Cutting-edge lasers for the electrical transformer industry

Laser cutting of crepe paper
Laser cutting of crepe paper

BR Technologies GmbH & Co KG is enabling a transformer manufacturer to cut its insulation paper in a unique way by using lasers integrated in its machines. The SR 15i CO2 laser sources from Luxinar are cutting crepe paper which is used as an insulation layer inside the electrical transformers that are sold to power grid suppliers.

The uniqueness of this application is twofold: first, insulation in most power transformers is made from oil and cellulose (paper/pressboard), not crepe paper, and second, these materials are usually cut mechanically using blades, not by laser. Additional requirements were for the laser system to automate a process that had previously been done by hand, and that it should produce a clean cutting edge.

Tobias Beitz, Sales Manager at specialist machinery manufacturer BR Technologies, explains why Luxinar’s CO2 laser sources were chosen for this process. “It is the only way that came to mind to cut the paper in the specified shape…Usually you’d alter the production process of a transformer to accommodate the machine. However this customer is more advanced in their quality requirements and wanted to automate the manual process without compromises or changes.” Beitz goes on to describe how the lasers are integrated in BR Technologies’ equipment, “…we used a beam splitter and some mirrors to guide the laser through moveable tubes. The laser is fixed while the material that is being cut moves in all directions. The laser always cuts from above.”

The SR 15i is from Luxinar’s well-established SR series of sealed CO2 laser sources with powers of up to 250W. The laser is based on a diffusion-cooled slab principle that gives a high-quality, round, and symmetrical beam and, in addition to cutting, the SR series is used for drilling, engraving, marking, perforating, scribing and welding in a variety of industries. The two SR 15i lasers installed in BR Technologies’ machines are making approximately 50 short clean cuts per crepe paper coil on a production line that is operating at speeds of around 50mm per second. 

BR Technologies has been supplying high-quality winding equipment since 1948 and chose Luxinar as “…it had the right specifications, a good price and was close enough to us in Germany. Since this is our first laser, we wanted to have a supplier close by in case we need support. And it paid off. Without the support of Luxinar we would have taken months longer to get the process running as smoothly as it does now.”

Cutting crepe paper with a SR series CO2 laser
Laser cutting crepe paper
Luxinar head office building

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