We’re excited to announce that by the end of 2017, a new Salvagnini fiber laser will be in production at Schaefer's, which will serve as a replacement for our CO2-based laser. The Salvagnini L3 4020 is Schaefer’s second fiber laser—a companion to our current Salvagnini L3 3015. With our investment in this new laser cutter, we aim to boost productivity, shorten production times, decrease waste, and pass on the fruits of these benefits to our customers.
As far as specs go, the Salvagnini L3 4020 can handle large metal sheets up to 4 x 2 meters. It utilizes fiber optic cable to carry the laser cutting beam—think like your fiber cable television and internet service at home or work. The fiber cable can carry the laser beam all the way to the cutting head, making the transfer of information much faster and energy efficient. The fiber system yields cut speeds that are three to four times faster than the gas laser systems, and without the need for C02 and a higher number of mirrors, consumable costs are greatly lowered. Another major benefit to the lack of gas and fewer mirrors is decreased maintenance. This increased reliability will help us reduce machine downtime and maximize workflow efficiency.
In addition to the benefits that come with fiber laser cutting, the Salvagnini L3 4020 will also be configured with automation controls that decrease the physical labor and time required to move and load metal sheets into and out of the cutter. Instead of manually attaching vacuum suction cups to the metal, pulling apart the sheets, and walking it over to the laser, the automated system will handle these motions and save our workers the physical labor. The machines can also run without constant monitoring or metal loading, allowing for longer run times and increased production. Through increased automation, our current workforce will be able to work more efficiently and safely.
We’ll also be able to integrate work distribution between the L3 3015 and 4020 for more ideal production flow. Software management programs and algorithms that help determine the best arrangement for cuts can also more effectively distribute workload between the two lasers. When a job for a large sheet of metal comes through, the program can fire up the 4020, or when the 3015's schedule is a little full, jobs can be routed to the L 4020 to avoid downtime. This flexibility will help us keep back logs to a minimum.
We hope to bring more efficiency measures into our production process soon, so keep an eye on our site for more announcements and success stories from our new improvements and upgrades.