GSI Lumonics awarded $12 million order for AM153 laser cutting system

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 September 2000




(2000), "GSI Lumonics awarded $12 million order for AM153 laser cutting system", Assembly Automation, Vol. 20 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

GSI Lumonics awarded $12 million order for AM153 laser cutting system

GSI Lumonics awarded $12 million order for AM153 laser cutting system

Keywords: Cutting lasers, Systems

Over 44 units will cut hydroformed tubes at Tower Automotive and Metalsa Facilities

GSI Lumonics has recently received a $12 million order from Tower Automotive of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Metalsa of Monterrey, Mexico, for over 44 AM153 modular high-power laser systems that will be used to cut hydroformed tubes and complete truck frames for the Daimler Chrysler DR 2002 programme (see Plate 3). The first systems were to be installed in April with the full order completed by the end of the year.

Plate 3GSI Lumonics awarded $12 million order for AM153 laser cutting system

Tower Automotive and Metalsa ordered the AM153 with GSI Lumonics' new robotic cutting head and a custom miniature right angle cutting head developed by High YAG of Germany. Patrick D. Austin, Vice-President of Sales, GSI Lumonics, states:

The benefit of this system with the robotic head is the flexibility. It allows the customer to add, delete and move holes where needed.

A Tower spokesperson states:

Tower Automotive did an exhaustive search and compared different laser suppliers. GSI Lumonics was the clear winner.

DCT of Sterling Heights, Michigan, will be the integrator of the entire system.


Available with 400 or 600 micron fibre-optic beam delivery, the AM153 provides optimised performance and lower operating costs (up to 20 per cent compared with alternatives) for trimming thicker section hydroformed tubes or high-speed cutting of sheet metal parts.

According to Austin, other lasers within this power range require a dedicated refrigerator with up to 75kW capacity. However, where sufficient factory water is available at 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower, the AM153 needs only a 15kW refrigerator. This 80 per cent reduction in the dedicated chiller requirement results in significant savings in capital and operating costs.

A user-friendly touch screen panel on the AM153 shows the laser status at a glance, allowing controlled access to all monitoring, programming and maintenance functions. The AM153 also features fully-modular construction for simplified service, which minimises maintenance time.

Robotic cutting head

The AM series robotic cutting head ordered by Tower Automotive and Metalsa is an auto-focus robotic end-effector designed specifically for use in automotive or other industrial manufacturing environments where demands on quality, production through-put and durability are extremely high. The rugged, stainless steel laser cutting head focuses the laser beam on to the workpiece, maintains focus and delivers assist gas while cutting.

Small, narrow, lightweight and featuring a unique right-angle design, the robotic cutting head provides a number of usability benefits. It integrates seamlessly with robotic control equipment and can access tight areas without interference. The right-angle design allows fibre routing without the loop typically found above cutting heads, further enhancing access to the work area. Quick-change, pre-aligned gas nozzles and focusing optics are time savers. An optional closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring system provides an image of the cutting head's focal system through the laser optics.

For further information contact: Joanna Prince, GSI Lumonics, Gothenburg Way, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull HU7 0YE. Tel: +44 (0) 1482 821154; Fax: +44 (0) 1482 825552; E-mail:

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