Local nitrogen generator manufacturer NitraLife’s partnership with Swiss steel processing original-equipment manufacturer Bystronic is adding significant value to end-user customers in the fabrication sector.
NitraLife has developed the NitraCut system specifically for the laser cutting market, which generates nitrogen assist gas for a laser cutting machine and can be attached to a carbon dioxide or fibre laser cutting machine such as Bystronic’s fibre lasers. Bystronic now markets every fibre laser with a NitraCut generator to its fabrication customers.
Following an opportunity in the local fabrication sector some three years ago, NitraLife developed the NitraCut generator, which has proven successful in supplying nitrogen assist gas to fibre lasers ever since.
Bystronic, for its part, is the world-leading manufacturer of a range of steel processing equipment. Among this range, the company markets the ground-breaking 10 kW ByStar fibre laser, one of the most powerful, high-output lasers on the world market.
The advantage of having a laser steel processor linked to a NitraCut is that conventional gas is usually supplied in bulk tanks or cylinders. Refilling tanks indefinitely becomes costly, and there is often a risk of gas run-outs. This, in turn, means expensive downtime for the fabricator or engineering business, until such time as new supplies of gas can be delivered.
“While nitrogen generation has been available for more than 20 years in different technologies, it had – prior to 2016 – never found practical applications in the laser cutting and fabrication sector. This is a big consumer of nitrogen, and at NitraLife, we were able to build a generator which technically and commercially fits with fabricators’ nitrogen requirements,” says NitraLife MD Tom Sowry.
He notes that, while some lasers require oxygen for laser cutting mild steel, the newer fibre lasers require nitrogen as an assist gas to cut through stainless steel and aluminium and are able to cut mild steel much faster with nitrogen as an assist gas. In this way, nitrogen becomes a significant consumable.
“However, using the NitraCut technology with the Bystronic fibre lasers provides the client with a ready-made solution which completely removes the need to buy nitrogen on a monthly basis. Essentially, with the NitraCut generator, fabricators have a product which is self-generating, on-site and on-demand.”
The partnership between NitraLife and Bystronic has been mutually beneficial in a number of respects.
“Firstly, Bystronic is able to supply a laser machine that effectively comes with its own on-site, on-demand supply of nitrogen assist gas, eliminating a major expense for clients. Further, the partnership has given NitraLife the opportunity to become more technically proficient and knowledgeable in the field of laser technology because we had partnered with experts in the field,” Sowry explains.
“The co-marketing of Bystronic fibre lasers in combination with our NitraCut nitrogen generators has, to date, been very successful. The feedback from users of this combination has – without exception – been excellent, as the two machines in tandem have invariably increased productivity and consequent profitability.”
He concludes that the partnership has also enabled NitraLife to access a far wider global market.