Hudson Technologies, Ormond Beach, FL is a leading U.S. manufacturer of deep drawn metal enclosures, or cases, and stampings, including metal diaphragms. It has always designed unique solutions for the secondary processing of its precision 3D metal parts for aerospace, medical, automotive, electronic, and a variety of other industrial applications. Employing innovative tooling, punching and CNC machining, Hudson can produce secondary holes, slots and flange cuts in their delicate 3D metal parts without adversely affecting the part integrity. Recently, Hudson invested in a Rofin UW1200 5—Axis Fiber Laser to process their parts with improved efficiency, accuracy, flexibility and capability.
Paul Shacklady, Hudson Manufacturing Engineering Director, explained the benefits. “Rofin demonstrated that Hudson could process a large number of our parts with precision and quality. Using 3D models of our parts and simple fixtures, the UW1200 performed hole, slot and flange cutting with surgical accuracy of the focused fiber laser beam. We can now produce a part in one step thereby eliminating costly tooling, multiple setups and labor expense.” Paul added another benefit. “Hudson processes common metals such as steel, aluminum and stainless; however, the ability to laser cut copper, brass, Inconel, titanium, Hasteloy and exotic shielding alloys with the UW1200 FL010 1000 Watt Fiber Laser has expanded our versatility and flexibility.” Hudson expects that its job turnaround times will improve dramatically, and their inventory of tooling and punches will be reduced greatly. Soon part numbers will be saved with their 3D models, laser cutting parameters and CADCAM programs. Fixtures will be cross referenced to accept universal shapes. Part sizes from approximately 1″ to 12″ diameters and/or lengths with material thickness ranging from .005″ to .187” will be candidates for laser processing.
With Rofin’s assistance and training programs, Hudson conducted a well-planned program to receive the new machine and support the Rofin Service installation. By allocating a climate controlled room with utilities for their new laser, Hudson’s first UW1200 installation was completed quickly. In addition, the space was designed to easily accommodate a second machine that is planned in the future.
An example of UW1200 benefits was realized on the first parts processed with the laser. The aluminum rectangular enclosure was processed in less than 90 seconds in a single setup well within the accuracy requirements. Edge quality was excellent and deburring was eliminated. In the past, processing the part required 3 setups involving costly tooling, presses and labor. Another part demonstrated the ability to cut very fine part features with the UW1200 machine. The laser processed the stainless steel part in less than 30 seconds, but more importantly, accurately cut the flange and prongs. The old method used special tooling, but the die required frequent maintenance to prevent breaking off the prongs.
Hudson has initially assigned 200 part numbers for UW120O processing, but plans to expand the number with standard and custom parts. Hudson looks forward to providing its customers with the highest quality parts and services with laser precision.