Laser blanking lines don’t require dies, but can’t match the productivity of conventional blanking lines: This commonly held assumption has now been proven false based on real production data collected by a Schuler customer.
Over the course of the first year in production, Schuler’s newly developed systems outperformed the contractually agreed upon yields by 20 to 100 percent, depending on the specific part produced. This means that, in some cases, output was double the contracted amount.
A single shift was all it took to produce over 8,500 outer body blanks, and there is still room to increase that figure furthermore. It’s enough to supply a Schuler servo press line with a production capacity of 18 strokes per minute. Particularly where sensitive surfaces like those found on aluminum blanks are involved, the laser blanking line provides nearly the same output as a conventional die-based press blanking line.
Cutting edges with increased quality and less burr
Another benefit is that since the blanking shape can be changed at the push of a button, customers save money by eliminating the costs of purchasing, storing, maintaining and repairing expensive dies and the work required to equip their machines. The laser blanking technique also provides higher-quality blank edges. Aside from these advantages, the first year of production showed a significant reduction of contamination caused by detached burrs (flitter) accumulating in the forming die.
A number of laser blanking lines featuring DynamicFlow Technology are already in use in the automotive industry. Customers have been impressed by the ability to save material (thanks in part to flexible nesting), and by the fact that costly building foundation work is no longer necessary. One high-end OEM recently placed an order for another line from Schuler.