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Lasertube LT12 a popular choice for UK manufacturers

Posted on 23 May 2024. Edited: John Hunter. Read 585 times.
Lasertube LT12 a popular choice for UK manufacturersBLM Group’s new Lasertube LT12, launched last year, has already won over many customers with its versatility and high performance and the machine won more admirers after making its debut at Tube in Düsseldorf last month. This new system has been designed to fill a gap in BLM Group’s Lasertube system offering, which is manifested between two products — the LT8.20, which focuses on flexibility and performance, and the LT14, which is dedicated to processing long and heavy profiles.

The LT12 is an ideal solution for processing tubes, profiles and beams, keeping the focus on versatility and productivity. Many times, BLM Group says customers have asked many times for a product larger than LT8.20, but the jump to LT14 was too great both in terms of footprint size and performance across the lower range. The LT12 was devised precisely to give many customers the opportunity to process 'light' tubes with great performance, but also to be able to process larger tubes when needed.

The machine concept is similar to the LT8.20 with a mandrel in the tail and a chuck to support the tube in the cutting zone. The LT12 has the interpenetrating mandrel in the chuck, so that minimal scrap is guaranteed without the need for chuck or mandrel movement. Especially on large tubes, this results in time savings in the scrap reduction stage and is consistent with the desire to have a larger machine, but with excellent processing time performance. The LT12 is equipped with a chain-loading system for tubes from 8.5m up to 12.5m, fully automatic unloading can reach a length of 12.5m. The quality of the tube support and handling systems both downstream and upstream of the cutting zone has always been a distinguishing and distinctive aspect of BLM Group’s systems, which has always pioneered innovative solutions in this aspect.

In addition to a clever mix of the smart template systems and chain-controlled tracking supports that characterize the LT8.20 and LT14, a special inverted smart template has been added that operates from above to hold the tube in place, reducing wear and tear on the support itself. Of course there are the Active functions characteristic of Lasertube systems and in particular the Active Scan, which quickly allows the correct position and size of the tube being cut to be verified, ensuring accuracy.

Precision, speed and flexibility

The focusing head is another special feature consisting of a Tube Cutter with a longer focal length that allows it to process higher thicknesses than the LT8.20 (the machine can process tubes up to 62 kg/m in weight) and is able to tilt up to 50deg from vertical, a full degree more than the LT8.20 and LT14. ‘Active Piercing’ and ‘Active Focus’ complete the picture of a cutting system that provides precision, speed and flexibility.

Finally, the machine has excellent accessibility and a relatively small footprint compared to the LT14 and is equipped with four cameras, which are necessary to see the cutting area that is inaccessible due to the fibre source, allowing complete visibility of the entire workpiece being processed.

On tubes and beams, but increasingly in other areas as well, the possibility of adding some mechanical machining is highly appreciated by customers because it avoids an additional step following laser machining. The LT12 is equipped with a mechanical machining unit capable of making threaded holes from M4 to M12. A 16-tool magazine with tool integrity control allows these machining operations to be fully automatic, programmed directly in the CAD/CAM design phase with ArTube.

BLM Group fully expects that the LT12 will further expand the application range of Lasertube systems by enticing customers and industries that until now have remained reluctant to tackle this type of technology, but certainly, all those who already have a Lasertube system and want to replace it or increase production volume will now have more choice.