Retrofiting a Bystronic CO2 Laser Cutter into a Fiber Laser Cutter: A Case Study of Bystar 4020Our case study on retrofitting a Bystronic ByStar 4020 CO2 laser cutter to fiber laser technology explains the benefits of upgrading, including cost savings, fa
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Retrofiting a Bystronic CO2 Laser Cutter into a Fiber Laser Cutter: A Case Study of Bystar 4020

Reviving a 2008 Bystar CO2 laser cutter: Now Steadily Cutting 16mm Carbon Steel and 6mm Stainless Steel

1 Introduction of Bystronic laser

Bystronic is the global leader in sheet metal processing, and they're headquartered in Niederönz, Switzerland. They have additional facilities in Germany, Italy, China, and the United States, and operate in over 40 locations worldwide. With over 30 countries in their network of sales and service subsidiaries, they're the go-to team for all of your sheet metal processing needs. With a highly skilled workforce of about 3,500 people, they have the expertise and experience to deliver results that surpass your expectations.​​

1.1Bystronic holds a leading position among the top 10 laser cutting manufacturers (Baison)

    Table 1 Top 10 laser cutter manufacturers 

    Rank Company Established Country Employees
    1 Bystronic 1964 Switzerland 3,000+
    2 Han’s Laser 1996 China 10,000+
    3 Baison Laser 2003 China 500+
    4 Amada 1946 Japan 8,000+
    5 Trumpf 1923 Germany 14,000+
    6 Mazak 1919 Japan 6,000+
    7 Coherent 1966 USA 5,000+
    8 Prima Power 1977 Italy 2,000+
    9 Salvagnini 1963 Italy 1,400+
    10 Jinan Bodor 2008 China 500+

    1.2 The main models of Bystronic laser

    • ByStar Fiber is specifically designed for high-end, large-format, and thick material cutting, providing powerful fiber laser technology for even the most demanding tasks.
    • BySprint Fiber offers unparalleled versatility and speed, making it the perfect choice for efficiently cutting thin to medium-thick materials, while maintaining a balance between performance and agility.
    • BySmart Fiber is the ultimate solution for businesses looking for an affordable yet high-quality entry-level fiber laser cutting technology.
    • ByAutonom is the ultimate productivity booster, integrating automated features that guarantee both flexibility and reliability to provide a comprehensive cutting experience.
    • BySpeed Pro is the perfect fit for environments where speed and finish are of paramount importance, emphasizing rapid processing and delivering high-quality cuts.
    • ByTube is the best option for tube processing, delivering unrivaled precision and tailored cutting capabilities for tubular materials.

    This case study will demonstrate how to effectively retrofit a Bystar CO2 laser into a fiber laser cutter.

    2 CO2 Laser vs Fiber Laser

    • Laser Generation Method:

      • CO2 Laser: Uses a gas mixture primarily composed of carbon dioxide that is electrically stimulated to generate the laser beam.
      • Fiber Laser: Utilizes solid-state technology with an active medium of glass-like or crystalline fiber, where the beam is generated and then transmitted to the cutting head via a transport fiber.
    • Wavelength:

      • CO2 Laser: Has a longer wavelength of approximately 10 µm.
      • Fiber Laser: Operates at a shorter wavelength, typically around 1 µm.
    • Material Processing Efficiency:

      • CO2 Laser: The longer wavelength is well-suited for cutting non-metal materials but can also process metals.
      • Fiber Laser: The shorter wavelength provides a higher absorption rate in metals like steel, stainless steel, and aluminum, leading to faster processing speeds and more efficient cutting of these materials.
    • Application Suitability:

      • CO2 Laser: Often preferred for cutting thicker materials and a wide range of non-metals, including wood, acrylics, and leather.
      • Fiber Laser: Best suited for cutting thin to medium-thick metal materials and offers advantages in speed and efficiency for processing metals.

    3 Why Retrofit from CO2 Laser to Fiber Laser?

    Upgrading the CO2 laser cutting machines with fiber laser technology is an absolute must. The advantages it offers are numerous and can't be ignored.

    • Cost Savings: Retrofitting is more cost-effective than purchasing a new machine, as it involves upgrading specific components instead of the entire system.
    • Familiarity: Operators retain their knowledge and experience with the machine, reducing the learning curve and downtime associated with new equipment.
    • Environmental Impact: Upgrading extends the life of the existing machine, reducing waste and making the most of the initial investment.
    • Extended Lifespan: Retrofitting can increase the operational life of the machine, providing long-term savings.

    3.1 Enhanced Cutting Capacity with Fiber (For Reference)

    Take a look at the table below for a reference on the cutting capacity of a fiber laser cutter. You can compare it with your Bystronic CO2 lasers, but keep in mind that after retrofitting, the cutting speed for stainless steel will increase by 2-3 times, which is a huge improvement!

    Table 2 Cutting Capacity of Fiber Laser Cutter with Different Laser Power

    Material Fiber 3000W Fiber 4000W Fiber 6000W Fiber 8000W Fiber 12000W
    Mild Steel 20mm 20mm 25mm 30mm 40mm
    Stainless Steel 12mm 15mm 25mm 30mm 30mm
    Aluminum Alloy 10mm 14mm 25mm 30mm 30mm
    Brass 10mm 10mm 12mm 16mm 16mm
    Copper 5mm 6mm 8mm 10mm 10mm

    3.2 Fiber Laser Cutter Has Lower Cost 

    Table 3 Energy Consumption of CO2 vs. Fiber Laser Cutters

    Power Output CO2 Laser Cutting Machine Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
    3KW 45KW/h 20KW/h
    4KW 60KW/h 24KW/h
    6KW 75KW/h 30KW/h

    This table clearly demonstrates the significant difference in energy consumption per hour between CO2 and fiber laser cutting machines at varying power outputs. Moreover, it's worth noting that fiber laser cutters outshine CO2 laser cutters in two crucial areas.

    • No need for laser gas generation with fiber lasers, saving nearly 2000 USD annually.
    • Fiber lasers can use air cutting, saving nearly 2000 USD on nitrogen costs per year. 

    3.3 Operator Familiarity

    Retrofitting is the way to go if you want to maintain your proficiency and comfort with the machine. It significantly reduces the learning curve and downtime that might come with acclimating to a new piece of equipment. By continuing to operate the machine with unchanged components, you can leverage existing skills and experience to transition to updated technology smoothly. Don't waste any more time and check the table below to see which components need to be changed.

    Table 4 Components Retained and Upgraded in Laser Cutting Machine Retrofitting

    Unchanged Components Changed Components
    Machine Structure Retrofit to Fiber Laser Generator
    Drive System Replace the Water Chiller
    Operation Mode Install a Fiber Laser Head
    CNC System Install a Special Control System


    3.4 Extended Lifespan

    Retrofitting is not just an option, it is the only viable choice to upgrade an existing laser cutting machine with the latest technology and significantly increase its operational life.

    In the case of the Bystronic ByStar 4020 CO2 cutting machine, manufactured in 2008, it has been operational for over 16 years, and its laser has aged, leading to a noticeable decline in cutting performance. Replacing the machine would require a significant investment, similar to the substantial cost of replacing the aging laser with a new one. Therefore, retrofitting is the most prudent and assertive choice in this situation.

    After the retrofitting, we conducted tests on the upgraded 3000w fiber laser cutter, equipped with a Raycus laser source, and achieved impressive outcomes. To review the detailed test results, please proceed to download the cutting parameters of the 3000w upgraded fiber laser cutter.


    4 How to Retrofit from CO2 Laser to Fiber Laser?

    To retrofit from a CO2 laser cutter to a fiber laser cutter, it is essential to upgrade certain components while keeping others unchanged. The machine structure and drive system must remain intact to preserve the core framework and operational mechanics of the machine. However, significant changes must be made, including retrofitting to a fiber laser generator, replacing the water chiller, installing a fiber laser head, and implementing a special control system. These alterations are pivotal for enhancing the machine's performance and adapting it to the advanced capabilities of fiber laser technology. Let's go over the retrofitting process step by step to ensure a successful transition.

    4.1 Disassembly and Preparation

    • Remove Existing Components:
      1. Remove all water pipes and cables from the laser source.
      2. Then move the laser source to another location.
      3. Remove the dust cover and cutting head.
      4. Remove all air pipes and water pipes of the cutting head.

    4.2 Structural Modifications

    • Prepare for New Installations: 5. Draw a line and cut, ensuring not to affect the installation position of the right cylinder.
      1. Install the tank chain connecting plate.
      2. Retain only water pipes and gas pipes, removing all other pipes.

    4.3 Electrical and Control Adjustments

    • Control System Modifications: 8. Open the right control box to find the sensor cable, noting the connections.
      1. Install the tank chain with X axis and Y axis, adjusting the length as necessary.
      2. Utilize the machine's original sensor circuit board in the new control box.

    4.4 Installation of New Components

    • Laser Head and Chiller Installation: 11. Distinguish the inlet and outlet of the water pipe to the laser head.
      1. Place the chiller and laser source.
      2. Insert the optical fiber and laser head control cable.
      3. Insert the fiber into the cutting head horizontally and install the cutting head, water pipes, gas pipes, and cables.

    4.5 Final Assembly and Connection

    • System Reassembly and Connection: 15. Install the control box and connect all cables.
      1. Ensure only a 24V power supply is connected in the control cabinet.
      2. Connect the DB09 cables in the control box to the machine's control box.

    4.6 System Modification and Power Setup

    • Final Setup and Power Connection: 18. Adjust CNC system connections and short specific pins as required.
      1. Modify STL-XW1A plug connections and short specified pins.
      2. Connect the chiller and laser source power.
      3. Connect all water pipes between the chiller and the laser source.

    4.7 Testing and Operation

    • Machine Testing: 22. Verify that all measured voltages are normal before starting the machine test.
      1. Set the machine parameters accordingly.
      2. Turn on the laser source and set the laser key to REM mode, then press the RED button.

    Please note that the retrofit process cannot be fully comprehended solely through the aforementioned steps. Contact us immediately to obtain a detailed PDF guide, complete with graphical and textual explanations, to gain a complete understanding of the process.


    5 Showcase of the Retrofitted Laser Cutter

    5.1 Tank Chain (Drag Chain):

    • We replaced the existing drag chains with new ones that now incorporate optical fiber conduits. This update allows for more efficient and protected routing of the fiber optic cables alongside the X and Y axes, ensuring secure and organized cable management.

    We replaced the existing tank chains, incorporating optical fiber conduits to enhance the routing efficiency of the fiber optic cables along the X and Y axes.

    We replaced the existing tank chains, incorporating optical fiber conduits to enhance the routing efficiency of the fiber optic cables along the X and Y axes.

    5.2 Fiber Laser Cutting Head:

    • The upgrade includes the installation of a specialized fiber laser cutting head. This new cutting head is specifically designed for fiber laser operations, providing improved precision, speed, and adaptability in cutting various materials.

    We upgraded to a specialized cutting head designed specifically for fiber laser operations, improving the machine's cutting precision and adaptability.

    5.3 Fiber Laser Generator:

    • The transition from a cumbersome CO2 laser source to a small and efficient fiber laser generator is a game-changing improvement. This switch not only significantly reduces the machine's space requirements but also enhances its power consumption, efficiency, and cutting abilities.

    The machine's laser source was transformed from the bulky CO2 laser to a compact fiber laser generator, significantly reducing the machine's footprint while improving efficiency and cutting capabilities.

    5.4 Water Chiller:

    • A new water chiller has been added to accommodate the cooling requirements of the upgraded fiber laser system. This ensures that the laser operates within the optimal temperature range, maintaining performance stability and prolonging the life of the laser source.

    A new water chiller was added to meet the cooling requirements of the upgraded fiber laser system, ensuring optimal operational temperature and performance stability.

    5.5 AICS Control Module:

    • The retrofitting process absolutely includes the integration of our newly developed Advanced Intelligent Control System (AICS) module. This control module is specifically engineered to manage the fiber laser's output and the cutting head's focus adjustment with absolute precision, providing a highly sophisticated and user-friendly interface for operators.

     Our retrofit included the integration of a newly developed AICS control module, custom-engineered to manage the fiber laser's output and the cutting head's focus adjustment accurately.

    To truly appreciate the magnitude of this transformation, let's witness the retrofitted laser cutter in action. Watch the video to see how the machine performs post-retrofit, showcasing the enhancements in real-time operation.




    Miscellaneous Materials Required in the Retrofitting Process

    We replaced not only the major components, but also a significant number of smaller and intricate parts.

     Miscellaneous Materials Required for Retrofitting the Laser Cutter

    Precise Hardware Enhancements

    • Screws and Fittings:
      • Number and type of screws selected for optimal assembly and durability.
      • Custom fittings designed to enhance structural integrity.

    Cutting Head Modifications

    • Mounting Cast Adjustments:
      • Specific holes drilled in the cutting head's mounting cast for precise installation.
      • Modifications tailored to ensure seamless integration with the new fiber laser system.

    Drag Chain Expansion

    • Segmentation and Integration:
      • Exact count of drag chain segments calculated to accommodate the new layout.
      • Ensures organized and protected routing of optical fiber conduits and cables.

    The precise modifications made, while appearing insignificant, are of utmost importance for the optimal functioning and dependability of the machine. These adjustments showcase a holistic methodology towards modernizing every facet of the laser cutter, underscoring the expert and meticulous effort expended in the retrofitting process.


    7.  After-sales Service: Core Advantages that Set Us Apart

    7.1Advanced Control Software Development and Installation: We possess the expertise to develop and install cutting-edge control software, exemplified by our proprietary Advanced Intelligent Control System (AICS) module. This innovation enables precise control over the fiber laser's light emission and the cutting head's focus adjustment.

    We possess the expertise to develop and install cutting-edge control software, exemplified by our proprietary Advanced Intelligent Control System (AICS) module

    7.2 Global After-sales Presence: We take great pride in our exceptional after-sales support that spans across the globe. With service points strategically located in key international locations, including Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and South Africa, we guarantee rapid and efficient resolution of any after-sales issues. Rest assured, we are committed to providing top-notch after-sales support that meets and exceeds your expectations.

    We have established service points in key international locations, including Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and South Africa, ensuring rapid and efficient resolution of any after-sales issues.

    7.3 Dedicated Parts Inventory: We pride ourselves on maintaining a comprehensive parts inventory, as evidenced by the accompanying image, to ensure that any necessary components are always readily available. We understand the concern about post-retrofit support, which is why we have strategically acquired Bystronic cutting machines for their valuable parts. This enables us to provide timely replacements for any faulty components, so you can trust that your equipment will always be up and running when you need it.

    Dedicated Parts Inventory: Our comprehensive parts inventory, as depicted in the accompanying image, ensures that any necessary components are readily available.


    8. Q&A About Laser Cutter Retrofitting

    1. How much does the retrofit cost?

      • The retrofit cost depends on your original machine model (Bystar, Bysprint, Byspeed) and your desired configuration (laser source options like Raycus, BWT, MAX, with powers of 3000w, 6000w, or 12000w). Our prices are competitive and we assure you of the best value for your investment.
    2. How long does it take to retrofit a machine?

      • The retrofit process typically takes 5-7 days from the arrival of our technical personnel to completion. We work efficiently to minimize downtime and ensure that your machine is up and running as soon as possible.
    3. Can you retrofit XXX machine?

      • We can retrofit most machine models, but to verify if we can retrofit your specific machine model, please download and fill out the "Information Collection Form For Retrofitting." We will evaluate your machine and provide you with a customized solution that meets your needs.
    4. Do you provide an installation and training manual? Can you handle the installation training? Can I install it myself?

      • Yes, we provide an installation guide and offer on-site installation training services at a rate of 500 USD/day. However, we recommend following the installation manual for self-installation, but we also provide complimentary online installation guidance to assist you. We prioritize safety and quality in all our installation procedures.
    5. Do you offer other brands of lasers? 

      • Yes, we offer various laser brands like BWT, Raycus, and Max. If you require a different brand, let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
    6. Do you offer a warranty?

      • Certainly, we provide a comprehensive 2-year warranty on all core materials involved in the retrofit (excluding consumables and wear items such as cutting head lenses, copper nozzles, and dust covers). We guarantee the quality of our work and the durability of our retrofitting materials.

    1 comment

    Oscar Orozco
    Oscar Orozco

    Tengo una empresa de servicio de laser en Colombia y queremos actualizar una maquina Bystar 4020. Me gustaria conocer precios teniendo en cuenta la instalacion en el pais.

    Tambien poseo una fibra ipg de 2K sin cabezal, es posible hacer la instalacion de esta fibra en una bystar. Tambien poseo una Bylas que ya esta en desuso, es posible potenzializar estas maquinas?
    Sky Fire Laser replied:
    Estimado Oscar, Gracias por su consulta. Uno de nuestros representantes de ventas, Andy, intentó contactarlo a través del correo electrónico proporcionado, pero no pudo enviar el mensaje. ¿Podría confirmar si su dirección de correo electrónico es correcta? Andy estará encantado de asistirle. Su correo electrónico es Le deseamos un buen día. Saludos cordiales, We have ALL you need about fiber laser equipment SKY FIRE TEAM Mobile/WhatsApp: +86-13995672493 Email: Laser Machine and Parts: Laser Micromachining: < > Laser Repair and System Retrofit: < > Add: Shop No 2, Building 3, 4th Floor (24), B3 Plot (Sixin Central Living Area), Sixin North Road No. 333, Hanyang District, Wuhan City 430050 < > < > ------------------------------------------------------------------ 发件人:Sunny <> 发送时间:2024年5月20日(星期一) 12:26 收件人:Info <> 主 题:There’s a new comment from Oscar Orozco on your Shopify blog

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