Optimising your tube cutting experience at Qinisa Steel Solutions

Investment in fiber laser tube cutting machine allows parts to be made faster, cleaner and with greater accuracy.

“It’s hard to imagine achieving optimal tube and pipe cutting, whether the finished parts are round, square or rectangular in shape, without lasers. Laser systems have revolutionised the process of tube cutting, especially when cutting complex shapes. This type of machine requires a significant initial investment, especially if your investment is in best of breed equipment with all the optional extras thrown in. However the benefit is in how it speeds up the manufacturing process and reduces waste and scrap for our customers,” says Grant Mackenzie, a Director at Qinisa Steel Solutions.

“If one wants to introduce a fully automated manufacturing process one needs to start with good quality tube, followed by accurate tube laser cutting in order to reap the benefits of advances in robotic welding, quicker assembly times and other enhancements that make downstream manufacturing more efficient.”

A demo sample of what can be done at Qinisa Steel Solutions

A component for the furniture industry

“Fabricating metal components today using the same approaches and technology from 10 years ago is a time, power and labour-intensive exercise. Our new fibre laser technology introduces efficiencies to the fabricating process and we work closely with companies to look at how these can be used in their unique manufacturing process. In Europe where power, labour and rental footprint is expensive, manufacturers have embraced tube laser processing to maximise profitability and stay ahead of the competition through cost savings and new design innovations.”

“The value of our fiber tube laser to our customers lies in its clean, accurate cuts, the high processing speeds and the fact that it can cut reflective surfaces including mirror finish stainless balustrades. In addition it assists downstream manufacturing processes through clever jointing options and greater accuracy aided by its steel marking function. This allows for quicker final assembly, doing away with complex welding jigs, and results in significant all-round savings for our customers.”

“We established Qinisa Steel Solutions five years ago and are becoming known as a specialist tube laser business. All our machinery investments have been towards tube and section processing. We do not compete with the flat laser market hence we are growing our interaction with other service centres across the country who supply us with niche tube laser cutting work.”

A mechanical application

The BLM tube fiber laser at work

“In order for a service centre to entrust us with their business we need to achieve four things namely; Ensure drawings are accurate and signed off – this will translate into parts cut accurately to within 0.1mm tolerance; Quote quickly so decisions can be made; Cut the job within the lead time promised and; Offer specialist advice that ensures the value of tube laser is maximised.”

“In our experience due to the BLM machine’s advanced software and consistent cutting accuracy, there are no translational errors between the CAD drawing and the finished part. If the drawing is correct, the tube laser will cut perfectly every time. This is why we invested in a premium brand laser that is locally supported rather than an entry-level machine. Due to the significant investment it is imperative that these machines are run 24/7 to ensure the unit costs stay competitive and hence loading the machine to optimum is the challenge. We are therefore growing volumes through existing service centres that prefer contracting these enquiries out to specialists such as ourselves. Once they experience the professional service, we find their confidence levels in this new technology rises and this becomes the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Another example of what can be done on the BLM tube fiber laser

Tube laser cutting can lend itself to introducing completely new product designs

“Industries that would typically use tube laser would be manufacturers of furniture, racking, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) and others in the automotive, aerospace, food and beverage, medical, oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation and fluid power industries where high volumes of tube are used. We cut stainless steel, aluminium, carbon steel and even copper and brass. Service centres typically use us when they are supplying their customers with flat laser cut and bent parts and as part of the assembly there may be a requirement for laser cut tubular parts.”

Other features
Jerry Govender, MD of Qinisa Steel adds: “Tube laser cutting can lend itself to introducing completely new product designs. Innovative and complicated designs are easy to process with the tube laser and can make a product stronger and more aesthetically pleasing, often reducing weight without sacrificing strength and improving the tube assembly process. Special laser-cut features that allow tube profiles to be bent or joined easily can simplify welding and assembly greatly and help reduce the product’s cost.”

“A laser allows us to cut holes, slots and unique geometries precisely in one working step, eliminating repeated part handlings for downstream processes. In one specific example, making a tube connection with a laser instead of sawing, milling, drilling, deburring and the associated material handling reduced the manufacturing cost by 30 per cent.”

For further details contact Qinisa Steel Solutions on TEL: 011 873 7000 or visit www.qinisasteel.co.za