The details you can't miss before buying a CO2 laser machine

09, 2018

by Ada.liu

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For more than 30 years, due to the continuous expansion of the application field, CO2 laser cutting machines have been continuously improved, and many companies at home and abroad have been engaged in the production of various CO2 laser cutting machines to meet the needs of the market. So as a consumer, how to choose a machine that is suitable for us, because whether it is from the work done before the purchase or the selection of the machine on the spot, there are certain minefields that can be avoided. This article will explain to you how to choose the machine from different angles. I hope to help you.


Since the laser cutting machine is popularized in the Chinese market with the annual output of tens of thousands of units. The price of laser cutting is bound to be diverted. If the company wants to survive, the only way is to provide processing efficiency and reduce the cost of use. What we need to compare on these all kinds of cutting machines, like cutting accuracy, cutting efficiency, maintenance cost, service life, etc.


1. Cutting accuracy

The cutting accuracy is the basis for selecting the machine tool. It refers to the contour accuracy of the cutting workpiece, rather than the static accuracy of the sample label. The difference between the machine tool and the poor machine tool is whether the accuracy of high-speed cutting parts changes significantly, whether the uniformity of the workpiece changes greatly when cutting at different positions.


2. Cutting efficiency

Cutting efficiency is the core profitability index of the evaluation machine. Cutting efficiency refers to the time for cutting a workpiece. It is not a matter of simply looking at the cutting speed.  As we all know that only the cutting time cannot be falsified except the other parameters.


3 Maintenance cost 

At present, the maximum maintenance cost of the laser cutting machine mainly comes from the maintenance cost of the laser, so it is very important to choose a suitable laser.


4. Service life

The service life is the core cost-saving indicator of the evaluation machine. The longer the service life of the machine tool, the lower the depreciation cost of the equipment. The main factors that determine the service life of the machine are the following aspects. The first one is rigidity of the machine, that is to say that the heavier of the tonnage, the better of the rigidity. The second is the accessories of the machine, especially the brand and quality of the transmission device. And the third is the level of manufacturing, the accumulation of technology and the inheritance of technical experience.

In addition to these factors affecting our consumers' purchases, what else? Please follow me to know more about it.


Learn about the CO2 laser market ahead of time

1.The main classification of lasers in the market

Laser technology has developed rapidly in recent years and has become a mainstream cutting technology. In industrial production, laser cutting accounts for more than 70% of laser processing and is the most important application technology in the laser processing industry. With the increase of processing precision requirements and the rising price of raw materials worldwide, low-consumption, high-efficiency, and high-precision laser devices have become the focus of attention. According to different laser generators, the current market can be roughly divided into three types: CO2 laser cutting machine, YAG (solid) laser cutting machine, fiber laser cutting machine


2.Main market position of CO2 laser cutting machine

CO2 laser cutting machine can cut wood, acrylic, PP, Organic glass and other non-metallic materials with high quality, and at the exit of the light beam is equipped with a nozzle that injects oxygen, compressed air or inert gas N2 to increase the cutting speed and smooth and clean incision. According to international safety standards, the laser hazard rating is divided into 4 levels, and the CO2 laser is the one with the least harm. In addition, because the CO2 laser outputs with a continuous laser, it is the smoothest and most effective cutting section in these three types of laser cutting machines. Therefore, CO2 laser cutting machine is undoubtedly your most suitable choice. Then the problem came, excluding the solid-state laser cutting machine and fiber laser cutting machine. Choosing a CO2 laser cutting machine suitable for itself still dazzled many consumers. In this way, it is particularly important to choose a reliable manufacturer and enterprise. Then it is necessary to examine what information is necessary for the enterprise. Next, I will list some of the company's inspection standards for your reference.


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Learn about manufacturers and companies

1.Corporate strength

Undoubtedly, the strength of a company can affect all aspects of product production. Then which factors can affect the strength of a company? There are many factors that affect the production capacity of a company, such as market demand, the boundaries of economies of scale, product variety, and technology. The degree of complexity and organization of production, the quantity, precision, efficiency, tooling, process methods, and quality requirements of the equipment, the mastery of the scientific and technical level of workers, and the proficiency of laborers' labor skills, etc. In addition, the pre-sales and post-sales services that a company can provide are also examples of the strength of a company. For example, OREE Laser Technology Co., Ltd., subsidiaries, with a strong support of the OYADE Group, is a set of professional R & D production, sales and integration of high-tech enterprises. It has more than 15 years of laser experience, the entire product covers the fiber laser cutting machine, laser engraving machine, and laser marking machine three categories. With a modern enterprise technology center and top scientific research team, the products are exported to Asia, Europe, Africa, America, Oceania, more than 80 countries and regions. It is committed to provide global users with comprehensive laser application solutions.

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2.Corporate technical indicators

In the investigation of affecting the quality of products, it was found that some internal factors are also of top priority. For example, the scale of the manufacturers, the professionalism of the technicians, the warranty period of the products, the delivery period, the production assembly process of the products, and the technical indicators of the products and quality control systems and so on. That is to say every production link affect the quality of the product. If you want to pick CO2 laser cutting machine a good quality, these factors must also be taken into account.


High quality and cost performance.If a company is equipped with professional installation tools, organize regular assembly personnel to learn, continuously improve the assembly capabilities of software hardware, strictly control the quality of supplier parts, and adopt a reasonable assembly process to achieve the most efficient assembly efficiency, guarantee the quality and give customers no worries. If a company offers a longer warranty period and can provide instructional installation services, equipment commissioning and operation training services, maintenance services, equipment parts replacement services.  As consumers, such companies must be the first choice to pick. OREE LASER, 15 years Laser industry experience, participate in more than 30 international exhibitions every year, sale the product to more than 120 countries, provide 12 languages, 24 hours a day service, and global technical services with more than 100 professional after-sales service.


Standardized production to ensure product delivery. The company has a large-scale and high-standard production site, which is the guarantee for product quality. Oree Laser covers an area of 42,000 square meters. All production processes are strictly required, and the production cycle is strictly controlled. The standard machine is used to control the production cycle within 7- 10 days and complete product delivery within 15 working days (except customization)

Production and assembly process. The higher precision requirements of the machine make the customer's processed products more perfect and precise in size. The gears of the international high-end brands have no abnormal wear to increase the service life of the products. The laser collimator can intuitively display the error in the installation accuracy of the machine.


Based on cutting-edge technology, top R&D design. Oree Laser adopts German technology to achieve European quality. It is guided by international advanced technology and constantly innovates to adapt to the changing times. More than 30 professional scientist are based on science and technology, focusing on the research and development of laser technology. More than 20 top industrial design teams focus on discovering the beauty of science and technology. 120 skilled workers focus on technical production to meet demanding product quality requirements.


The QC lifeline controls the entire process. Strict quality control system for QC is spread throughout the entire production line of the company. Every spare part of the machine, as small as a screw, Oree laser will strictly control the quality and prevent any parts and components that do not meet the standard from entering the market, ensuring that every equipment performance and quality.


Learn about the CO2 laser cutter itself

Some people may ask why it is not the same as the professional explanation of the sales when they want to buy it. What I want to tell you that the effect is not the same. For example, if we buy a piece of clothing, the staff will recommend it to you. It seems that each style is suitable for you. In fact, these styles are not necessarily suitable for you. The same reason every machine has its own characteristics, including his working principle, advantages and disadvantages, the main structure, etc. After understanding these, in the face of a mixed laser cutting machine market, you will have targeted choices for you. You need to pick the cutter equipment according to your needs instead of the sales person's explanation.


1. The basic introduction

The CO2 laser cutting machine uses a focusing lens to focus the laser beam on the surface of the material to melt the material. At the same time, the coaxial laser cutting gas blows away the melted material and causes the laser beam and the material to move relative to each other along a certain path. Form a certain shape of the slit to achieve the purpose of cutting.

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2. The principle of CO2 laser

Like other molecular lasers, the CO2 laser's operating principle is also complicated in its stimulated emission process. In the discharge tube, a direct current of tens of mA or several hundred mA is usually input. During discharge, the nitrogen molecules in the gas mixture in the discharge tube are excited by the impact of electrons. At this time, the excited nitrogen molecules collide with the CO2 molecule. The N2 molecule transfers its own energy to the CO2 molecule. The CO2 molecule transitions from a low energy level to a high energy level to form a population reversal to generate a laser. 

 

3.The advantages and disadvantages of CO2 lasers

Compared with other lasers, CO2 lasers have the following advantages and disadvantages, as follows:


Advantages:

1. Good cutting quality. Narrow incision width (usually 0.1--0.5mm), high precision (normal hole center distance error 0.1--0.4mm, contour size error 0.1--0.5mm), incision surface roughness (usually Ra is 12.5-25μm ), slits generally do not need to be processed to weld. 

2. Fast cutting. Heat affected zone is small, minimal deformation  

3.Clean, safe and pollution-free. Greatly improved the operator's working environment. Of course, in terms of precision and notch surface roughness, CO2 laser cutting cannot exceed electrical machining; in terms of cutting thickness, it is difficult to achieve flame and plasma cutting levels. However, the above significant advantages are enough to prove that: CO2 laser cutting has been and is replacing some of the traditional cutting process methods, especially the cutting of various non-metallic materials. It is an advanced processing method with rapid development and wide application. 


Disadvantages:The conversion efficiency of CO2 lasers is very high, but the maximum is not more than 40%, which means that more than 60% of the energy will be converted into heat energy of the gas and the temperature will increase. The increase of the gas temperature will cause the de-excitation of the laser energy level and the thermal excitation of the lower laser level, which will reduce the number of inversions of the particles. Also, the increase in gas temperature will broaden the spectral line, leading to a decrease in the gain factor. In particular, the increase in gas temperature will also cause the decomposition of CO2 molecules and reduce the concentration of CO2 molecules in the discharge tube. These factors will reduce the output power of the laser and even cause "temperature annihilation".


The main structure of the device

C02 laser includes mechanical part, electrical part, optical part, peripheral part and sheet metal part.


Mechanical part

The mechanical part of the CO2 laser consists of a power part and a transmission part.

The motor provides power to drive the laser head to move according to the control signal of the control software via the interaction between the belt, gear, screw, transmission shaft and coupling. The main part of the power part is the motor, and the main part of the transmission part is the guide rail, block, belt or screw, gear, transmission shaft. Motor is mainly divided into stepper and servo motor. The main difference between the two is that the servo motor refers to the engine that controls the operation of the mechanical components in the servo system. It is a device that assists the indirect speed change of the motor and has feedback signals with high accuracy. The stepper motor is an open-loop control stepper motor device that converts electrical pulse signals into angular displacement or linear displacement.


Electrical part

The electrical part is mainly composed of a control system, a switching power supply, a driver, a filter, a relay and a switch. The control system can control the origin signal of the equipment, the rotation direction and speed of the motor and whether the laser tube emits light and the intensity of the light output. The electrical cabinet supplies power to the control section and the motor. Inside the electrical cabinet, there are switching power supplies, drivers, filters, relays and control boards. The driver power supply is mainly used to drive the various axes. The board power supplies power the boards and the red light, and the filter filters the power supply interference band. The driver accepts the board. The pulse direction signal controls the motor rotation speed and direction. The main function of the relay is weak current control, power control of the laser power supply, and data processing and control hardware operation of the board card.

Optical section

The optical part is mainly a laser power supply, a laser tube, three mirrors, a focusing mirror, two mirror frames, a laser head, and two laser tube holders. Among them, the laser tube is divided into 40w, 80w, 100w, 120w and 150w according to the power, laser power of different power laser tubes is different. The types of laser heads are mainly mini laser heads, hybrid cutting laser heads, slide rail cutting heads and ordinary cutting heads. The lenses are mainly mirrors and focusing mirrors. The main specifications of the focusing lens are M series, C/B series, and hybrid cutting series. Reflective mirrors are mainly divided into Molybdenum and silicon reflector.

Peripheral part

Peripheral equipment is mainly water coolers, fans, air pumps or air compressors. The peripheral part is to assist the machine to achieve the function of the accessories. Like the water cooling machine is mainly to reduce the temperature of the laser tube, the air pump is to cool the surface of the object to be processed and keep the focus lens clean, the role of the fan is to suck out the smoke produced by cutting, keep the workplace clean.


Sheet metal part

The shell part is mainly the cover of various types of sheet metal parts and the work platform that supports the working part. The working platform is the working table of the machine, and the placed items are processed on the top. The countertops mainly include knife tops, which are suitable for cutting hard sheets and cannot be processed with flexible materials. Honeycomb mesa, suitable for processing flexible materials, reflective surface more. Automatic feeding net chain table is suitable for batch processing of flexible materials, automatic feeding, not applicable for hard plate cutting, and special stainless steel lifting table is suitable for engraving not for cutting.


Software System 

The software adopts Ruida software, which is divided into two types’ hybrid laser head and common laser head.

The factors that affect cutting quality

 Incentive model. CO2 lasers adopt electrodes to excite carbon dioxide gas to produce laser light. According to the installation position of metal electrodes, they can be divided into direct current excitation and radio frequency excitation.


 Laser frequency. The laser output is divided into pulse output and continuous output. The laser used for cutting and welding mainly adopts the pulse output mode. The pulse frequency mainly affects the cutting speed and notch roughness. It is essential to achieve high-speed cutting with high frequency. At present, most manufacturers produced the carbon dioxide laser frequency within 5000 Hz.


 Beam divergence angle. The effect of the beam divergence angle on the cutting quality is reflected in the width and slope of the incision. The narrower the divergence angle is, the narrower the incision width is, and the smaller the incline is, the higher the quality is.


 Laser power. Another indicator of power is power stability. It must be an excellent incision throughout to realize an excellent cutting quality. Long-term production is also a very important test for lasers. The DC-excited laser attenuates the power of the electrode during long-term operation due to electrode ablation. In addition, because some of the laser's vacuum pump and turbo pump are lubricated with lubricating oil, the lubricating oil contaminates the laser resonator, which shortens the life of the laser.  


6. The main purpose application of CO2 laser


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Laser technology is an advanced processing technology. Medium-power CO2 lasers for light industrial customers are widely used. According to different product application areas, they can be divided into low-end, mid-end, and high-end, to form different levels of product ladder structure to meet different requirements of Grade customer needs.


In the field of plastic cutting, it is a major advantage of plastic CO2 laser cutting to complete the cutting of highly complex components at a very fast speed without causing stress and deforming the workpiece. The greater advantage lies in the thermoplastic material, which can be obtained with high-quality and smooth cutting surfaces that are difficult to obtain with other cutting methods. It is also very good at cutting polyester and polycarbonate materials. CO2 laser cutting equipment can cut synthetic or natural rubber up to 20mm thick.


In glass cutting, it is the traditional way for the machining method using diamond grinding wheels and high hardness metal wheels of cutting glass and glass products. Its biggest drawback is the need to reprocess the processed edges, leaving asymmetric edge stress on the material. , There are problems such as residual debris, micro cracks, edges are not smooth, etc., resulting in reduced production.


In the field of die cutting, the company that manufactures the architectural model is very widely used in laser cutting. They usually need to engrave complex shapes on sheet materials. Most of the models use acrylic sheets, which are very effective to cut using CO2 laser cutting equipment. Laser cutting is also very common in film special effects companies and theme park design companies. Companies equipped with CO2 laser cutting equipment in the workplace include Disney Image Company.


In terms of cutting of mobile phone battery outer metal shell, due to the widespread use of mobile phones, the issue of environmental recycling of mobile phone batteries is paying attention to everyone, and laser cutting of metal shells outside mobile phone batteries is used for recycling to effectively meet market demand.


Oil screen seam cutting and LCD industry glass substrate cutting are high-end applications for medium power CO2 lasers.

In the cutting of glass substrates for the LCD industry, laser processing has excellent processing quality for color filters, liquid crystals, and ITO conductive glass, high processing edge strength, and a wide range of applications, and can complete all processing tasks in a single step. 


Refer to actual experience

Why should we refer to some practical experience? Cutting equipment is different from other simple equipment. This is just like the instruction manual which can provide us with the correct guidance. Different from the product specification, the actual instructions are more realistic. This is the experience provided by the user's own perspective.

Uniform nesting software


The utilization of materials has a huge impact on the cost of cutting. Increasing the utilization of materials and reducing the cost of materials are the most important aspects of control. There are many types of nesting materials used in lasers. Multiple nesting platforms are nested separately, resulting in low margin utilization and overall utilization. The use of a uniform nesting software, integration of the laser cutting machine's own nesting platform, so that a variety of NC cutting equipment, a universal nesting software, can greatly improve the material utilization and programming efficiency, and optimize management.


Laser generator gas pressure control. The actually used laser generating gas is high-purity (99.99%) carbon dioxide nitrogen and helium, which is higher than the purity of the laser gas specified by the equipment manufacturer. If the gas contains impurities, it will affect the laser beam, which in turn affects the cutting quality. When the laser is operated, the laser gas is used until it is replaced by an alarm. At this time, the pressure of the cylinder is about 3 bar. Impurities in the cylinder flow into the generator tube with the gas, causing lens and generator tube contamination, affecting the quality of the laser beam. The maintenance of the laser generator also brings a lot of inconvenience. When the pressure of the cylinder is about 15bar and replaced laser gas, gas impurities can be avoided from flowing into the generator. If a disposable filter device is installed at the outlet of the cylinder, the effect will be more significant.


Which cutting machine is right for your application? 

According to your specific needs, combined with the relevant knowledge we learned above, I believe you can find the best model that suits your situation. Here are three best-selling models for your reference, including information on the model's selling points, strengths, links, etc. I wish that it is helpful to choose a laser machine for you. We cannot only teach you how easy it is to use a laser, but also help you find the right machine size and wattage to fit your budget. Click on the following URL for product details.


First model “O-M” –Micro laser engraving &cutting machine

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High precision. Use Taiwan square rail, famous 3-phase stepper motor

Small body. Smart size make putting and working easily

All cables come with UL, CE certification. Long service life

Energy conservation. Air pump, exhaust fans will work synchronous with the machine, everything will stop once the machine stop working

Safety. All the door come with the lock

Years warranty

Second model “O-C’’ –laser engraving machine

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 High precision. Use Taiwan square rail, famous 3-phase stepper motor

Strong body. To provide longer service life by using weld square steel as machine body

All cables come with UL, CE certification. Long service life

Energy conservation. Air pump, exhaust fans will work synchronous with the machine, everything will stop once the machine stop working

Safety. All the door come with the lock

Years warranty<

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