By Richard Higgs, Plastics News Correspondent
Viersen, Germany -- Two German companies havejoined forces to develop the use of laser-cutting technology forplastics processors.
Laser specialist Jenoptik AG of Jena, Germany, is cooperating with Frimo Viersen GmbH, part of the Lotte, Germany-based FrimoGroup, which supplies the plastics converting industry with punchingand flexible trimming equipment. The parent company is a leading makerof plastics tooling and production machinery, with a strong focus on equipment to produce parts such as automotive door and instrument panels.
Jenoptik technology features a series of technical advantages, such as integrated beam guidance through all robot axes.
Laser cutting is becomingincreasingly important because it is a noncontact process,characterised by particularly high speed and precision. As a relativelynew technique for flexible cutting, laser processing still holds greatdevelopment potential, according to Jenoptik and Frimo Viersen of Viersen.
Complete integration of thelaser-beam-guidance system in the robot permits use of the robot's fulldynamic range. That has the effect of shortening cycle time whileachieving very high repeat precision, even with complex,three-dimensional components.
Applications in the automotive industry form a major market focus for the supply partners.
FrimoGroup comprises 18 companies employing 1300 worldwide. The companyoffers a full range of plastics technologies and polyurethaneprocessing equipment, having moved into production of PU mixing and dispensing equipment last year. The group also offers equipment for flexible cutting, punching, pressing andforming, and thermoforming and laminating processes.