At Production Cutting Services, our 6-axis laser cutting process with integrated tapping capability allows us to significantly reduce production time and cost for a number of different component types. In the project highlighted here, we laser cut and tapped hot rolled steel tubes for a customer in the agricultural equipment industry. Previously, the customer used a design that required the use of self-tapping screws in the laser cut holes. However, the self-tapping screws were difficult to install and were creating hardware connection failures during assembly. The customer needed tapped holes in this component to increase assembly quality without significantly increasing its cost. While searching for an alternative to these two undesirable options of routine part failure, or increased costs, the customer contacted us.
Directly importing the customer’s Pro-E files into our CAM system, we were able to precisely cut the 3D features of the beam design to tolerances of ±0.010”, while incorporating the desired tapping operation into the laser cutting process. The ability to perform 3D laser cutting in conjunction with tapping is quite unique in the metalworking industry, and affords us the ability to produce complex components at much lower prices than many other tubing fabricators. A Faro Arm and thread gauge was used to verify the dimensions and accuracy of the finished parts. The total turnaround time from process development to finished samples was two weeks. We produce approximately 7,000 of these parts annually. For additional information about this 3D laser cutting project, see the table below, or contact us directly.