Laser Cutting in The Aerospace Industry
Tooling 2000 | 18th September 2020
Five-Axis Laser Cutting Machine
The aerospace industry is huge, both in terms of size and the amount of money that it generates. Every new product designed and built is delivered by thousands of people throughout the process. The need for reliable, accurate and cost-effective technologies is paramount, and that’s where laser cutting comes in. The aerospace industry is one of the largest users of laser cutting.
What is laser cutting?
Laser cutting is used in many manufacturing industries. It is a way of slicing materials extremely accurately with a laser. The technology has been refined to such a degree that there are even machines small enough for people to use at home.
A laser cutter is a precise machine. A Computer-Aided Design (CAD) file is loaded into the machine’s computer with the cutting specifications. The lasers then work to create the design.
The Aerospace Industry
The aerospace industry comprises of the personal, commercial and military. It also encompasses those craft designed to work in space such as those for NASA, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.
Use of Laser Cutting in The Aerospace Industry
The laser cutting process is used to cut many types of materials into various shapes and sizes, which are then used in the production process. The main benefits of laser cutting include:
- Reducing the amount of materials wasted through inefficient cutting methods.
- Improve the speed of the cutting process.
- It is economical - the repair and maintenance costs are relatively low.
- A laser cutter can cut through many different types of material.
The main use of laser cutting in the aerospace industry is to cut component parts. This can be done on flatbed laser cutting, 3d laser cutting and five-axis laser cutting. Aluminium alloy is the most common material used in aerospace. It requires a precise finish, which other cutting methods can’t achieve.
Laser cutting reduces costs in a number of ways. Not only does it speed up the entire process, allowing more products to be produced in less time, it also reduces the amount of wastage usually produced by the traditional methods.
The laser cutting machine itself only needs one specialist operator to make sure that the machine is set up correctly, in order to match the requirements of the project. The benefit of this that you’re reducing the amount of money spent on recruitment and salaries. In turn, making the process more cost-effective.
Like in most industries, laser cutting has augmented productivity within the aerospace industry. This is due to the decrease in required downtime; if changes are required, they can be made swiftly, enabling maximum productivity to return as soon as possible. Also, unlike traditional cutting tools, a laser cutting machine contains fewer moving parts, reducing the chance of the equipment malfunctioning.
The adoption of laser cutting technology has produced extremely precise results. The level of accuracy is extremely high, which makes for safer products. User safety is also higher. The laser cutting takes place inside a lightbox, meaning that there is a reduced risk of the laser cutting machines specialist operator getting caught in the laser or mechanisms.
What to Take Away
The advent of laser cutting marked a turning point for the aerospace industry. The ability to cut materials with speed and precision vastly improved the speed of the production process as well as bringing with it a range of cost reduction benefits. All of this combined has allowed product designers and manufactures working within the aerospace industry to make advancements to the technology used that was once unobtainable with the traditional methods.
Interested in finding out more about laser cutting? Get in touch with a member of the Tooling 2000 team today on 0121 242 2000 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
3D Laser Cutting Machine