Laser cutting structural beams

40% faster than traditional tubes cutting

Initial situation

Large complex custom metal fabrications are a specialty of VILLING Technologie GmbH. Villing, based in Baden, Germany. The company, with a staff of 30, is dedicated to innovation. They provide work for a wide range of customers and industries across Europe. They seek out projects that push the boundaries of conventional metal fabrication: complete metal structures, daredevil roof lines, fire ladders and gates, smart supporting systems for special civil engineering projects.


Villing has recently installed an innovative LT24 BLM GROUP system for laser cutting structural beams and tubes. The chosen version can process materials up to 18 metres long, of diameters up to 610 mm and having a weight of up to 300 kg/m. Few competitors can process parts longer than 14 metres. This gives Villing a competitive advantage in the marketplace. On the other hand, they can also efficiently process materials "just" 6 metres long to exploit the entire range of the machine. Villing anticipates quickly filling up the capacity of the LT24 with subcontract work. The challenge is to offer customers added value tangible and thus keep prices acceptable from a commercial point of view.


The solution

Since the LT24 laser cutting system was commissioned, Villing has processed a wide assortment of 3D structural sections and tubes with production times slashed by at least 30%. This result is complemented by a drastic reduction of assembly time at the construction site because each part is guaranteed to fit perfectly. All in all, the company is now at least 40% faster than traditional production processes. That number even increases on repeat orders.

Steel structural beams are designed in-house using 3D CAD. After receiving customer design approval the files are imported directly into the Artube laser programming and simulation software. It is this fully integrated, high performance computer-to-laser cutting process that provides unprecedented flexibility and accuracy to steel fabrications while increasing productivity and economic efficiency at the same time. This process eliminates nearly all common causes of error of conventional fabrications.

One example that demonstrates the potential of the LT24 is the guarding that was fabricated to protect the loading zone of machine. The guarding, built from round and square tubing, demonstrates the accuracy of the laser cut joints and the cleanliness of the weld preps. The highlight of the design are the tubes that project half a meter above the frame.

Cuts were made at all possible angles and then a variety of shaped profiles and material types were inserted. The LT24 offers maximum flexibility with the ability to cut different materials; S235 and S355 steel, stainless steel and fine grain construction steel can be processed. One more example of creative design is the material storage rack that was built without welding. Interlocking joints are used to create a solid, stable structure that hold an impressive.

The benefits

The initial investment in the machine is quickly paid off thanks to the speed of production, part accuracy and reduction in labor. In particular, the unique flexibility and accuracy of joints that can be created makes it possible to open new markets for metal constructions.

Technical aspects

Laser versatility and flexibility can be exploited to process different material types, even complex parts, efficiently for accurate, clean and high quality results. The LT24 is fully integrated in computerised job management using the Artube programming and simulation software.