Don't let a Bad Apple spoil your Laser Cutting Operations

by Dan Fairchild on Jan 19, 2016

One Bad Apple Cylinder Spoils the Whole Bunch

Metal fabricators began reaping the benefits of laser cutting technology as far back as 1965 when they started using it to drill holes in diamond dies.  Because of its cutting precision and energy efficiency, laser cutting has many advantages over plasma cutting when cutting sheet metal. And through numerous technical advancements,  newer laser machines operating at higher power (6000 watts versus the 1500 watt ratings of early laser cutting machines) have approached plasma machines in their ability to cut through thick materials.

But to realize these benefits, laser cutting machine owners and operators must adopt some key processes and procedures. One set of key processes and procedures involves "assist gas" management. Following sections describe key do's and don'ts about laser assist gas management...including how the old saying One Bad Apple Spoils the Whole Bunch is something to worry about...but can be easily addressed.

Read More

Topics: Specialty Gases, Cutting

Should You Still Care About Oxy Acetylene Gas?

by Dan Fairchild on Feb 18, 2015

It should be a simple choice for Metal Fabricators…but the devil is in the details

Isn’t Oxy-Acetylene Old School?

When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, people continued to use candles.

When the first PC (the Altair) was introduced, people continued to use calculators.

When cell phones started integrating cameras, people continued to use DSLRs.

But in each case, each of the original solutions continued to be useful in a niche.  Candles became useful for setting a romantic mood rather than reading a book. You couldn’t take an Altair with you to class to take a test.  And, if you’re a professional photographer, you would trust your reputation to your iPhone’s camera…even with its gazillion pixels.

The same can be said for the place Oxy-Acetylene currently plays in a Metal Fabricator’s life.

Electric welding processes have almost completely taken over production welding applications. In most cases, an electric welding process which will turn out good welds faster than the oxy-acetylene torch.

If that is true, why bother with oxy-acetylene gas at all?

To paraphrase in the classic movie The Graduate where Mr. McGuire advises to young Benjamin:  OXYFUEL CUTTING.

Read More

Topics: Welding, Oxy Acetylene, Cutting