Why You Should Choose Laser Cutting Over Machined Metal Parts

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

If you have a manufacturing facility that requires you to order small and precise metal parts through an outside machine shop, then you may be concerned about the costs of using such a shop to produce all the parts you need. If this is a concern, then it may be time to switch to a business that offers laser cutting services. Laser cutting has many benefits when it comes to metal working. Keep reading to learn about a few advantages.

Reduction In Burrs

When metal parts are traditionally created in machine shops, the pieces must go through a finishing process. Finishing processes are completed by machinery and by hand, and the cost of finishing is worked into the overall production expenses that are charged to you when you order parts. Deburring is one of the refinishing tasks that needs to be completed. Metal parts are often welded, machined, cast, cut, and trimmed during different stages of production. This produces jagged edges of protrusions that must be smoothed out. Sometimes deburring will occur with machinery and an abrasive bath or a hand grinder will be used.

Debarring takes time and it can lead to imperfections if some jagged edges are left behind. Fortunately, metal parts that are laser cut do not need to be deburred or finished in other ways like machine parts. Laser cutters use a fine laser beam to melt metal materials. This means there is no actual cutting. The result is smooth contours without jagged metal pieces. This greatly reduced the time, energy, and money spent on finishing tasks.

Smaller Production Runs

Many machine shops will have minimum runs or part volumes that need to be produced. Also, the number of parts ordered will directly affect the price per piece. The more parts you order, the less money you will pay for the parts. Run minimums are typical because CNC machines, lathes, borers, grinders, and other tools will need to be set up precisely to match the dimensions of the parts you need. Setup takes time and so does the creation of one or several test pieces to make sure that setup is correct.

Setup is not necessary when it comes to laser cutting machines. An operator will instead need to program the laser cutter. A computer program is typically used. While it will take some time to design three dimensional parts and laser cut programs for some parts, the process is far less labor intensive. Also, the single machine is needed to create parts instead of several. This often means that you can order smaller runs of metal parts, and the program to create the pieces can be saved for later use. While you may need to pay for the design services initially, this is a one time cost. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Midbrook Factory-For-Hire.


20 October 2016

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