Automated plasma cutting systems


In order process huge components using automated plasma cutting systems down to micrometer accuracy, it is necessary to carry out reliable 3D measurements of these components in advance. One of the leading manufacturers of automated plasma cutting systems relies on laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon.

The Slovak company MicroStep, spol. s r.o. is a specialist in CNC cutting machines. MicroStep has developed a special machine that carries out automated cutting operations primarily on vessel and boiler covers. The machine processes domes with diameters up to 7m and heights up to 1.2m. During processing, openings for tubes and valves are cut in these huge domes during an automated process.

In order to carry out the cutting process to the highest precision, the manufacturer uses scanCONTROL 2900 laser scanners from Micro-Epsilon. These determine the shape and exact position of the domes within the production line. The determination of measurement values using precise laser scanners is necessary as the actual dimensions of the domes often differ by several centimeters from the CAD data. The values of the scanners are then synchronized with the position data of the domes in order to ensure that the cutting tool is correctly positioned. Synchronizing the 2D line information with a 6D scanner position system provides the user with the complete three-dimensional form and a real shape of the target. Via an SDK connection, these are transmitted as a point cloud to the customer mSCAN evaluation software, which evaluates the center of the dome to determine the optimal tool path.

The use of Micro-Epsilon laser profile scanners brings many advantages. Due to its compact design and high speeds of up to 60m/min, it’s ideally suited to inline integration. The measurement values of the high-performance sensor can also be used for the quality control of the cuts. The scanCONTROL 2900 provides a point density of 80 µm over a measuring range of 100mm. The high accuracy also remains with demanding metal surfaces with varying reflective properties. Here, the laser profile scanner offers high repeatability of 50µm/m. This ensures consistently high quality in all processing steps.

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