Laser Cutter Maintenance and Repair Processes
The global laser cutter machine market is growing at an annual rate of 8.4%, set to reach a value of £5 billion by 2030. Much of this growth stems from an increased demand for automated production capabilities, a trend across industries such as automotive and electronics. Typical laser-cutting applications include gaskets, gears, printed circuit boards (PCBs), consumer electronics, etchings, woodworking, jewellery, and more.
Laser-cutting machines and devices enable manufacturers to increase production output, efficiency, and speed whilst ensuring durability and safety through high-performance maintenance and repair solutions.
Laser cutters use a high-energy, focussed beam of light to vaporise or melt a substrate, creating a clean and precise cut. Materials such as metals are vaporised by the intense heat emitted from the laser, creating a clean cut with minimal melting or residue. With materials such as wood or acrylic, the laser melts the material at the point of contact, whilst an assist gas – typically nitrogen or air – dispels the molten material.
Main Machine Components
Laser-cutting machines contain numerous components that require regular maintenance to ensure safe, long-lasting, and effective use. Such components include;
The laser generator produces a high-energy light source to cut a given substrate. Two of the most common laser generators are C02 gas and glass fibre, and both require electronic protection solutions for optimal functionality.
The laser cutting head, or tube, is composed of a servomotor – a closed-loop mechanism that uses position feedback to control motion and positioning – gears and screw rods. In addition, the cutting head uses a combination of gas nozzles, sensors, and focussing mirrors to hoe the laser’s direction on the workpiece.
The machine bed is the base of the laser cutter, where the materials are laid and cut using its X, Y, and Z axes. The axes use a servomotor for precise measurements on the numerical control system.
Motors are used across various parts of laser cutter machinery to enable precise movements, measurements, and cutting. These motors require bonding and protection solutions to function as accurately as possible. Servomotors and stepper motors operate in tandem.
Gas cylinders are used within laser cutter machines to supply the air which feeds the air compressors, enabling laser oscillation and production.
Air compressors within laser cutter machines provide and store pressurised air to produce and operate the laser within the cutting head.
Water chillers are used within laser cutters to remove excess heat from the laser generator, protecting all components within the machinery. It also enables the stable functioning of the laser head and focusing mirror, enabling high precision.
Dust extractors and slag dischargers filter and remove excess dust, material particulates, and waste generated from the laser-cutting process.
Top Laser Cutter Maintenance and Repair Solutions
- Quick repairs and applications
- Increased components and equipment service life
- Reduced frequency of maintenance
- Reduced downtimes
- Resistance to water, humidity, and corrosion
- Resistance to extreme temperatures and pressures
- Protection from corrosion, oxidation, and rusting
- Reduced friction and wear
- Improved reliability and durability
- Ability to keep contaminants away from core parts
- Easy and cheap applications
Araldite 2014-2 is a two-component epoxy with high-temperature resistance and good adhesion to various substrates. The superior gap-filling capabilities allow 2014-2 to bond motor casings and sensors.
Araldite 2051 is a two-component methacrylate adhesive used for pipe and tube bonding applications within laser cutter machines. It provides high resilience to vibrations, impact, and dynamic loading. It is designed for service temperatures up to 120°C, making it durable and suitable in high-temperature environments.
Molykote BG-20 is a polyester grease with a lithium complex thickener for lubricating bearings within laser cutter machines. It has the temperature resilience of silicone grease, between -45°C to 180°C, and the high load-carrying capacity of solid lubricant-containing organic greases. Molykote BG-20 is ideal for applications that undergo high temperatures, extreme pressure or high speed.
Molykote L-4611 is a synthetic reciprocating compressor oil designed for piston air compressors in high operating temperatures. It provides good corrosion, rust, and oxidation protection, a wide operating temperature range and a sister base for its oil.
Molykote 4646 is a high-performance lubricant oil designed for screw air compressors at high temperatures. It provides good oxidation resistance and a wide operating temperature range. It is composed of a synthetic polyester base oil.
Krytox GB H0 is a fluoropolymer grease used for lubricating gears within laser cutter machines. It is compatible with all elastomeric seal materials and functional at temperatures up to 270°C.
Discover our adhesive selection guide and our full range of industrial lubricants to find the most appropriate solution for your application and reduce downtime.
Contact us for expert advice regarding your laser cutter repair and maintenance processes.