Fiber laser technology for active carbon filter production
The active carbon filter can absorb the gas, peculiar smell and pollutant inhalable in the air, including the potential dangerous and carcinogenic chemical products and so on. The indoor air will be filtered and cycled through the active carbon filter and then be returned to the surrounding environment or discharged to the outside. This air filtering mean has been certified by the environmental protection agency (EPA). It has become the first choice because of the outstanding adsorptive property of the active carbon, thus being widely used. With the increasing demand to the quality of the indoor air, the manufacturer of the air filtering product can manufacture the standard and customized-designed active carbon filter through the fiber laser technology, so as to reach the requirements of OEM customers. Through using the fiber laser cutting system, the processing speed of most components of these OEM customers has promoted for 60%.
As the small-sized enterprises, the profit rate of the carbon filter manufacturers is quite low. The administrative cost is also low. They have to regulate the product combination flexibly according to the customers' requirements and complete the design and product delivery quickly. Therefore, the required components of the carbon filters are made by the manufacturers themselves, in which the large-scale shell and metal plate module which are used to cover the carbon plate require to be conducted with a large amount of line cutting. These shells are made by the materials of 12GA (2.70mm) thick on a turret punch press. Therefore, choosing a proper laser machine seems to be very important.
Fiber laser vs CO2 laser
If the CO2 laser is used, the maintenance cost and the device cost itself are rather high. Even the laser resonator with the longest operational life has to be exchanged or renovated every six years, which means to spend 40,000 to 60,000 USD more. Then the operation cost of the CO2 laser in unit time is higher. The cost is too high. However, the electro-optical conversion efficiency of the fiber laser is 30% higher than the CO2 system. Therefore, its operation cost is lower. In the light source generation process, there is no moving component or reflecting mirror, so as to reduce the maintenance requirement and further decrease the cost. It is estimated that the maintenance interval of the fiber laser system is 50% longer than that of the CO2 system, with a 50% lower maintenance cost. In addition, the speed of the fiber laser is quicker than that of the CO2 laser. Its consumption rates of the electricity and auxiliary gas are relatively low. Therefore, from many aspects, it seems that the fiber laser is more advantageous than the CO2 laser. Furthermore, the system of the fiber laser is small and exquisite. This is also an advantage. The floor areas of the main manufacturing bases for small-sized enterprises are usually small. If they are located in the township, their developments are restricted in a certain degree.
In line cutting, the processing speed of the fiber laser is much higher than the high velocity ram machine of the company. After several times of contrast tests of the manufacturers, it has been discovered that although the speed of the punch press is quick enough. The speed of the fiber laser is 60% faster than it in many processing projects. In the past, it took 10 minutes to process the stainless steel of 14GA. It only takes 4 minutes now. A faster cutting speed means that the company can manufacture more products in a shorter period. "Our customers accept us because we can design and process any product they require." The responsible person of the manufacturer expresses, "we can deliver a new batch of products within 3~4 weeks. The fiber laser has made great contributions to this. We have devices to satisfy the capacity demand. And if necessary, we can start the second, the third shuttle." The integrated mobile platform system is also beneficial for improving the speed of the fiber laser machine. When the operator is loading the first platform, the device is responsible for cutting on another working platform. The total time of exchanging the platform is 35s. The integrated CNC control and drive enable the company to realize the high-precise processing and repeated manufacturing of the components even under the high-speed processing conditions. Manufacturers expect that the fiber laser can help them recover the cost in 14-16 months (usually, the period of investment return is 2.5-4.5 years). It is visible that the fiber laser system has been proved to coincide with the processing demand, budget and operational philosophy of small-sized manufacturers.