As Lasers Celebrate Half-Century, Radan Upgrades Set Machining Standards

July 13, 2010 - When Theodore Maiman invented the laser 50 years ago, he could have had little conception about how computer software would control his intense beams of light to produce micro-accurate cutting tools for high precision manufacturing processes in the 21st century.

Since that early period of laser history, research has produced a variety of improved and specialised laser types, optimised for different performance goals, including: new wavelength bands; maximum average output power; maximum peak output power; minimum output pulse duration; maximum power efficiency; maximum charging and maximum firing. And this research continues to this day.

With the increase in laser technology, comes the continuous need for software development to ensure that laser machine tools can make maximum use of laser’s cutting power. Research and development from Radan, the world’s largest sheetmetal software provider, means that each year two new editions of Radan are issued. These twice-yearly upgrades enable machine tools to harness the absolute best to carry out the very latest precision engineering.

Not only does Radan’s specialist Radprofile provide advanced CNC profiling for laser machines, it also supports most machine tools worldwide across many cutting technologies, including plasma, flame cutting and waterjet. Combining sophisticated technology with a high level of automation, Radprofile delivers maximum productivity for engineering staff and machine tools.

And the latest editions of Radprofile are easier to use than ever. The revised user interface and graphics display simplifies the operation, while enhancements to the manufacturing database mean more information about the production process is captured by the system for use in future programs.

Radprofile also integrates seamlessly with Radpunch to provide a comprehensive solution for combination machines such as punch/laser and punch/plasma.

Highly automated, it features a sophisticated nesting module that is capable of processing a schedule of parts of different materials, and generating a complete sequence of nests, revolutionising production. The standard nesting in Radprofile carries out nesting based on rectangular shapes and includes the ability to nest small parts automatically within large cutouts in other parts.

This functionality is extended through Radnest, enabling fully generalised irregular shaped parts nesting. A particular benefit of using Radnest is that it can produce nests that use common line cuts between adjacent parts, which reduces cycle time and increases material utilisation. Alternatively, parts may be nested with a bridge of material between the parts. Radnest can even combine these two techniques in a single nest. Parts that are appropriate for common line cutting are placed tightly together while other parts are placed with the appropriate gap.

Benefits of using Radprofile include easily switching from one machine tool to another, and only requiring one software package to drive all machine tools, while also supporting all the machine’s advanced features – a particularly valuable asset for highly advanced laser cutters. And as laser machines and other cutting technologies continue to advance, the twice-yearly updates from Radan will ensure maximum benefit is maintained.

While not as long as the history of the laser which began in 1960, the Radan brand’s history dates back almost 35 years to 1976, meaning there are few machines for which it has not provided solutions.


About Radan

Radan is the most powerful sheet metal CAD/CAM software in the world, helping customers increase their material utilisation and reduce inventory – and offers a significant return on investment. Radan is a principal brand of Planit Software – recently ranked by CIMdata as the world’s fastest growing CAM vendor, with most industrial users.

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