There comes a time when a technology changes the way we think about applications or the approach to a problem. Fiber lasers have changed the laser world in just that way.
The fiber laser offers an easy-to-use solution for many applications. With its compact 19 inch rack mount and no requirement for a water based chiller, A-1 Laser ’s fiber laser is an easy install for a self-contained system with a much reduced foot print. The low noise level of the system is considered an advantage by many users, as the LCS (low cost system) is often used in cubicles rather than on a manufacturing floor. The company’s smallest system is 26 in. by 34 in., and with the fiber laser being completely self-contained, the system can easily be placed in an office area.
With a traditional YAG laser, the customer has to make considerations for water cooling, 220VAC wiring, a location for the YAG power supply, a much larger system foot print, and an industrial environment to place it. The 110 VAC operation voltage of the fiber system offers the advantage of requiring no special wiring or circuits. The fiber delivery system itself is metal jacketed and long enough to place into almost any configuration. Manufacturers of focusing process heads have adapted their product lines to accept the fiber laser collimator so that configuration is now seamless.
Although fiber lasers are reasonably priced, customers are always looking at the total cost of ownership, not just the purchase price. The cost of maintaining the laser is an important consideration. With traditional YAG systems, if there is a heat exchanger, then there are also filters to clean or exchange, pumps to be serviced, and flash lamps and contacts to be replaced. The traditional YAG is offered with a one year warranty; fiber lasers typically offer a 2 year warranty with no spare parts required.
Why A1-Laser Directs New Users Toward Fiber Lasers
In response to the customer’s common concern about purchasing a laser that is hard to work with, the fiber laser provides the customer with confidence. There are no mirrors to align, no apertures to change, and there is no regular maintenance required.
A typical new customer is one who might have used a Laser Job Shop to get work done, and is subject to delays in prototyping and pays a premium for short run parts. More and more customers are also the end users of the devices and they need to turn design iterations quickly. The laser machining systems like the A1-Laser LCS offer a ten month or less ROI just on part duplication. Customers can design parts in the morning and cut them on a fiber system the same day, transforming a 2-3 week turn around into a 3-4 hour turn around.
Fiber Lasers Are the New Tool for Machine Shops
Traditional lasers used in two axis systems are limited in what geometries and profiles they can cut. Fiber lasers can be used in four axis systems easily and very inexpensively. Because of the combined benefits of cost, accuracy, and ease of use, the fiber laser is now considered the first choice for CNC shops for an ever increasing range of micro-machining applications.