The most powerful flat-bed laser profiling centre ever to be installed in the UK for processing sheet metal has started operation at subcontractor ESP Laser Cutting, which specialises in producing components from 3 metre x 1.5 metre sheet in a wide array of materials to a thickness of 30mm. The investment follows the development of a 12 kW fibre laser source by Swiss manufacturer Bystronic, whose Coventry subsidiary delivered a machine of that power, a ByStar Fiber 3015, in April 2019 to the contract machinist’s factory in Rotherham.
The increase in productivity has been remarkable. Delivering one-fifth more energy to the metal sheet than the previous most powerful fibre laser (10 kW), the new source was expected to be 20% faster at cutting. What ESP’s joint owners Steve McMillan and Paul Short actually experience is a typical productivity increase of one-third. It is partly down to the higher power, but also due to the provision of a newly designed cutting head.