4.5kW laser takes power steering parts maker in new direction

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Power steering components manufacturer PSS is cutting sheet parts with a new 4.5kW laser system.

The Norfolk-based company’s management wanted to increase production capacity and flexibility, and to be able to carry out jobs on the laser that had previously been completed on the company’s computer numerical control (CNC) machine. According to PSS, the machine is now processing up to three tonnes of material a day, including steel, stainless and plastic in thicknesses ranging from 1.5mm to 25mm.

‘We were already considering adding a laser cutting capability to our range of state-of-the-art CNC manufacturing equipment,’ explained PSS managing director, Richard Pratt. He added: ‘We chose the eX machine based on its speed of cutting and simplicity of programming. For production work, we can download CAD files directly from our design office, but our operators also make use of the on-board CNC controller for prototypes and short runs.’

The company chose a Mitsubishi Electric eX3015 4.5kW laser cutting machine. The company is also using the eX3015 to rough out parts, like washers, that might previously have been cut from metal bar on one of the CNC lathes. PSS is also now producing various sheet components that it would have previously have outsourced. This helps the company cut the number of parts it needs to keep in stock. PSS has plans to further develop the capabilities of its Mitsubishi eX3015 laser cutter, with the future addition of a fourth axis for the machine. The company is also considering taking on subcontract laser cutting work for other manufacturers, the first time it has made use of one of its machines for such work.