Laser cutting speed is an important consideration for anyone looking to acquire a laser machine. Having more speed is unarguably a valuable asset as it often translates to higher productivity but greater speeds are usually associated with greater costs and for some businesses the most expensive, fastest laser may not necessarily be the most practical for their needs.
When considering fiber laser cutting machine production speed one should take into account the following factors:
Cutting speed: refers to the speed at which the laser cuts through material.
Traverse speed: refers to the speed at which the laser head moves in between cuts from one position to the next.
Acceleration: how fast the laser can reach high cutting speeds
Deceleration: how fast the laser can slow down and/or stop.
Complexity of cut: for more complex cutting the speed differential becomes progressively less significant as the rapid start / stop, acceleration / deceleration over such short distances does not allow the laser to reach maximal speeds.
Changeover time from sheet to sheet: time taken to transfer sheets from cutting table. One must combine the above factors to calculate the real production time.
Among the many different brands of laser, a laser's power in kilowatts will determine the actual cutting speed. So whilst other factors may influence the overall production time, most current high-end lasers are capable of achieving the same cutting speed when the power in kilowatts is equal.
Traverse speed however can vary between machines irrespective of power in kilowatts and quite often when companies speak about their machines being faster than others they are referring to traverse speed. Quite often however, even with very high traverse speeds the time saved in fabricating a sheet of metal is only several seconds as the majority of the fabricating process is the actual cutting.