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Laser Cutting

Laser cutting or as it is sometimes called Metal Laser Cutting, is a CNC controlled machining process that uses high-powered laser beams directed through optical mirrors or fibre optics, to precisely burn or slice away material to a specific dimensional footprint. Laser cutting can be used on a variety of materials and to create an array of shapes and features.

There are multiple types of laser technologies used in industry today. CO2 or Gas Lasers work by electrically-stimulating a CO2 gas mixture, which is then passed through a lens to intensify the light. Fiber laser cutting is done using banks of diodes that create light and pass the light through optical fibres to amplify the light. Unlike CO2 technology fiber lasers have no moving parts. Crystal laser cutters use rare earth crystals to produce the light source and like fiber lasers are a solid state technology so there are no moving parts.

Our Laser Cutting Process and Approach

At AKI we primarily leverage laser cutting as a preliminary step prior to machining. While we do not have in house laser cutting capabilities we rely on a strong group of partners that we work closely with to compliment our capabilities. Whether you have a need for a small volume of simple parts to high volume or highly complex integrated solutions, we can support your needs.

We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

Laser Cutting Applications

Laser cutting services are used in a multitude of industries and for a variety of applications. Laser cutting is often used as a first step in the manufacturing process. Lasers are ideal to quickly and cost effectively rough and shape sizes of a part that will then go into a further machining process. In many applications where tolerance requirements and finish specifications are not as demanding, often lasers can be used as a finishing process to cut out shapes and features in parts.

The Advantages of Laser Cutting

In general, laser cutting is a very cost effective way of manufacturing. Relative to other cutting technologies like waterjet, laser cutting has optimal precision, can create very good surface finishes, and is very flexible with regard to addressable applications. On the other hand water jet cutters can cut thicker materials and heat sensitive materials.

Within laser cutting technologies, CO2 is probably the most common and  can handle thicker materials and create smoother finishes than fiber options. Fiber however is generally more energy efficient, and inexpensive to operate. Because of the small patch size fibre lasers can also process reflective materials better than CO2, which is a challenge for all laser cutting equipment. Crystal lasers are the highest power option but internal parts can wear out faster due the higher power output, and are therefore more costly to operate overall.

Water Jet Cutting

A Water Jet Cutter is a CNC controlled machine used to cut a variety of materials through the use of a high pressure jet stream of water. There are two major types of water jets, abrasive and pure water jet. As the name implies the abrasive type utilizes an abrasive media mixed in with the water, whereas pure waterjet is a water-only solution. The abrasive option allows for cutting of harder materials, such as many metals or stone.

Water jet machines use a high pressure pump to increase output water pressure that then passes through a series of tubes to the nozzle. The parts to be cut are laid down on a table, which sit below the water nozzle that is mounted to linear stages typically in an XYZ configuration over the table. Sometimes rotary heads are integrated into the machine giving a full five-axis of motion which can enable cutting on angles.

Our Water Jet Cutting Process and Approach

At AKI we primarily leverage water jet cutting as a preliminary step prior to machining. While we do not have in house water jet cutting capabilities we rely on a strong group of partners that we work closely with to compliment our capabilities. Whether you have a need for a small volume of simple parts to high volume or highly complex integrated solutions, we can support your needs.

We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

Water Jet Cutting Applications

Water jet cutting services are used in a multitude of industries and for a variety of applications. Water jet cutting is often used as a first step in the manufacturing process. These machines are ideal to quickly and cost effectively rough and shape sizes of a part that will then go into a further machining process. In many applications where tolerance requirements and finish specifications are not as demanding, often water jets can be used as a finishing process to cut out shapes and features in parts.

The Advantages of Water Jet Cutting

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of water jet cutting over other technologies is the fact that there is no heat induced into the part being cut. This means there are no heat affected or hardened areas of the material. Water jet cutting can also be very cost-effective and faster than many other cutting processes. Water jet cutters can cut virtually any material, and can cut a wide range of intricate shapes, geometries.

Flame Cutting

Flame cutting which is also referred to as oxy-fuel cutting, is a process that uses ignited fuel gases in the form of a torch to cut through materials. Oxygen is mixed with other gases such as acetylene, propane or hydrogen to create extremely high flame temperatures used to cut metals with very high melting points. The oxygen is passed to the material in a single stream and the fuel gas is passed to the material in a ring that surrounds the oxygen. The ignited fuel gas pre-heats the material (often steel) to its combustion point and the oxygen stream is directed into the molten pool at the location to be cut, which is then oxidized and flows out of the material.

Torch or flame cutting can be a manual process using a handheld torch or performed on an automated machine. These machines can be CNC controlled to improve throughput and repeatability.

Our Flame Cutting Process and Approach

At AKI we primarily leverage flame cutting as a preliminary step prior to machining. While we do not have in house flame cutting capabilities we rely on a strong group of partners that we work closely with to compliment our capabilities. Whether you have a need for a small volume of simple parts to high volume or highly complex integrated solutions, we can support your needs.

We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

Flame Cutting Applications

Flame cutting services are used in a multitude of industries and for a variety of applications. Flame cutting is often used as a first step in the manufacturing process. This process is ideal to quickly and cost effectively rough and shape sizes of a part that will then go into a further machining process. Flame cutting is not a very precise operation, but when finish and dimensional tolerance are not critical or will be machined to size later, this is an ideal technology.

The Advantages of Flame Cutting

Flame cutting is probably the most cost effective of the three described above. In addition because flame cutting can be manual or automated it is very flexible. Manual equipment is portable and can be brought to the point of need. Alternatively, cutting can be done on large machines and done in a more accurate and repeatable process. Flame cutting is ideal for very thick materials, and can be used to cut metals that are multiple feet thick. As explained above, due to the process by which the part is cut, the finish that remains after an oxy-fuel cut is much rougher than other cutting technologies (waterjet, laser).