Welcoming the Amada Ensis 3015 AJ Laser Kloeckner Metals Nashville (AFI)
The Amada Ensis 3015 AJ Laser and Amada AMS 3015 are the latest equipment additions to Kloeckner Metals Nashville (American Fabricators). The Amada Ensis 3015 AJ Laser is a 6kW fiber optic laser that adjusts laser beam diameter to enable continuous processing of thin-to-thick materials. It works in combination with the 10-shelf tower AMS 3015, which reduces nonessential machine downtime caused by manual material loading.
Already one of the top Nashville metal fabricators, AFI is able to achieve higher levels of efficiency in custom fabrication projects for a range of customers thanks to the Amada laser and AMS. The state-of-the-art equipment will be beneficial to much of AFI’s existing customer base in the HVAC, automotive, and heavy equipment industries.
What Makes This Amada Laser Machine State-of-the-art?
The Amada Ensis 3015 AJ Laser is an advanced machine that falls under the category of one of the most disruptive technologies ever introduced to the metalworking industry: fiber optic lasers.
Amada Ensis Fiber Optic Laser Advantages
Before the fiber optic laser technology utilized in the Amada fiber laser was available, carbon dioxide lasers were widely purposed for marking, cutting, and engraving materials. Compared to competitive CO2 Lasers, this Amada laser offers:
a clean cut on lighter gauge steels
the capability to process mild steels, stainless steels, and aluminum
lower electrical consumption
higher electrical efficiency
automatic load and unload
quick transition between light gauge and heavy gauge material
Working in combination with the Amada AMS 3015 gives us fast turnover on 10 different skids—even 10 different types of skids—for maximum machine productivity.
How Lasers Work
Maybe as a kid you once used a magnifying glass and the power of the sun to burn paper or a blade of grass? This is a basic way of understanding how lasers work. The convex lens of a magnifying glass converges parallel sun rays to form a single high-heat point hot enough to light paper or grass aflame.
In this rudimentary sense, lasers are a technology as old as time. Even though the magnifying glass has been around since the mid-13th century, it took Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1921 and countless hours of applied physics research to engineer the first official working laser in the 1960’s. Since then, lasers have been purposed in everything from printers and scanners, to medical devices, fiber optic communication networks, and much more.
Different Types of Lasers: Fiber Optic Lasers vs. CO2 Lasers
Laser is an acronym that stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” and they function in the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet radiation portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Basic components for lasers include a lasing medium, an energy pump, and an optical cavity. They are often classified by their lasing medium – examples of which, include: crystals doped with rare earth ions (i.e., neodymium, ytterbium, or erbium), glass, gas, semiconductors and liquid dye solutions.
Lasers can be understood more simply as motors controlled by a computer to cut and engrave material using a laser beam. But they can only engrave, mark, or cut materials that react with the particular wavelengths being used.
CO2 Laser Cutting
CO2 laser cutting machines have a glass tube that contains CO2 and nitrogen. Electricity passes through the tube which excites gas particles and produces a laser output of high-power infrared light. The thickness and hardness of the material that can be cut depends entirely on the power of the laser tube and the focusing lens, which focuses the laser beam down to a single point.
CO2 lasers process organic materials best. They can mark and cut wood, plastic, fabric, paper, cardboard, leather, and foam, and they can engrave things like ceramic, stone, and glass. While there are CO2 lasers that are capable of cutting steel and aluminum, large amounts of power are required in order to do so. The main limitations for CO2 laser cutting are the lower absorption of the wavelength and lower power density.
Fiber Optic Laser Cutting
Fiber optic laser cutting is a more specialized technology used primarily in the marking, engraving, and cutting of metal and plastics. One of the most influential advances in fiber laser technology designed for flat sheet metal cutting includes the manufacturing of lasers that have achieved and surpassed the 4kW cutting level. This is a power threshold that took CO2 lasers about four times as long to reach, which results in faster cuts at greater thicknesses with more precision.
We are proud to offer Amada laser cutting at the only Kloeckner Metals branch 100% dedicated to metal fabrication, Kloeckner Metals Nashville. Our investment in advanced technological innovations expands our capabilities and allows us to give our customers more value and serve them with more efficiency.
Sara Montijo is a writer for Kloeckner Metals. She graduated with honors from NYU and has previously facilitated multimedia programming and worked alongside renowned chefs. Her friends call her a time warp.