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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/M87429/01
Title: HIGH SPEED AUTOMATED LASER CUTTING SYSTEM FOR SHEET METAL OPERATIONS
Principal Investigator: O'Neill, Professor W
Other Investigators:
Brookfield, Dr D Sutcliffe, Professor CJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BOC Howden Lasers Ltd Laser Expertise Ltd
Stoves Ltd Tata Steel UK Limited V&S Scientific Ltd
Vosper Thornycroft (U K) Ltd
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 1999 Ends: 31 March 2002 Value (£): 566,105
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose a new laser cutting development that will increase the speed, performance and usability of laser cutting systems for cutting steel sheets in the thickness range of 0.5-10mm in the first instance. The investigation will theoretically and empirically examine the limiting factors of the present laser cutting process and through the use of extensive control features push the process towards the theoretical limits of operation. The output of the project will be a prototype high speed flatbed cutting system that will form the basis for the next generation of laser cutting systems. The central goal of the programme is to push the laser cutting system to operating speeds of 60m/min for 1mm thick steel. This is equivalent to a performance increase of 350% over present speeds. The new process configuration will for the first time enable laser cutting processes to compete directly with punch press operations. Thus providing a range of manufacturing industries with fast and reconfigurable sheet metal processing without the need for expensive punch tools and extensive setup times.
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk