Laser Cutting and the Automotive Sector

Things are getting very exciting in the automotive sector, from the emergence of self-driving vehicles to smart Airbnb style car sharing services.

There’s also great news in terms of manufacturing with Fiat Chrysler seeing a 29% rise in third-quarter adjusted operating profit and Nissan stepping up their production of the Quashqai in their Sunderland plant.

Progress in the industry is not only being seen within the manufacturing of automobiles, but also with the suppliers whose role in the process is becoming more important in the total automotive supply chain.

Being part of that supply chain is very important to us and in July this year our commitment to quality management was rewarded with an ISO/TS 16949 certificate. The recommendation of such certifies that as a supplier, Kloeckner Metals UK meets all of the necessary specifications for the design, manufacturing, installation or servicing within the automotive industry.

In addition to this, in the last year, we have invested heavily in technology that will ensure our place as a key player in the ever evolving automotive sector, our tube laser processing centre in Dudley for example has recently been furnished with six state of the art tube lasers after a £7.7m investment in the tech. The LT8 ensures the delivery of processed components efficiently and quickly, nationwide and at an unequalled rate in the UK.

See the LT8 at work below:

 

The main difference between standard laser cutting and the capabilities of a 3D laser is the precision of the cut and the ability to cut at a 45 ° angle:

laser-cutting Kloeckner Metals

A tube cut with a 3D laser allows for a cleaner cut and for components to be fitted more quickly and efficiently as a flush joint can be achieved without any further filing or changing further down in the assembly process.Kloeckner Metals Automotive

Production steps such as sawing, drilling and milling are also taken out of the equation as one machine can cope with all of these tasks simultaneously and the most innovative of tube designs can be carried out all in one place.

Changes in spec aren’t an issue for the LT8 either, as new CADs can be easily uploaded and since the cutting process is so refined in terms of time, there is little if no disruption to production timelines.

This is great news for a continuously evolving industry, and just like every other component in automotive fabrication, the uses of steel tubes are continuously being modified with the goal of optimising costsKloeckner UK Automotive as well as reducing weight and improving mileage.

The use of lasers are maintaining a force for innovation and change in the automotive industry. Their role is ever broadening, and they are frequently at the forefront of new developments, whether in lean production, agile and rapid manufacturing or mass customisation.

We expect to see further appetite for the use of laser cutting in the very immediate future, especially within automotive as technological advancements and the science behind the tech within the industry grows at an intensifying rate.

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