With the BLM LT14, production is faster because it’s not always necessary to shift the tube but only the cutting head, which is much lighter and more responsive.
The BLM LT14 machine is a cutting kinematics completely different from other laser tube machines. During the cutting process, it is not the tube to be moved but the cutting head thanks to 5 axis controlled by CN, one of which with a range exceeding 6.5m along the axis of the tube.
Kloeckner Metals is one of the largest metal distributors in the world. We’re very large in the United States. We have over 50 locations to service everything from long products, flat roll products, aluminum and stainless.
We got the tube laser in January of 2015. It’s a BLM LT14 tube laser. The machine can do holes, ovals, it does miter cutting. It can split t’s. It will also engrave and cut out numerous shapes in a very efficient amount of time. In terms of size and material, it’s up to 20 inches for a rectangle tube, or up to 10 inch square. So any combination of 20 inches. We can do 48 foot tube in incoming. Outgoing we can do up to about 27 foot.
The digital capabilities obviously it’s a brand new machine. One benefit that we have found is the ability to send programs via wireless internet so we don’t have to run back and forth between the programming office and the actual machine. The tolerances right now are plus or minus a 32 second, however, we always talk to our customers about giving us a shot at trying something, so if they have something tighter, we can take a look at it.
The reason why we chose BLM is because of the size. There’s other lasers on the market, but at the time when we made our purchase, BLM was the only one that made the jumbo 14, so we were able to extend our capabilities. It does so many things for the customer. It cuts down on their work load. We’re able to handle it more. It just gives them a good quality laser port which is real good cuts, it makes excellent holes just like drilling. The presentation of the end product is amazing. It also always them to think out of the box. It allows them to do more innovative things with their products.
It’s more of our OEMS that use the material off the tube laser. It’s not a machine that does just one offs of products, you want to be able to run multiple products because that’s where your efficiency comes in. It has opened many doors for us in different markets. We have seen some of the smaller tube lasers come into the market now but they can’t do a lot of the large tubes or beams or channel, even angle, that our Jumbo 14 can do. It’s not just a tube laser, it’s a channel laser, it’s an eye beam laser, it’s a wide flange laser, there’s angle iron we can run through it. It’s any linear product essentially we can run through that machine. It gives us another tool in our tool belt so we’re able to look at parts and customer problems and identify creative solutions.
Steven Nghe is currently the Head of Marketing & Communications at Kloeckner Metals. Nghe is a marketing professional with more than 14 years of experience in various environments and industries. His goal is to tell you about the sexy side of steel. Nghe holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. Prior to Kloeckner, Nghe worked for Delta Dental, Wells Real Estate Funds, Georgia Institute of Technology and Doosan.