Paul Fabrications, a Unitech Aerospace company, continues to expand its 40 in-house manufacturing processes. With longstanding relationships with the aerospace, defence, and nuclear power refuelling industries spanning over 70 years, Paul Fabrications has expanded its laser processing capabilities with a six-axis LASERDYNE 795XL machine. Paul Fabrications is the first and only manufacturing facility in the UK to possess this combination of technology. The LASERDYNE 795XL incorporates LASERDYNE SmartTechniques™ processing technology for high speed, high precision laser cutting, welding, and drilling.
Long-Term Strategic Partnerships Key to Paul Fabrication Success
The company has been involved in the development of major aero-engine programs for both civil and military applications. It has honed strong expertise in the production of value-added complex fabricated and machined components and assemblies resulting in long-term strategic relationships with leading manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce.
The LASERDYNE equipment addition, together with its expanded and highly trained employee group, ensures that Paul Fabrications customer collaboration, transparency, and risk reduction delivers maximum on-time quality.
How The New LASERDYNE 795XL Fibre Laser Contributes
“The LASERDYNE system is a fantastic addition to our existing 5-axis CO2 laser technology,” according to Gary Hemmings, Paul Fabrications’ Business Improvement Director. “In certain applications, it is four times faster than technology that was available previously and gives us the ability to add enhanced features to our customer’s parts. This, along with its welding capabilities, gives us a competitive advantage on a variety of different products. The acquisition of this new high-speed, high-precision percussion and trepan drilling, cutting and welding technology is a result of our never-ending effort to procure the best manufacturing solutions for our customers.”
Mark Barry, Vice President of Sales for Prima Power Laserdyne added, “There are a number of unique capabilities with this fibre laser processing system. The 795XL, outfitted with a 15kW QCW fibre laser, adds capacity for complex laser hole drilling at angles as shallow as 10 degrees to the surface in uncoated and thermal barrier coated heat resistant materials.”
LASERDYNE Support Includes Programming Design
“We’re operating the system for trepanning using both continuous wave and peak power pulsing,” reports Sean Ahern, CAD/CAM Laser Engineer for Paul Fabrications. “We are laser processing silencers and liner assemblies made from nickel alloy C263 and C625. These materials have exceptional fabrication characteristics with excellent intermediate temperature tensile ductility and high strength. The LASERDYNE system allows us to easily achieve a tolerance range from 0.3mm down to 0.05mm on part features including inner and outer profiles and hole sizes of 0.6, 0.9, 1.5 and 26 mm. This is a combination of fibre laser capability, Laserdyne unique laser control software, along with the superior mechanics of the system. Laserdyne’s ongoing support has also allowed us to move quickly to expand on these capabilities with the system.”
Processing Accuracy With Automatic Focus Control
For Paul Fabrications, achieving a high level of accuracy from prototype to production stages and from one job to another is possible because of the LASERDYNE design that integrates all of its laser system features. Everything works together in a coordinated manner – the controller, software, motion system, laser and process sensors. Of particular importance, are Laserdyne’s software and hardware for part mapping and focus control that enhance both the quality and cycle times compared to traditional methods of production.”
Among these are the S94P control, which includes a full complement of dedicated hardware and software features. These include Automatic Focus Control™ for capacitive part sensing, patented Optical Focus Control (OFC) for sensing of non-metallic or thermal barrier coated surfaces, ShapeSoft™ software for programming shaped holes, and multi-buffer capable mapping of part surfaces.
The Optical Focus Control (OFC™) / Automatic Focus Control (AFC™) feature is particularly important to Paul Fabrication’s work. Continuously refined and updated so that both hardware and software is leading edge, OFC/AFC precisely guides the motion system, maintaining critical focus position and following the contour of the part regardless of slight surface irregularities. OFC/AFC allows top machine speeds so productivity is maximised without downtime or scrapped parts.
Laser System Speed With Accuracy
The new LASERDYNE fibre laser system operates at up to 800 inch/min (0-20 m/min) in all axes with bidirectional accuracy of 0.0005 inch (12.7 micrometre). This accuracy is throughout the system’s 80 x 40 x 40 inches (2.0 x 1.0 x 1.0 m) work envelope, making it ideal for reliable and consistent processing of small, medium, and large size parts. The accuracy of the new system is certified to ISO 230-1:1996 and 230-2:2006 in accordance with Prima Power Laserdyne’s standard accuracy and repeatability test procedures.