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Schleicher Electronic combines hardware and software functions in laser machining

Mar 14, 2014

Pulsed lasers are increasingly being used in laser machining in CNC machine tools. For this purpose Schleicher Electronic has especially developed the PSP function as a complementary control.

PSP consists of software and the special ProNumeric XSL module, which facilitates highly-accurate time control and complex signal sequences. The control of the laser pulses is exactly synchronized with the motion of the machine. The effect: the energy from the laser is distributed absolutely evenly on the cut surface even at high machine speeds.

There are several separating procedures in sheet machining: punching (also called shearing), plasma cutting and laser cutting. The trend is clearly towards lasers, and for good reason: the procedure guarantees more accurate and faster machining, even on complex contours or in places that are hard to access, in both two- and three-dimensions, and with superior cutting quality.

Removing restrictions to motion guidance
A precondition for this, however, is optimum matching of the laser with the motion control, because the laser optics must either be moved over the material by servo axes, or the workpiece has to be moved along under the laser. The problem is that various components limit the motion guidance of the workpiece: the masses moved, the performance of the drive technology as well as the permitted machine and workpiece loads all require changes in the speed of guidance along the cutting track. These braking and accelerating procedures make steady, full-power laser work difficult. The result: the laser doesn't separate the material or produces dull edges.

The problem is thus harmonizing the intervals of the motion guidance and the laser through the control module. Schleicher Electronic has developed the special Pro Numeric XSL module to meet just these requirements; in association with the calculation software within the CNC, it links the motion data of the control with the requirements of the laser in real time. This PSS combination generates complex sampled signal sequences that control the laser highly accurately even at high machine speeds, and guarantee an even pulse sequence on surfaces. In this, PSP also considers the restrictions of laser-beam sources in order to prevent unauthorized overloads and thus excessive wear. One further benefit is that the PSP also supports complex multiple movements. And even robots can be integrated into the machining.

A complete overall package
The PSP has already proven itself: for example, it is used in Asia in the high-tech industry in the production of surfaces for the displays of modern 3D TVs, amongst other things. Not least, this is because it can be easily combined with different drive systems – no laborious refitting is required. Furthermore, Schleicher Electronic supports providers of laser-technology solutions with their extensive engineering. In addition to the development and sales of PSP, Schleicher helps in the design, implementation and commissioning of software. Services are also part of the range provided by the leading supplier in the market. 

In addition to this special feature in laser machining, Schleicher Electronic also produces and sells combined CNC/PLC controls for high-quality machine building, as well as complete control systems: the group's portfolio includes integrated PLC for reliable processes, safety technology to protect people and machines, I/O systems, highly-dynamic drive technology, visualization solutions in all sizes and to meet every challenge, as well as network integration. 

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