Lasers are a natural fit for the latest generation of tailored blanks, hot-stamped parts, and safety-oriented designs of car bodies and structures.
With the addition of coil feeding, laser cutting takes a strong shot at a bastion of hard-tooled blanking: cutting automotive body-panel blanks from advanced high-strength steels.
Some of the most popular metal materials also have an inherent problem.
Advances in diode laser technology have led to a broader range of cutting options.
Editor’s Note: Don Hoffman has decades of experience with laser cutters and brings to the table a combination of independence, research skills, and thoughtful analysis. Here he tackles a moving target, with appropriate care and cautions, to write a useful guide to the relative per-part costs with CO2 and fiber lasers.