EXPERIMENTAL OPTIMIZATION OF PROCESS PARAMETERS IN LASER CUTTING OF POLYCARBONATE GEARS
Polycarbonate pieces are usually moulded or extruded. Accurate dimensions and shape of complex pieces need new technologies, among which laser cutting is preferred. Quality of pieces (dimensional and shape precision, roughness, thermal side – effects), power supply and efficiency of the process can be optimized only through mathematical approach.
The paper presents an application of Taguchi method in designing the laser cutting of polycarbonate made gears. Fractional factorial experiments plans are used to establish the minimum number of experiments needed for a seven – variable process. The target criterion is the roughness of gears’ flank and the chosen optimization criterion type is “nominal is the best”. Effective machining of sample gears and measurement of their roughness parameter RaDIN provided data, which was introduced into the program Qualitek. The software displayed optimal values of the influence factors and predicted signal/noise ratio and statistical quality parameters of the pieces machined using the results of optimization.Very good quality of pieces and high efficiency of process resulted throughout a confirmation experiment.