investing in new technologies and techniques to remain at the forefront of the sheet metal fabrication industry is an essential part to how we operate here at Alpha Manufacturing.

Utilising 3 laser cutting machines, we are able to laser cut/laser profile mild steel sheet metal up to 25mm thick. Our laser cutting department currently consists of one Bystronic Fibre Laser and a Bystronic CO2 laser machine plus a Trumpf TruLaser 3030 Fibre Laser.

TruLaser 3030 fibre laser

The most recent of our three laser cutting machines, the Trumpf TruLaser 3030 fibre machine is at the cutting edge of fibre laser technology. It allows us to offer an unbeatable level of high-speed precision profiling. Our TruLaser machine is also equipped with an automated Sheet Master to load raw material and remove finished parts. This machine is also integrated into our automated STOPA storage system which further improves processing speeds.

Bystronic BySpeed 3015

This C02 laser machine utilises a high power 4400 W laser to offer a rapid cutting service in medium to thick materials. This allows us to offer a varied laser cutting service suited to the individual needs of our customers.

Bystronic BySprint Fibre 4020

This fibre laser machine offers unparalleled parts production and first-class cutting quality, particularly for thin to medium thick sheet metal. A reliable and efficient machine which is an integral part of Alpha’s metal laser cutting services.

State-of-the-art laser cutting machines

We have a highly-qualified workforce that can offer support throughout your project to ensure all manufacturing processes are exact to your design specifications.

Q. How Does Laser Cutting Work?

The laser is an extremely versatile tool which can handle a wide variety of cutting tasks from ultra-precise cutting joints in paper-thin material to quality cuts in 30mm thick steel.

A focused laser beam strikes the material with such heat that it melts or even vaporises - the beam can then penetrate the workpiece. The cutting process begins as the laser beam moves along the part, melting the material as it goes. Laser cutting is a highly accurate, fast process - parts do not suffer from heat distortion due in part to the speed the laser head is travelling.

Quality is at the centre of how we operate

From metalwork design through to delivery, the project is handled continually in our facilities which negates all potential third party issues that may occur with other fabrication services.

Quality is at the centre of how we operate here at Alpha manufacturing and the quality of our sheet metal laser cutting service is continually developing to provide you the best possible service. Find out more about our promise to provide quality by clicking here.

CNC Metal Laser Cutting Capabilities

Material Thickness

  • Mild Steel Laser cutting: up to 25mm
  • Stainless Steel Laser cutting: up to 20mm
  • Aluminium Laser cutting: up to 12mm

Maximum Sheet Size

  • Up to 4000mm x 2000mm
Laser cutting specifications - 4000mm x 2000mm

FAQ

What is sheet metal Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting is an extremely accurate method of cutting precise shapes from a workpiece (usually sheet metal). It works by focusing a high-powered beam at the work piece, which in turn will melt or even vaporise the material.

The laser beam then follows a pre-determined path to cut out the parts, melting the material as it goes, this allows for very complex shapes to be created quickly and accurately. Parts are then removed from the sheet metal skeleton by the operator. This is known as “breaking out”.

What machinery is used to laser cut sheet metal?

There are two primary types of laser cutting machines; Co2 and Fibre Lasers which operate slightly differently and have individual characteristics. At Alpha Manufacturing, we currently operate two Fibre Lasers and one C02 machine.

An example of a Trumpf TruLaser Fiber Laser machine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmno7-EcSNg

How do Co2 Lasers work?

Co2 Lasers are the most commonly used laser cutting machines. They use a carbon dioxide gas mixture which is charged using a high intensity electronic current. The C02 Laser is highly efficient and accurate, with a wavelength of around 10.6 micrometres it is most useful for laser cutting non-metallic materials such as wood or plastics.

What is the Fibre laser cutting process?

A fibre laser is what’s known as a “solid state” machine. It generates a highly focused beam using a “seed laser” which is then amplified many time over using glass fibres. This creates a small diameter laser beam which is up to 100 times more intense than a C02 beam. This makes a fibre laser much more energy efficient than the Co2 alternative.

How are parts programmed for laser cutting?

Programming parts to be laser cut is much like programming parts for punching. The programming department will receive a nesting list from planning, this will outline the laser jobs for that day.

Programming will then work on this list, producing what is called a “nest” of parts on a sheet. Obviously, it is beneficial in terms of cost and efficiency to fit as many parts on one sheet as possible, so the programmers will nest as many parts as closely together as possible. To achieve this, the programming department uses a piece of software called Radan.

The programmer will receive a part model from the design department and import this into the Radan “multi-part nester”. Using this, the programmer can layout multiple parts onto the sheet; this is referred to as “nesting”.

Finally, the programming department will output the program in the form of a “block file” which the Laser machine operator will input into the machine and produce the parts as specified in the program.

What materials can be laser cut?

The majority of the laser cutting we do here at Alpha Manufacturing is from sheet metal. We can laser cut:

  • Mild steel up to 25mm
  • Stainless Steel up to 20mm
  • Aluminium up to 12mm in thickness

However, metal is not the only material that can be laser cut and we do also process various woods and plastics.

What are the limitations of Laser Cutting?

  • Often, a similar outcome can be achieved by either Punching or Laser cutting and there are factors to consider when deciding which process to use.
  • Laser cutting is generally a slower process than punching as a laser needs a “lead in” before cutting a complete shape. This means that the laser will need to penetrate the material at a point before moving around a pattern to cut out a shape. A punch however will need only one “hit” to remove the shape from the material before quickly moving on to the next hit.
  • Another consideration specific to Alpha Manufacturing when considering Laser or Punch is that our Punch machines have fully automated load/ unload facilities which mean that they can run 24/7 “lights out”.
  • A tool called a sheet master will load blank sheets onto the punch bed, the punch will manipulate and punch the sheet before the sheet master removes the finished parts.

Our lasers currently do not have the facility to remove finished parts, meaning that an operator is needed to oversee the job whilst running.

If you have a question regarding Laser Cutting or any other sheet metal processes, please get in touch

Make an enquiry, upload a technical drawing

We work with businesses in a wide variety of sectors with capabilities to offer short and long runs of metal products.