Yamazaki Mazak showcased its newest high-power 2D laser machine for sheet metal cutting operations, the OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO 20 kW, at EMO 2023.

Mazak’s latest laser processing machine belongs to the NEO series of high-performance machines that excel in delivering exceptional productivity and precision, while also providing best-in-class environmental performance. These machines are meticulously designed to assist customers in reducing their factory emissions.

The machine’s working area allows the processing of workpieces up to 1525 mm x 3050 mm through a new 20 kW fiber laser resonator. Thanks to a high-power laser, the machine is able to cut 30% faster and reduce gas consumption by 30% when cutting with Nitrogen.

The OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO 20 kW is equipped with the unique Beam Shaping Technology to automatically adjust the power density of the laser beam in a controllable manner, ensuring the best possible result on various materials and thicknesses.

The brand-new Cutting Head MCT3 and the innovative MAZATROL SmoothLx CNC Control system are just a few of the standout technical features included on the new machine.

The newly-designed Cutting Head MCT3 boasts multiple intelligent functions to streamline the operator’s job. Beam Diameter Control automatically adjusts the laser beam diameter while Auto Nozzle Changing automatically changes the nozzle and reduces assist gas consumption. Auto Focus enables distance adjustment for different materials for faster cutting speeds, and Auto Profiler Calibration of the nozzle to workpiece distance maintains edge-quality and drastically improves productivity.

Automating the overall set-up time can lead to 95% quicker preparation compared to standard laser machines. Moreover, Intelligent Cutting functions such as Flash Cutting and Fine Power Ramping can enhance the overall process even more. Instead of stopping at each axis, the laser is turned on and off through Flash Cutting — synchronising the axis and laser movements leads to greatly reduced cutting times. Fine Power Ramping can be used to adjust the laser power and feed rate minimising dross at cutting corners without compromising the cutting speed for straight lines.

A wide assembly of sensors installed on the cutting head enable the OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO to accurately monitor piercing and cutting operations and detect processing abnormalities and defects. For example, when plasma is detected, the Plasma Detection function adjusts the cutting speed to ensure good edge quality and minimise cutting imperfections. If burning occurs when cutting mid to thick mild steel plate, the Burn Detection function automatically stops the process to reduce failure. The Pierce Detection function detects when piercing has been completed and automatically begins the cutting process, reducing downtime considerably.

The machine features Mazak’s new MAZATROL SmoothLx CNC control with a dual monitor. The large 21.5” screen displays parts nesting at a glance, while the touch panel provides easy access to necessary information such as cut conditions or nozzle settings. Nest Programming, Cut Monitoring, Production Scheduling, and Machine Maintenance are just some of the many functions available to the operator. The new control incorporates a dual monitor which allows multiple applications to run simultaneously.

The OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO has been specifically engineered to help operators in their daily work. Among the new features is the innovative Oil Shot proprietary function, which tackles the formation of spatter on the top surface of cut parts. This can have a detrimental effect on the subsequent cutting quality, particularly when working with mild steel.

To combat this issue, Mazak’s Oil Shot function, which is automatically controlled via MAZATROL SmoothLx, administers a precisely directed shot of oil just before the cutting process begins. The molten material is then blown away, resulting in a cleaner surface for optimal cutting performance.   

A further highlight on the machine is the introduction of the innovative Camera Nesting feature. Typically, when operators have leftover sheet metal pieces, the nesting process involves generating a layout using separate and specific software. However, the Camera Nesting feature, which can also be controlled via MAZATROL SmoothLx, makes this process more straightforward and efficient, minimising material waste.

With the aid of two cameras positioned on the machine, the operator can place the remaining material on the machine bed. The cameras scans it, detecting the contours; the operator can easily visualize the available pieces and leverage the built-in part database to maximise material utilisation without having to resort to the technical department for help.

Excellent accessibility completes the picture. Large front and side access doors reduce the floor space needed and make material loading and unloading hassle-free; the tilting and rotating CNC control panel allows the operator to work at the front or at the side of the machine; the easily accessible work area enables direct control over the material while the nozzle centering camera allows sub-one minute adjustment times.

As of September 2023, the OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO is also available with a new ‘4220’ table size, which will be the first of its kind on the market. The OPTIPLEX 4220 NEO can process workpieces up to 2050mm x 4120mm and benefits from a sliding door on the side that can be opened from both the left and right, which makes it easier for the operator to load and unload workpieces. It also benefits from all the many technical features already included in OPTIPLEX 3015 NEO series.

Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd