Charles L Caristan, PhD
Published By: SME
Increasingly, metal cutting is being performed with industrial lasers for one major reason — laser cutting offers superior value-adding qualities when compared with most traditional thermal and non-thermal cutting processes. Value-added quality can be created from the elimination of costly and less flexible tooling, or higher part accuracy and definition that enable material savings through better nesting. The existence of computer numerical control (CNC) and programmable logic control (PLC) machinery for plasma, waterjet, and laser cutting has grown to the appreciable market share they enjoy today. The benefits of high-speed cutting of thin gages have translated into industrial applications, such as laser cutting displacing traditional mechanical shearing.