Tysica Laser takes delivery of 12kW Bodor fibre laser

Looking to increase capacity and improve production times Tysica Laser have decided to invest in a 12kW Bodor P4 fibre laser.

“We were one of the early adopters in South Africa when it came to recognising the advantages and benefits of using fibre laser cutting for processing metal. From the establishment of our company back in 2000 we had used CO2 as the source for our Bystronic lasers. It was the recognised medium used universally in the laser cutting world but, in the background changes were developing in the laser cutting world. This was already evident in 2012 when the number of manufacturers that had fibre laser machines on display at EuroBLECH 2012 increased dramatically as compared to the 2010 exhibition,” said Colin Dallas, one of two partners of Tysica Laser, the other being Steven Moody.

Steven Moody and Colin Dallas, the owners of Tysica Laser

“Companies were slow to adopt the technology at first but worldwide, more and more manufacturers began cutting with fibre lasers due to their increased uptime and throughput, lower operating costs and overall improved quality.”

“Besides the important factor of lower operating costs, the breakthroughs for fibre lasers came with the high-quality cuts of thicker materials, they could also cut thinner materials faster than CO2 and are superior in cutting reflective metals, which provides a much lower cost of ownership.”

“Other benefits of fibre laser cutting include non-contact cutting, therefore no degradation in cut quality, minimal maintenance, high tool availability, variety of lasers to cut non-metallic materials, scalable processes from micro cutting stents up to shaping structural steel and that they are easily automated for maximum productivity.”

Tysica Laser’s new 12kW Bodor P4 fibre laser comes equipped with an automatic sheet loader

“South Africa is generally a year or two behind when encompassing new technology, especially when it comes to high-cost capital equipment. However, we did invest in our first fibre laser in 2016, a Bystronic BySprint 6kW with a bed size of 4 000mm by 2 000mm. This machine was one of two in the country at the time. It certainly gave us a big advantage over service centres like ourselves, at the time.”

High service and spares costs for CO2 machines
“Another big disadvantage for CO2 lasers is the service costs that have become exorbitant. We still have two CO2 machines and will still keep them running to do the repetitive components that don’t require high tolerances and the many jobbing type requests we get.”

“CO2 machines also hate loadshedding. We could lose up to three hours a day just on starting the machine and then turning it off if we follow the schedule. Like other electrically driven equipment it is even worse for the machine’s functionality if it is not shutdown correctly.”

Tysica Laser have gone the air-assist route

“We are not going to try and sell them because even though it is old technology, they are worth more to us operating on a low level than what we would get for them in the market. Because of the high service costs, we will do less of that and eventually they will be used as spares for the other machines because these costs have also jumped dramatically.”

“Economics does play a big part in your decision-making process these days when purchasing capital equipment. We would love to purchase a European brand every five years, like they do in Europe, but our exchange rate is making it difficult for the local manufacturer or processor. Of course quality, reliability and back-up service from the importer are equally important. When taking all of these factors into account, including our confidence in the local dealer, it was an easy decision.”

WhatsApp group
“Once we purchased the Bodor we were immediately added to the company’s client WhatsApp group. What is significant about this is that you get immediate attention and answers and solutions if you communicate on the app. There is no more waiting until Europe wakes up or having to import a costly spare or pay for a costly technician to arrive in South Africa a week later, if you are lucky, while your machine sits idle. It is done immediately and the local dealer is amply stocked with spares.”

Tysica Laser’s new 12kW Bodor P4 fibre laser has a bed size of 4 000mm by 2 000mm

“The new Bodor P4020 fibre laser, supplied by Integral Machine Tools, has a table size of 4m by 2m and will provide the company with a significant boost in productivity and allow us to offer better laser cutting lead times. Every increase in power delivers a cleaner cut edge, especially on mild steel, which forms the majority of our throughput. We can now cut mild steel up to 30mm thick.”

The cost of air-assist laser cutting beats nitrogen dramatically
“Neither fibre nor CO2 lasers rely strictly on a light beam for cutting metal. Rather, the process includes the injection of an assist gas at the nozzle to supplement the process. This confluence initiates a process known as an exothermic reaction, a chemical reaction that releases energy by light or heat. The introduction of nitrogen, oxygen or air helps transfer heat more effectively than the beam alone.”

“We have gone the air-assist route.”

What are the advantages of air-assist laser cutting?
“While relatively new to some, air-assist cutting has been around for nearly 20 years. Machine tool manufacturers began researching and developing the process as early as 1998.”

Components cut on the new Bodor P4. The fibre laser can cut mild steel up to 30mm thick

“Since that time the use of air as an assist gas has continued its steady growth in popularity among both fibre and CO2 laser users alike. Mode quality was a major limitation when compressed air was first introduced for CO2 lasers, but that has improved significantly. Today air-assist is an efficient and popular method for cutting a variety of materials, even stainless steel and aluminium.”

“Air carries with it a substantial return on investment for those employing fibre lasers or those cutting stainless steel.”

“The intense heat of fibre lasers, combined with injected air, creates cuts without producing an oxide formation on the cut surface. This means that secondary clean-up operations are significantly reduced or even eliminated.”

“As any fabricator using nitrogen will tell you, it is a costly gas. In some instances, the cost of the gas alone can be as high as 90 per cent of the total operating cost. Air is considerably less expensive than both nitrogen and oxygen.”

Some more components cut on the new Bodor P4

“The new machine has given us the opportunity to cut thicker material faster. 90% of our cutting is in the 3mm to 10mm range but where necessary we can offer the option of encroaching on the plasma cutting turf. This will lead to new clients.”

“We have not changed our focus of being just a service centre. We have resisted becoming a fabricator or offering extra processes such as machining or welding. It has worked well for us and we don’t intend changing.”

“The big plus factor is we can offer our clients more options and the improvement in quality of cut and turnaround time is something that they are loving.”

For more information contact Tysica Laser on TEL: (011) 472 0170