Vector Automation was contracted by FMC Corporation to design and build a custom laser system for the laser cutting of “Segments” used in the manufacturing process of producing valves for the oil production industry.
Segments ranged in thickness from .3125” to .9375” thick and were composed of special alloy steel that had been machined prior to the cutting process that would make a complete segment cylinder into 3 equal parts.
Vector chose to use a CO2 laser for the power source and custom build the manipulation part of the system.
Segments have gone thru the following production changes over the years in regards to the cutting process:
- Segments were first cut using the EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) method. Cutting time per segment was 8 hours.
- In an effort to reduce the cutting time FMC started water jet cutting the segments. Cut time was reduced to 45 minutes.
- In an effort to reduce the cutting time even further, that’s when FMC contacted Vector and laser cutting of the parts was introduced. Cut time was reduced to 3 minutes.
FMC awarded the laser system that Vector Automation designed and manufactured the best return on investment project in the history of the company.