Increased reliability: RFID lens
TRUMPF’s new RFID lens increases the measurement accuracy of the LensLine sensor system, which now offers enhanced condition checking functions and is even more operator-friendly than before.
Greater accuracy, process reliability and user-friendliness – TRUMPF has enhanced its LensLine sensor system by combining it with an RFID (radio frequency identification) lens. The LensLine condition checking function improves the reliability of cutting processes implemented using 2D laser machines and reduces the frequency of lens cleaning.
Enhanced condition checking
When machines are using high laser power to cut sheet metal, grime accumulates on the lens in the laser cutting head. To ensure that the cutting process consistently delivers reliable, high-quality results, the machine operator has to check the lens at regular intervals, and if necessary clean or replace it. This normally involves a visual inspection, in which the operator removes the lens from the cutting head and looks for signs of contamination. These are not easy to detect in the case of transparent deposits.
The enhanced condition checking function of TRUMPF’s LensLine sensor system can perform such tests faster and more accurately. At the push of a button, the system analyzes the condition of the lens and informs the operator if the lens needs cleaning or replacing. The condition checking can also be carried out automatically at predefined intervals.
Optimized cleaning cycle
As of July 2013, the new RFID lens is a standard feature of all TRUMPF TruLaser Series 3000 machines with a CO2 laser. A version for the TruLaser Series 5000 will be presented at Blechexpo 2013 – the international trade show for sheet metal processing. The RFID chip attached to the lens records condition checking data and other information such as the number of the times the lens has been cleaned.
This method provides even more accurate measurements than the previous LensLine, and has the added value of being more objective than a visual inspection. A simple traffic-light system is used to display the test results on the machine operator’s control: green = good condition, yellow = cleaning recommended, red = cleaning or replacement required. In this way the operator knows exactly when the lens needs to be cleaned and can optimize the cleaning cycle without having to resort to time-consuming visual inspections or preventive maintenance.
Thanks to a schematic display that provides a complete overview of the lens cleaning cycle, the operator only has to intervene when it is absolutely necessary. In total, the LensLine solution permits customers to cut cleaning times by up to 40 percent.
Another advantage of the new LensLine with RFID technology is that it increases the reliability of the cutting process by ensuring that only lenses with the correct focal length are installed in the machine, in the correct mounting position.
The enhanced LensLine not only delivers objective, accurate measurements of the condition of the lens but also provides additional protection if the lens is not cleaned at the prescribed intervals. If grime accumulates beyond a certain concentration, there is a risk that the lens will absorb too much laser energy, causing it to overheat and in the worst case start to decompose. LensLine detects the first signs of this thermal degradation process and responds within a few milliseconds by switching off the laser. Once the lens has been replaced, the cutting process can be continued safely.
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com