High-Power Fiber Laser Technology Means Better and Faster Sheet Metal Fabrication Delivery (Updated for 2024)

Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 10:17 am

Sheet metal fabrication shops are in a never-ending sprint toward automation. To remain competitive in this industry, customers expect sheet metal fabricators to offer quick delivery, rapid prototyping, small batch quantity production, and flexible scheduling.right material

At Approved Sheet Metal, we’re constantly striving to be better than yesterday—and that means investing in new equipment to streamline our processes for better and faster delivery.

Recently, we added an AMADA 3kW ENSIS 3015 RI Fiber Laser to our impressive list of equipment. We’re excited to tell you all about it!

What Is a Fiber Laser?

Laser technology entered the metal cutting industry with the arrival of CO2 laser cutting machines. Carbon dioxide lasers were the first to use directed beams of infrared light to heat and cut through materials like paper, wood, plastic, and metal.

Soon after the CO2 laser cutting machine came around, technological advancements led to the development of a faster, more energy-efficient machine: the fiber laser.

Rather than using gas to create infrared light, fiber lasers use rare-earth fibers to produce a shorter, more precise laser beam offering higher power and accuracy per square millimeter.

7 Benefits of Approved Sheet Metal’s High-Power Fiber Laser

Our AMADA 3kW ENSIS 3015 RI Fiber Laser is pretty impressive if we do say so ourselves. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out what this machine has to offer:

  1. Blazing fast speeds. Our CO2 laser cut .059” aluminum or steel at just 60 inches per minute, but our fiber laser is capable of cutting an impressive 866 inches per minute! Now we can offer even faster same day rush service for flat sheet metal parts and complete production parts quicker than ever before.
  2. Design freedom. There’s no reason to feel limited when designing your part. Our fiber laser can fabricate holes, contours, flanges, threads, even delicate curve and line etchings on sheet metal—all without the heat distortion caused by CO2 laser cutters. The intelligent software moves the laser strategically to avoid overheating one area of the material.
  3. Automatic features. Equipped with a hyper intelligent computer, our fiber laser features an Automatic Nozzle Changer that can clean and select an appropriate tool based on the cut currently being used. Another great feature is the Part Sorting Robot, a fully automated solution that can sort and deposit parts into specific bins, remove the remaining skeleton of the workpiece from the main cutting space, and replace it with a new piece of sheet metal. Now that’s automation at its finest!
  4. Cut processing monitoring system. Designed to work reliably and efficiently, our fiber laser can detect when a part hasn’t been machined correctly. If a workpiece misses a cut, for example, the monitoring system will send out an alarm until the issue is resolved. This incredible detection system produces high-precision parts and saves time on costly rework.
  5. Material flexibility. With our new fiber laser, we can machine a wide range of materials including steel, copper, and brass. We can also cut much thicker materials. Previously, we could only cut up to ⅛” stainless steel, but now we can cut up to ½” stainless steel and aluminum. That’s 4 times the material thickness a CO2 laser cutter can handle!
  6. Better edge quality. Our fiber laser has such a precise native cut that it virtually eliminates the need for deburring, reducing cost and lead time for our customers. The machine’s end light system allows our operators to control the shape of the laser so they can cut nicer, sharper, crisper edges that nail those tight tolerances.
  7. Lower cost and energy consumption. Because a fiber laser doesn’t need gas to operate, it has lower energy and maintenance demands. The total operational cost of a fiber laser is half the amount of a CO2 laser cutter!

Check out our AMADA 3kW ENSIS 3015 RI Fiber Laser in action:

At Approved Sheet Metal, we’re committed to delivering top-quality parts to your door at record-breaking speed. We can’t wait to show you everything our fiber laser can do. Give us a shot on your next project!

Recommended Default Sheet Metal Tolerances

DIMTolerance (MM)Tolerance (Inches)Description
A± 0.13± 0.005Sheared Edge to Hole
B± 0.13± 0.0052 Holes on One Surface
C± 0.25± 0.010Formed Edge to Hole
D*± 0.76± 0.030Holes Across 2 Bends
E*± 0.76± 0.030Holes Across 4 Bends
F± 0.25± 0.010Sheared Edge to Bend
G± 0.38± 0.015Across 2 Bends
H*± 0.76± 0.030Formed Part

Noted dimensions are to be taken while the part is in a restrained condition. Noted dimensions are for parts within a 12” envelope.
* Dimensions D, E and H are not recommended forms of dimensioning
These tolerances are recommended and best practices. We can obtain tighter tolerances (depending on part geometry/ construction), contact us for more information

Fiber Laser Advantages for Sheet Metal Fab FAQ

A fiber laser is a type of laser technology used in metal cutting. Unlike CO2 laser cutting machines that use gas to create infrared light, fiber lasers utilize rare-earth fibers to produce a shorter, more precise laser beam. This results in higher power and accuracy per square millimeter, making fiber lasers more energy-efficient and faster in cutting various materials, including metal.

Approved Sheet Metal's AMADA 3kW ENSIS 3015 RI Fiber Laser offers several key benefits:

  1. Blazing fast speeds, cutting up to 866 inches per minute for quick delivery and same-day rush services.
  2. Design freedom with the ability to fabricate intricate features without heat distortion.
  3. Automatic features, including an Automatic Nozzle Changer and Part Sorting Robot for increased automation.
  4. Cut processing monitoring system to ensure high-precision parts and reduce rework.
  5. Material flexibility, allowing for the machining of various materials, including thicker ones.
  6. Better edge quality, reducing the need for deburring.
  7. Lower operational costs and energy consumption compared to CO2 laser cutters due to not requiring gas.

Approved Sheet Metal's fiber laser provides enhanced design freedom by allowing the fabrication of intricate features on sheet metal without the heat distortion typically associated with CO2 laser cutters. Intelligent software strategically moves the laser to avoid overheating specific areas of the material, enabling the creation of holes, contours, flanges, threads, and delicate curve and line etchings.

A fiber laser features advanced automation capabilities. It includes an Automatic Nozzle Changer that can clean and select the appropriate tool based on the cut in progress. Additionally, the Part Sorting Robot is a fully automated solution that can sort and deposit parts into specific bins, remove the remaining skeleton of the workpiece, and replace it with a new sheet of metal. These features increase efficiency and reduce manual intervention.

A fiber laser offers improved material flexibility, allowing the machining of a wide range of materials, including steel, copper, and brass. Furthermore, it can cut thicker materials, such as up to ½" stainless steel and aluminum, which is four times the thickness capacity of a CO2 laser cutter. Additionally, the precise native cut of the fiber laser virtually eliminates the need for deburring, resulting in sharper, crisper edges and meeting tight tolerances for our customers.

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