Queen's Award winner puts success down to lasers

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Having recently received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, Winbro Group Technologies continue to reach out into new markets, aided by Rofin Lasers. The coveted award, received by Winbro in April of this year, was in recognition of the company’s outstanding achievements in export growth of more than 70 per cent. Winbro’s success stems from more than 50 years of experience in applying and combining different non-conventional machining technologies including laser machining, high-speed EDM (electro-discharge machining) and ECM (electro-chemical machining).

At the heart of the Winbro Delta laser machining system is a Rofin DC 020 CO2 slab laser. Renowned for their high uptime, low maintenance and excellent beam quality (K> 0.9) Rofin diffusion cooled slab lasers have become a workhorse in the industrial laser world. The combined attributes of 2,000W of output power, excellent beam quality and the enhanced cut edge quality obtained from the CO2 laser has enabled average cutting speeds to be increased from 250mm/min to 1,700mm/min, with speeds of greater than 2,500mm/min deemed achievable by Winbro.

The 'Delta' system is built upon a substantial monocoque chassis which acts as the mounting platform for the positioning axes and the laser. This robust construction also provides the stability required for the precision cutting operations which will be performed within the machine. The Rofin DC 020 laser is mounted above the system and outside of the cutting environment, with the laser beam delivered to the cutting head via a series of mirrors. Components up to 1,900mm diameter, 900mm high, and weighing up to 500kg can be processed within the machine, and its five-axis configuration allows complex profiles and contours to be machined. Stable and repeatable positioning is guaranteed by the use of ball-screw driven linear slides and harmonic drives for the rotary axes. This, combined with absolute position encoders, linear scales and the Heidenhain iTNC 530 control system, allows accuracies of 0.015mm and repeatability of 0.010mm or better to be achieved across the working envelope.