If you're looking to invest in machinery for metal cutting and fabrication in your own shop, it's good to understand the different types of cutting processes available to you. Laser cutting offers many advantages over machine punching and pressing, and many metal shops today are investing in laser cutters.
Note a few of the benefits they offer over any other type of cutting and why you might consider laser cutting services for your metal cutting and fabrication needs:
Laser cutters are usually connected to computers that use software to set up cuts, so that the process is much quicker. You can change the types of cuts you'll have for metal and set up the machine for various thicknesses and densities faster than if you needed to do this manually. In turn, you can have more pieces cut in a faster time, which is an especially important consideration for high-volume production facilities.
A laser cut offers a quality cut with little to no deformity of the metal itself. This means no secondary processes to address burrs or sharp edges. The edge quality is usually much higher with laser cutting than with punching and pressing, which can save your facility both the time and money it requires to treat metal with additional equipment or processes after it's been cut.
Not only are lasers precise and able to offer these clean edges when cutting, but they also reduce or eliminate what are called Heat Affected Zones (HAZ), or areas of metal that are affected by welding and other processes involving heat. When metal is heated in order to be cut, this can affect its density in the area of the cut. A precise laser will reduce that HAZ so that metal stays strong and retains its density.
A laser does not wear out when used repeatedly the way some punching and pressing machine parts might, so that it offers a stronger repeatability. This means that the laser can cut precise shapes and repeat these endlessly without need a new bit or other tooling replaced. When a machine punch or press begins to wear, the shapes and cuts are not as clean and precise.
This can affect the quality of cuts in high-volume production. With a laser, each cut is very precise and is able to be repeated exactly without the need to replace worn parts. This too can save a production facility money over time, as the laser cutter may need less maintenance and repair even after long-term use.