Manufacturing services company ICEE has ramped up its fibre laser cutting power to 6Kw, allowing it to cut thicker materials than before at a faster rate of throughput.
The company has also introduced a higher level automation in its materials handling and is sees the investments as helping it attract new business from existing and prospective customers in a wide range of industry sectors.
The 6Kw upgrade replaces the original 2kW laser power source on ICEE’s Bystronic Fibre 3015 fibre laser cutting machine. Additionally, an automated laser cutting head changer has been purchased from the Swiss machine tool maker, to work together with the existing Bystronic ByTrans robotic materials loader fitted to the machine.
This integrated, CNC-driven combination now enables a number of different jobs, of different materials and thicknesses, to be stacked onto the machine and left to be cut quickly and automatically, without supervision, day and night.
“Fitting a 6kW laser and adding more materials handling automation means we will be able to cut not only thicker materials, but also do it rapidly with just as much precision as before, reducing delivery times, whilst maintaining high quality production throughput at least cost,” says Paul Harris, ICEE’s Managing Director.
“Not only can we already profile parts from thin sheet and light gauge plate, but now we can also swiftly and accurately cut a variety of materials up to 30mm thick, such as stainless steel and aluminium plate, and other ferrous and non-ferrous stock. The bottom line is it makes us far more competitive, flexible and productive.”
The thicker materials are mainly mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, brass and copper, at dimensions up to, respectively, 25mm, 30mm, 30mm, 15mm, and 12mm thick. Other materials and thicknesses may also be profiled and ICEE will advise on this. The Bystronic machine bed will take sheet or plate measuring up to a maximum of 3.0 by 1.5 metres.
“ICEE’s new fibre laser capability is a perfect complement to our waterjet cutting service,” says Paul Harris. “Although slower, the latter is a cold process able to cut both thin and very thick materials, so waterjet cutting offers features and benefits that may be better suited to a customer’s particular requirements or constraints. The advantage is we offer customers both cutting process options, all under one roof.”
Besides fibre laser and waterjet cutting ICEE is able to make not only simple or complicated parts but also offer a complete turnkey manufacturing service that encompasses many other essential processes, including rapid prototyping.
This includes bending, fabrication and assembly, fettling, finishing and testing, and if required, stockholding and warehousing, installation and ongoing life-time maintenance.
ICEE’s latest investment is part of its lean, continual improvement business policy aimed at meeting customers’ requirements for faster delivery at the highest quality and least cost. It adds more automation, in turn designed to raise efficiency, throughput and productivity.
Typically, its customers reside in aerospace, building and construction, medical, shipbuilding or marine, and other sectors.