Just weeks before Christmas, two semi-trailers delivered the very best kind of gift for Mercury Specialty Products. “It felt like Christmas, or somebody’s birthday,” exclaimed Mike Lee, MSP President. “That’s how excited we were to unbox our new 40-foot long laser cutters.”
MSP purchased two LS7, 10 KW 2D laser cutting systems from BLM, who shipped them to Winnipeg all the way from Italy. Unwrapping this special present took some extra help. Several workers, using a Skyline crane and a combination of cutting tools, first unboxed the machine, then, using a combination of Hyster forklift and flatbed truck, hauled everything into place within the Red Fife plant.
“We bought two of them to provide redundancies,” explains Lee. “Our existing machine is going to be sold. The current machine is 4 KW, and the new machines are both 10 KW – that means we can work faster, with cleaner cutting lines, especially when it comes to thicker materials. These machines represent a significant investment towards improving capabilities and capacity.”
The LS7s work fairly independently, programmed by manufacturing engineers, and require only a single operator to run both machines. In fact, the equipment is capable of operating “lights out”, meaning it is fully automated or with very limited human interaction. Operators are trained by factory technicians. The parts produced are destined for use in agricultural, construction, and trailer manufacturing.
The LS7s have axis acceleration up to 2g, optimizing the processing cycles and minimizing wait times. It also offers burr-free cutting, meaning it will automatically adjust to the thickness of the material for a clean and precise cut — from stainless steel and mild steel to aluminum or copper. And, it’s all done with lower energy consumption.
With a pallet change rate of 9 seconds — extracting the parts and loading the new sheet metal — the LS7s are incredibly efficient. It’s all thanks to a fully electric process and a mechanical solution that anticipates the simultaneous exchange of the two tables. With the full electric pallet changer alone, it’s possible to increase productivity by up to 9% (on an average of 10 pallet changes per hour).
The care and maintenance for the LS7 here is minimal, so MSP’s down time is lower, which spells speedier delivery for clients. “The most difficult sort of job these machines have to do is to work with thicker materials, 1” and up, while maintaining edge quality,” says Lee. “We’re confident they’re up to the task. We’re looking forward to a happy New Year and to some happy clients who get to benefit from the performance and capabilities of our new laser cutters!”