Collaboratively-Developed Laser Cutter Uses Custom CNC for Dynamic Gap Control

Favor Laser’s XO high-performance laser cutting machine is based on custom CNC hardware and software from NUM Corp.

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Favor Laser’s XO high-performance laser cutting machine is based on custom CNC hardware and software from NUM Corp. The laser cutter is capable of producing very small or very large parts from sheet metal, with a feed rate ranging to 60 m/min. All Favor Laser machines are based on a “flying optics” system, which supports the sheet metal on a stationary table while the cutting head directing the laser beam moves horizontally above the surface of the sheet. Because the cutting head has a low and constant mass, this approach is said to facilitate faster and more precise positioning than laser cutters that move the workpiece beneath a static laser beam using a motion control system.

Favor Laser chose NUM’s Flexium 68 CNC system for the XO machine for both its hardware compatibility and software functionality designed to simplify application programming. In particular, the software’s Dynamic Operator (DO) function supports programming that dynamically controls the gap between the cutting head and the workpiece. According to the company, the DO function’s fast calculation and communication abilities enable the integration of event-driven machine cycles into the real-time CNC kernel.

All motion control elements of the XO laser cutter are also supplied by NUM. In addition to the motors, drives and Flexium 68 CNC kernel, the machine uses NUM Ethercat I/O terminals and a dual-processor Flexium FS152i operator panel with a 15" flat screen and hard drive. The custom human-machine interface was developed by NUM Taiwan and is designed to be intuitive and easy to use.

Read more about the XO laser cutter and its co-development at wordsun.com.

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