Preston-based laser cutting service supplier, AK Stainless Ltd, has acquired a TRUMPF TruLaser 5040 fibre, the first solid-state laser machine with an 8kW resonator in the UK. AK Stainless was formed in 2003 with the aim of creating a laser cutting service that offered quality cut products on European stock material at competitive rates. This was backed by a ‘second-to-none’ customer focus assisting with product design, planning, cutting and delivery across the UK. Today, the company has 25 employees and is currently enjoying a period of strong growth.
One of the underlying reasons behind the company’s success is its planned programme of continuous investment in the latest CNC laser profiling technology. Last year, a TRUMPF TruLaser 5040 fibre joined a trio of TRUMPF TruLaser CO2 laser cutting machines. The company has now added a second TruLaser fibre, another 5040 model but with impressive 8kW laser power.
“We are experiencing continued demand for thicker cut plate, particularly from heavy engineering sectors such as nuclear,” states Managing Director, Tony Baron. “The 8kW laser power and TRUMPF BrightLine fibre technology will ensure that the higher speed associated with using fibre laser technology on thin sheet is also achievable on plate up to 40 mm thick.”
The 8kW TruDisk 8001 fitted to the 4 x 2 m machine comes as standard with TRUMPF’s innovative and patented BrightLine fibre technology. Also set to feature on the TruLaser 5040 fibre being supplied to AK Stainless are TRUMPF’s Smart Beam Control and CoolLine.
Smart Beam Control equates to intelligent beam monitoring, not only ensuring process stability through permanent regulation of the focal position, but reducing non-productive time and increasing machine availability.
CoolLine is particularly suitable for cutting thicker materials. Comprising a special cutting head, an array of nozzles and a water tank, CoolLine works by spraying a circular mist of water around the laser beam on the workpiece. The evaporation energy of the water cools the material in the area of the laser beam, thus helping the temperature remain near-constant during the entire cutting process.
“We’ve had a great relationship with TRUMPF since the business was started and we wanted the best machine they could offer,” says Mr Baron. “The 8kW TRUMPF TruLaser 5040 fibre will not only ensure we can supply our customers with an optimised laser cutting service for both thin and thick materials, but also allow us to stay one step ahead of the competition.”