From the business perspective, while pursuing present economic objectives is essential, it is equally important to keep an eye on future developments.
This concept applies to all market sectors and even more so to metal cutting, where the choice of a new machine is often a major investment.
Here are some points that a forward-thinkingbusiness leader should consider when choosing a new machine.
Productivity in metal-cutting systems is conditioned by two types of basic characteristics:
- Internal to the system: quality and attention to design, axes speed, implemented cutting technology.
- The interactions between system, operator and production chain: simplicity and speed of programming and set-up of a new production, possibility of using high-efficiency solutions for loading and unloading, eliminating manual operations and possible integration of multiple processes on the same machine, with a view to reducing semi-finished product handling and storage.
Laser cutting is a technology in which productivity and cutting speed improve day by day. This is due to the efficiency achieved by modern fiber laser cutting systems using advanced adaptive management systems of the cutting parameters.
The advantage of combining multiple operations in the same machine
Having different systems working on the same part usually has an adverse impact on productivity.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link (the slowest machine or operator) and this inevitably affect the performance of subsequent processes.
In a production system, semi-finished product storage and management and handling operations equate to additional costs and reduce competitiveness.
In addition, more machines at work means more energy is spent and more operators are needed, as well as higher maintenance and operating costs.
A proven example of the integration of multiple processes in a single machine is laser cutting. The technology becomes particularly advantageous in the processing of particularly complex three-dimensional geometries (bent, hydroformed, deep-drawn and stamped tubes).
By using laser, many processes, such as piercing, grinding, punching and blanking, can be combined in a single process, eliminating mechanical deformations and significantly increasing the precision of the results.
Expanding into new market segments: what can I cut and with what machine?
Processing a variety of materials and types of parts with the same machine means thinking in terms of efficiency.
This approach can allow a company to expand into market segments, growing your business and profit margins.
|Example of a three-dimensional laser-cut part|
In this perspective, five-axis fiber laser technology is certainly one of the best examples. While the fiber systems allow the cutting of a wide variety of different materials (steel, stainless steel, copper, titanium, brass), a five-axis CNC solution allows you to process three-dimensional parts of any shape: bent tubes, sheets, stamped, drawn, and hydroformed parts alike.
Being open to new technology that helps your business remain competitive
When purchasing a new machine, it is important to ask yourself whether it will allow you to enter new markets or sectors. To do so, you need to have a clear understanding of its possible uses, while being innovative and enterprising.
For instance, there are products that never justified investing in a dedicated plant due to the small number of parts per batch. In other case, some characteristics - such as material or complexity - may limit the part processing to certain technologies or in the worst cases force processing by hand.
For this reason, it is important to ask yourself whether the purchase of an innovative technology - perhaps flexible and able to adapt quickly to changes in production - can also revolutionize the way of producing these particular products, allowing you to process parts in a truly progressive way compared to competitors.Find out what you can do with 5-axis laser cutting
Making sustainable choices
"Sustainable choices" are intended to ensure that the chosen system can ensure profitability in terms of productivity but that it can also bring a number of benefits to the company, which include:
- Simpler, more efficient and modern production methods.
- Saving time and energy.
- Improving the working environment.