As long as your business involves cutting, engraving and manufacturing, laser processing systems and tools can benefit it in multiple ways. In fact, there are so many advantages to using laser processing over other contemporary or older techniques in terms of productivity, accuracy, cleanliness, etc. that most modern processing companies have shifted partially or totally onto the technology. If you are planning to invest in laser cutting equipment, but cannot be quite sure about the wisdom of that investment, read on to clear those doubts.
Productivity and accuracy
Lasers are fast and they are accurate to the last dot in the hands of an expert. For example, a laser wood cutter works on a non-contact process that doesn’t need any material fixating or changing, which saves a lot of time, especially in the long run. The non-contact nature also ensures better accuracy and zero damage to the equipment, which can often be a problem with milling cutters as they start to get old. The production rate will of course differ depending on the thickness of the wood or metal, but it will almost always be faster than traditional cutting and processing techniques. Additionally, the edge quality of any material cut with a laser has been invariably found to be excellent. It allows for narrow kerf widths that ensure better utilization of metal sheets, more effective part nesting and overall cost-effectiveness through the reduction of material wastage.
Contrary to what it may seem like, laser cutters do not generate as much passive heat as say, an oxyacetylene torch would generate. The concentrated, high speed beams of light focus the thermal energy primarily on its contact point, thereby reducing heat emission by a great degree. This is relevant especially because of the fact that this minimizes the chances of collateral damage on materials while cutting. As you can guess, this is why laser cutters are the equipment of choice for businesses that deal with fine engraving and designing. Not only is laser more accurate for delicate engraving tasks, but it’s also a lot less likely to cause thermal damage to the material itself.
Although this feature is also shared by some of the other modern methods of industrial cutting, laser cutters are inherently easy to incorporate with specialized computer programs. Once the software is set in sync with the machinery by the craftsman, it can then operate by itself and perform multiple tasks simultaneously, within set standards. This helps the business in two possible ways. The first is the fact that it is productive and accurate, since it cuts out the chances of human error from the equation. Secondly, the automatic nature of the system allows a business to work with fewer workers, thereby lowering production costs.
It is tough for even the contemporary industrial cutting methods like water jet cutters to offer the incredible versatility of laser cutters. They can be adjusted to weld, drill, structure, engrave and of course, cut. The best part is that even though the power of the equipment used will need to be changed depending on the material and its thickness, lasers can be used on a variety of materials, including most industrial metals, plastic and wood. It can be as mild as necessary to etch superfine engravings on plastic, or it can be supercharged to cut through sheet metal in no time.
Minimum waste build-up
Secondary cleanup processes are mostly unnecessary while using a laser on most materials. In fact, the resulting product itself is mostly always ready for delivery to the next stage of development or to the customer immediately. If you are using a laser wood cutter, this is the only process where almost no wood shavings are produced during the cutting as they mostly just evaporate with minimum smoke emission. There is also little to no noise and the dust produced during the cutting process is sucked into the vacuum extraction unit accompanying the cutter, thereby eliminating any chances of smoke or dust inhalation in the factory. Due to its eco-friendly nature, laser branding is used to even mark edibles like vegetables and fruits in Sweden.
It cannot be denied that laser cutting is still on the expensive side due to the amount of power it consumes and sometimes, metals like copper or brass can give it a hard time. Nevertheless, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages over the course of time. Also, laser processing technology is advancing with each passing year to become more and more cost-effective, power-efficient and useful as an industrial grade cutting tool.