4KW CO2 vs 4KW Fiber Laser Cutting Machine-Cutting Cost Comparison

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4KW CO2 vs 4KW Fiber Laser Cutting Machine-Cutting Cost Comparison

 

Optical fiber and CO2 laser cutting machine are the main force of industry. Now the power of these two machines is 4kw, which has been proved to be able to cut up to 0.787 inch plate; And it’s thicker.

Which machine (fiber laser cutting machine or CO2 laser cutting machine) is most suitable for your company? I think this choice is decided by which machine makes parts with less money; In some cases, the money is much less. This paper cannot define the cost of manufacturing parts, but it can define the cost of manufacturing some parts. Talking with potential machine suppliers can help you understand the cost of manufacturing parts.

Fiber laser cutting machine manufacturers can use your parts for time studies on their machines. Make the most of it, because it’s the only reliable way to determine your actual personal costs. At the same time, we can describe the relative cost of the two machines.

Component manufacturing cost

Here is the key. There are other cost items that are important to the total cost of each part. Here I focus on the cost project as the main cost driver of laser cutting. Other cost items are listed later in this article( Please note that all the following information is based on 4kw laser cutting machine, whether it is fiber laser or CO2 laser.)

Operating cost and cutting speed are the two most important cost drivers.

1. Operating costs

Of course, operating costs vary, so for a 4kw CO2 laser cutter, we will use an “average” cost of $12.73 per hour. The actual cost will vary from a little less to a little more.
According to the available data, we will use $6.24 per hour for 4kw fiber laser cutting machine.

2. Cutting speed

Similarly, it is impossible to cover the cutting speed of each 4kw CO2 laser cutting machine, so we will use the “average” cutting speed of these machines. Some CO2 laser cutters may cut faster, while others may cut slower. Note that these examples apply to brand new laser and beam propagation optics and assume that the optics are properly aligned. The cutting speed will decrease with time.

According to the available data, we will use the following cutting speed for 4kw fiber laser cutting machine. Please note that either the fiber laser itself or the fiber beam transmission system of the fiber laser cutting machine does not include separate optical elements. Without these optics, the cutting speed should be kept constant over time.

Material and thickness, cutting speed, and the cost of cutting 100 feet of material, cutting cost comparison
This information comes from publicly available data. If possible, please calculate according to your cutting experience. Again, the bottom line is to do time research or research on your part. These relative values will give you a starting point:

Material / thickness / cutting gas CO2 laser cutting speed and cost of cutting 100 foot material fiber laser cutting speed and cost of cutting 100 foot material:
*The cutting cost per 100 feet of material is based on the operating cost and the cutting speed. Although these cutting speeds and operating costs are different for each available laser cutter, they are a useful starting point when considering the use of laser cutters. Any math mistakes are mine.

Secondary cost item

– laser reconstruction cost – for some CO2 lasers, this cost will increase your operating costs by more than $4.00 per hour.
– universal wire cutting capability – this may actually be slower, but it can usually significantly reduce scrap and make more parts with a given piece of material.
– machine acceleration and deceleration – particularly important in thin gauge metals
– laser reconstruction cost – for some CO2 lasers, this cost will increase your operating cost by $4.00 per hour + -.
– universal wire cutting capability – this may actually be slower, but it can usually significantly reduce scrap and make more parts from a given sheet of material.
– machine acceleration and deceleration – particularly important in thin gauge metals
– laser reliability – fewer components means less complexity and higher reliability
– laser beam stability – overhead – faster cutting speed means less fixed cost allocated to parts
– labor – faster cutting means lower labor costs per part
– materials – this usually does not affect part costs
– cutting gas – faster cutting means less gas is used overall
– optics in laser – optics wear means lower cutting speed
– optics in beam propagation system – optics wear and misalignment means lower cutting speed
– focus lens length – longer FL lenses usually mean longer lens life. Like Nd: YAG laser, fiber laser usually has a “sacrificial” and relatively cheap optical element under the focusing lens.
– spot size – generally speaking, small spot size means higher power density and faster cutting speed.
– beam quality – when discussing CO2 laser cutting machine, beam quality is usually defined by TEM or 1 / E square level, and TEM00 is “perfect” beam; It is not necessarily the best beam mode for cutting board.

For fiber lasers, the beam quality is usually defined by BPP (beam parameter product). The lower the BPP, the better the cutting beam. The main factor leading to low BPP is the diameter of the optical fiber. A smaller beam propagation fiber means a lower BPP, which means that the beam quality of laser cutting is “higher” (the spot size is smaller under all other conditions being the same).

Laser automation

for laser cutting machines, the use of automation can significantly reduce labor costs, and usually allows you to run the laser cutting machine in the “off” condition. If you use automatic loading (from one or more towers) and include automatic unloading / sorting / stacking functions, as well as waste disposal, you can significantly increase the production of parts; Of course, this will also increase the total cost of the machine, so careful analysis should be carried out to determine your company’s optimal level of automation.

Doing these minor cost items will really change the cost of individual parts. Yes, this change can be significant to your bottom line.
Rebuild costs: if you don’t know that you will have significant rebuild costs and don’t add them to your parts costs or quotation process, you may encounter unpleasant surprises. When investigating operating costs (direct contributors to parts costs), ask for a total estimated operating cost of at least 30000 hours (five years in a three shift operation).

Cutting gas

compared with CO2 laser cutting machine, fiber laser cutting machine may consume more cutting gas per hour. This may be offset by fiber lasers with higher cutting speeds and other lower operating costs.

Good luck with your “cut part cost” survey, which I believe will help you in your final decision.

The running cost and cutting speed of 4kw CO2 and 4kw fiber laser cutting machine were analyzed.

The operating costs and cutting speeds defined in the comparison table are calculated based on publicly available and published information provided to the public by various laser cutting machine manufacturers.

Exact information is not meant to be certain, but as a comparison between the two laser technologies. Current technology is changing, and as manufacturers address issues related to nozzle design, focusing lens length, and other relevant data points, costs and cutting speeds will also change dynamically. In other words, operating costs and cutting speed are not immutable. Some 4kw (fiber and CO2) laser cutters may be faster than those listed in the chart, and some may be slower. For potential users, the exact difference is less important than the relative difference between the two technologies. Please note that CO2 laser cutting machines have been in existence for a long time, and their cutting speed may have limited rising potential