Combined punching and laser processing rises to a new class
TRUMPF will be presenting a wealth of innovations at the Euroblech 2014. Among them is the TruMatic 6000 fiber. This combined punching and laser cutting machine exploits the benefits of the solid-state laser in a new performance class. High feed rates in thin sheet metal as well as great variety in the materials to be worked distinguish this high-productivity machine.
At the Euroblech 2014 numerous world premieres and many innovations along the entire process chain will be on exhibit in the TRUMPF booth – more than ever before unveiled at a trade show. Appearing in almost every product sector are innovations for economical and profitable laser cutting, welding and marking, along with punching and bending. Not only will visitors see a trend-setting design and programming software. Also on display are the new generation in the TruBend Series 5000 and—with the semi-automated TruBend Center—a completely new member of the TRUMPF press brake line. Also celebrating its premiere will be the TruPunch 5000, which has again raised productivity and reliability standards in punching. The TruMark 5050, thanks to higher mean laser power, can mark products even faster and still at outstanding quality. Numerous innovations also make the TruLaser 2D laser cutting machines a highlight. Also new is the TruMatic 6000 fiber, a combined punch laser machine.
High productivity in thin sheet metal
The TruMatic 6000 fiber joins the advantages of the solid-state laser with high-quality punching technology, making it a productive punch laser machine when working thin sheet metal. It uses the high cutting speeds possible with the TruDisk 3001 and combines its 180 kilonewtons of punching force, at 1,000 strokes per minute, with highly dynamic drives. With these high performance values and a rugged machine concept, proven in many years of service, the TruMatic 6000 fiber sets new benchmarks in productivity and process reliability. It rapidly cuts, punches and shapes sheet metal up to 6.4 millimeters thick. When engraving, it marks parts at superb productivity, with 2,800 strokes per minute.
When considering the productivity, the strengths of the solid-state laser come to bear especially in galvanized mild steel and film-covered stainless steel. In this application area the advancing speeds are as much as six times those of a CO2 laser of the same power. That the quality is excellent goes without saying. The descending die, a laser guard with its own NC axis, and part removal flaps equipped with brushes ensure gentle processing of the materials and high parts quality. To ensure that delicate curves and tight radii are cut with superior quality at both edges and corners, the machine is also equipped with a sophisticated laser output control system.
LaserNetwork guarantees flexibility
The solid-state laser brings about additional advantages. It expands the range of materials that the TruMatic 6000 fiber can work. This means that not only mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum can be processed, but non-ferrous metals like copper and brass, as well. Thanks to nitrogen cutting technology, the best edge quality and dimensional accuracy can be achieved in non-ferrous metals with minimum thermal warping. The unique design of the TruDisk makes for reliable operations, undisturbed by back-reflections. In this way the TruMatic 6000 fiber also sets new milestones in quality and flexibility.
Guided by the laser light cable, the beam is directed to the point where it is needed. This might be the cutting head at the TruMatic 6000 fiber, a welding cell or another TRUMPF machine that uses the laser as a tool. This is made possible by the so-called LaserNetwork. Here, multiple machines can share the TruDisk 3001 and thus optimize laser use. This concept is especially attractive to companies that are making their entry into laser welding. The laser also uses minimal energy thanks to its high efficiency level.
Thought through automation
TRUMPF offers myriad options to keep down non-productive times for the TruMatic 6000 fiber. Among them are automation for the material flow and tool change, along with the so-called smart functions. The latter determine whether a need for action has arisen and then takes that action automatically. The smart punch monitoring function, for instance, determines whether a punch has broken, stops the machine, and notifies the operator. This keeps faulty parts from being manufactured and boosts material efficiency. Smart load precisely aligns the sheet on the machine, even though it had been carelessly positioned on the feedstock stack—without the machine operator having to intervene. At the other end, smart unload optimizes the removal process. The machine will recognize if a part hangs up in the scrap skeleton and rectifies the situation automatically. Manual oiling of the sheet metal is also eliminated, since a spray lubrication system, below the fixed slide before the die holder handles this function.
If desired, automatic loading and unloading can be handled by the SheetMaster, using individually controlled vacuum grippers. The SheetMaster sorts and positions the parts on carts or pallets. The machine discharges small items directly, via part removal flaps and into receiving containers. Tool changing is quick, thanks to the linear magazine. A maximum of four clamps may be used and, depending on those clamps’ number, up to 23 tools can be stored in this magazine. Where a greater number of tools is required, the SheetMaster can be augmented with a tool changer providing storage for 40 additional tool stations. As an alternate, the ToolMaster can store and change from 40 to 70 tools. With the help of these components, the TruMatic 6000 fiber can carry out operations entirely automatically, with minimal non-productive time.
Patented housing concept
Speed is of the essence when the machine’s operator needs to set up a tool, inspect a punch, or change the metal sheet for a special order. To make this possible, all the critical positions at the TruMatic 6000 fiber are easily accessible. It’s almost as though there was no enclosed protective housing at all. This is achieved in both the stand-alone and the automatic version, thanks to a patented concept developed especially for this machine. To ensure that the operator can get to every relevant point quickly, there are several very simple entrances through the housing.
Thus large sliding doors on the stand-alone housing make it possible to unload sheets below the machine’s table. This is far simpler than in the past, since a mounting post for the light barrier has been eliminated. Thanks to a unique quick-access entrance—an insurmountable hindrance for the laser light—the operator can reach both versions of the machine without barriers and without delays. Large viewing windows make it possible to see into the working area, letting the operator closely observe the process as it takes place.
In spite of this open concept, the machine has been ranked in Laser Safety Class 1 and, thus, offers complete safety when using the solid-state laser. Since the enclosure need be closed only when the laser is working, the doors may be open during punching operations. In this way the housing makes for quick, ergonomically correct loading when working large sheets. With this unique housing concept, companies can enjoy both maximum accessibility and productivity and the benefits of the solid-stage laser in a high-capacity combined punch laser machine.
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first published in summer 2014.