What’s Inside a Kern Lasers OptiFlex?
If you are looking into acquiring a laser cutting machine for your business or other projects, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the many types of lasers, levels of specifications, and price points out there today. And you may wonder what kind of under-the-hood differences there are between, for example, a laser system manufactured overseas and a U.S.-built laser system like those we offer at Kern.
To illustrate, let’s take a look at our flagship model, the Kern OptiFlex.
What is the OptiFlex?
OptiFlex is a high-performance Class 4 CO2 laser system with an open-bed design that can handle a wide variety of industrial and commercial cutting or engraving tasks.
The defining characteristic of the OptiFlex is versatility. Like most of our machines, it is available with a range of laser wattages, from 100-watt to 650-watt. In addition, the OptiFlex can be ordered in five different footprints, with work areas from 52” x 50” to 86” x 144”. Other custom table sizes can also be requested. This makes OptiFlex appropriate for many workspace sizes and layouts.
Key Features and Specifications
The OptiFlex comes equipped with our HyperDual motion system, a dual rack and pinion system which uses Yaskawa Sigma7 servo motors at either side of the laser table to achieve dramatically increased cut acceleration rates and end vector speeds. The base of the machine is a one-piece steel weldment, a single assembly of welded components. The one-piece construction of the base means OptiFlex can arrive fully assembled, which cuts down on the time needed for installation and set-up.
OptiFlex can cut and engrave many types of material, including acrylic, mild and stainless steel, aluminum, wood, foam, leather, rubber, and more. Its open bed and our metal cutting option facilitate quick switches from processing one type of material to another. A component of the metal cutting package is our programmable air system. This allows the operator to quickly program for the correct assist gas to use when cutting and processing different types of material with the laser. With other lasers, users may be more inclined to minimize switching between materials, in order to avoid laser downtime during the switch.
The open-bed design also allows for the loading and unloading of materials from all sides of the OptiFlex.
The table of the OptiFlex features a built-in downdraft vacuum system to evacuate fume exhaust while the laser is in use. Its suction is powerful enough to serve the additional purpose of holding work material to the table. Exhaust suction capability is also built into the gantry above the table.
The OptiFlex is paired with a state-of-the-art laser source developed by our sister company, Kern Technologies. These lasers offer a cutting performance that beats out competitors’ products and sets a new benchmark in laser cutting technology. Ranging in wattage from 100-650, this contributes to the machine’s previously mentioned versatility.
Another major feature available on the OptiFlex is our K-Vision system, which gives the operator the use of a camera system and fiducials (fixed reference markers) for precision placement of pieces to be cut or engraved. The camera is nozzle-mounted, and it is able to compare markings on printed materials against markings in the original cutting file and adjust accordingly for factors like positioning or distortion. These very fine adjustments made to compensate for the minute real-world differences between the workpiece and the cutting file allow for highly precise cuts. We know these small differences in cut quality make a big difference to the user.
For more information on the OptiFlex, check out our brochure.
About Kern Laser Systems Machines
In addition to OptiFlex, Kern offers a wide variety of complete, turnkey laser systems to fit most types of cutting and engraving projects. All of our laser systems are manufactured in Minnesota and come with a two-day training course at our factory. All of our large-format laser systems come standard with smart, high-quality additions like closed-loop chiller units and a desktop computer and monitor with our KCAM software pre-installed.