Programming pipe cutting, laser cutting

By Control Engineering Staff September 2, 2005

Mazak Optonics will feature skilled instructors to demonstrate Mazak FG CAD/CAM Software in live presentations on a projection system in a real-time software theater, at its Fabtech 2005 booth in November. Visitors also will have an opportunity to program a pipe part, then see it cut live on a 3D-rotary laser. FG CAD/CAM is used for multi-axis fabrication on Mazak’s FabriGear and Space Gear lasers. The software, which can be used for cutting pipe, rectangular and triangular tube, and C, H, I, and L beams, can quickly generate cutting instructions for fabricating complex end-cut contours with weld-prep bevels, and any size or shape hole. The laser then cuts the part in one operation. Software is said to be advanced and user-friendly with illustrated fill-in-the-blank screens to quickly generate NC code. It performs dynamic nesting and has many pre-programmed cut conditions. Fabricators also have ability to control cuts and save frequently used cut conditions and setups. Operators can create NC programs on the PC, increasing laser efficiency by allowing the laser to continue cutting while the operator is creating the program for another job. Software also performs a cutting simulation on the PC, so pre-cut interference checks can be run without tying the laser up with non-cutting tasks.

Mazak also will demonstrate its HyperGear laser-cutting system, which incorporates 15 patented intelligent features designed to automatically provide optimum setup, maintenance notification, and fastest cutting speeds for every material type and thickness, without operator intervention. HyperGear requires less operator training compared to other laser cutting systems; cash flow can improve with more parts per working day, Mazak says.

Mazak will operate its triple-mode SG-U44, a compact production laser for high-speed 2D processing of sheet metal and plate, 3D cutting of pre-formed parts, and 3D-rotary cutting of tube, pipe, and structural pieces. It is ideally suited for fabrication job shops seeking to diversify markets, automotive parts vendors supplying hydro-formed or stamped parts, and machine shops that machine thick plates or tubing. In rotary mode, SG-U44 performs 2D and 3D cutting of tube, including rectangular, round, and triangular pipe, as well as C, H, I, and L-beams. A 5-axis torch and simultaneously controlled chuck let SG-U44 fabricate—in one operation—angle cuts, weld-prep bevels, and advanced contours, such as saddle-joint cuts. It has a 64-bit NC. A Robo-feeder option enables processing of mill-length pipe. Mazak’s Space CAM and FG CAD/CAM software options generate NC code from a 3D CAD drawing, imported or crafted in the system. Space CAM also can generate code for a slot-and-tab workholding fixture.

Mazak plans to be at Fabtech Booth #11024; learn more here .

Fabtech International & AWS Welding Show combined into what organizers call the largest event in North America for metal forming, fabricating, tube, pipe, and welding equipment and technology. It’s at McCormick Place South, Chicago, IL, Nov. 13-16, 2005. For event details, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) site.

In separate news, the International Robot & Vision Show is scheduled Sept. 27-29, in Rosemont, IL.

—Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering,