Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • August 2018 • 67 If your machine has an external exhaust that vents to the outside, you will want to inspect the exhaust blower and all of your connections semi-annually, he adds. If your machine uses a filtra- tion system, it is important to replace the filters when it is time. That depends on how used up the filters are. In some cases, you can clean the filters and get some extra life out of them. Some owners use a pressure washer to clean them off. Filters will need changing more often depending on the substrate being engraved. Wood and plastics discharge more dust and debris than fabric, for instance. "After you operate a few months you can get a feel for when you need to replace the filters based on work flow," Stephens says. The CO 2 must be replenished after three to five years, he says, but fiber lasers use glass silica optic fiber that has crys- tals. The average fiber laser engraver will last between 80,000 and 100,000 hours of operation. "They can literally run 24/7 for eight years," he adds. Fiber lasers are used to mark metal, while CO 2 lasers are used on materials like wood, paper, plastic, glass, foam and fabric. "Your preventive maintenance varies greatly depending on the materials you are processing," says Tugwell. "Think about it like a copier. After 10,000 copies, you need to rotate the drum and clean the components. With lasers, you need to clean your optics, examine belts and bearings." All CO 2 lasers traditionally operate the same, he says, they just use different wavelengths. You will need to recharge the CO 2 tube after about five years, Dean says. The actual tube will last 10 to 15 years. The laser tubes don't require much in the way of maintenance, he says. Usually, the owner will tell the manufacturer they need a new laser tube. Epilog will send it to them and they will send the old one back to be recharged. Others just keep a replacement laser tube in stock so that they don't miss any work time when the CO 2 goes out. Commercial customers run their laser engravers more than eight hours a day, seven days a week. "I always tell people the reason they are so durable is we are moving light around. The laser beam is a light beam so you're not doing a lot of mechani- cal work like rotary engravers. They are always digging into stuff, plastic or metal. But we're just moving light across the surface so the amount of stress that gets put on the machine is really pretty mini- mal. That's one of the reasons they tend to last so long," Deans adds. SDG CO 2 and fiber laser systems require maintenance to stay at peak operating performance. HyperDual Motion - The HyperDual motion package comes standard on OptiFlex machines allowing for smooth cut radiuses and fast cutting speeds. Unmatched Safety - The LaserCELL features a Class 1 safety enclosure that allows the system to be placed in high traffic areas such as busy factory floors and university classrooms. Premium Quality and Performance Highly Versatile CO 2 Laser Source EXPERIEN CE THE NEXT GENERATION K E R N L A S E R S . C O M | 8 8 8 - 6 6 0 - 2 7 5 5 | M A D E I N T H E U S A LaserCELL Class I (Enclosed) Laser System OptiFlex Class 4 (Open Bed) Laser System

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