October 4, 2023

The Importance of Proper Maintenance for Laser Cutting Accuracy

Lasers are known for producing some of the most accurate and highest quality cuts for fabrication purposes. However, laser cutting is only successful when fabricators are ensuring their machines are maintained properly. If preventative maintenance is not provided, the laser being used, regardless of the type, will not perform at the highest levels. It is possible to find more details from Boss Laser or to keep reading to learn more about the importance of proper maintenance.

Keep the Optics in Check

Once maintenance is done on the laser’s optics, it is a good idea to restore them to the OEM specifications. If the optics are out of spec, the beam quality, optics life, cutting performance, and mode quality may be impacted. Beam profilers and beam analysers can help address this specific issue. These types of tools are larger, camera-based systems that will measure the characteristics of the beam when the laser passes through them. While this is beneficial, the equipment is expensive.

The need for this costly equipment can be avoided by imprinting and attaching the original mode burn profiles on a piece of acrylic that is attached to the machine before it even leaves the factor. This is an action that lets fabricators reference and check everything before leaving the factory. This ensures the proper power setting, beam optic specifications, size, and shape are in place.

Monitor Temperature

The laser’s functionality is based on the chiller’s performance. This is why it is so important to watch the temperature gauge all the time. Any variations in the operating temperature may impact the performance of the machine. If there are extreme temperature changes, this can cause damage to the resonator, which results in time-consuming and expensive repairs. All the chillers will include a temperature display or sensors that help fabricators monitor the temperature and prevent issues.

With the newer control technology, it is possible for fabricators to set the temperature, so it stays constant, which eliminates the need for ongoing monitoring. In this situation, though, it is necessary for fabricators to monitor the water levels present in the chiller units. Water can start to build up, especially if it is left idle for a long time. If water collects, it can begin to build up conductivity. If the conductivity present in the chiller gets too high, the machine’s self-diagnostic features are not going to let the resonator start until the water levels go down.

Keep the Equipment Clean

Keeping a laser cutter clean is a crucial maintenance step. While this is true, it is also one of the most overlooked. The support slats, processing areas, pallet ways, slugs, and scrap drawers are often neglected when it comes to maintenance. However, each of these areas may hold a build-up of grime, grease, dust, and debris, which can impact the performance of the machine.

By investing time and energy in regular maintenance, it is possible to prevent any issues and ensure the laser cutter continues to perform as expected. This is essential to get the high-quality results expected from these machines.

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