Active Speed Control delivers gains

Trumpf says it has set a milestone on the road to autonomous machining: Active Speed Control.

With this newly developed feature, the system looks straight through the nozzle right at the cutting zone, monitoring it in real-time and autonomously controlling the feed rate of solid-state laser machines. Active Speed Control ensures a more reliable process for both flame and fusion cutting, reducing scrap and saving on rework, while also responding immediately to any changes in the material being processed.
The system allows users to achieve tangible gains in productivity with their machines, lowering part manufacturing costs. Active Speed Control monitors numerous different process parameters. One example is the position of the laser beam in relation to the centre of the nozzle during the entire cutting process. The system informs the operator of any deviations, helping to avoid scrap. Additional functions for automated laser cutting can easily be added to the system in the future thanks to the software update feature.
Examining the kerf reveals all sorts of information about part quality and process stability. The easier it is for the molten material to escape from the kerf, the smoother the cutting process. Active Speed Control keeps a careful eye on this flow of molten material in mild and stainless steel plates that are greater than or equal to 4 mm thick.
The sensor system looks through the nozzle to observe the radiation that is emitted as the material melts. This ‘process radiation’ allows the system to determine whether the molten material is emerging as planned, to identify the fastest possible feed rate and to make any necessary adjustments – a process it repeats many hundreds of times a second.
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