Until recent years, laser cutters and plasma cutters have been considered comparable technologies with different uses, advantages and disadvantages. Thanks to recent advancements in laser cutting technology, however, that assessment has changed.
Previously, most professionals in the metal fabrication field would have argued that both laser cutters and plasma cutters are viable options. Laser cutting technology offered fabricators more functions and greater accuracy and efficiency. However, laser cutters were limited when it came to thicker and more reflective materials. Plasma cutting technology presented a cost-effective alternative, and, though less accurate, these machines could effectively cut most materials.
However, recent innovations have shifted this narrative. Laser technology has essentially rendered the plasma cutter obsolete.
New fiber optic lasers demonstrate unprecedented speed and accuracy when cutting thinner metals and improved capabilities when it comes to thicker materials. In addition to reducing cut times and costs, these new laser cutters present solutions for streamlining processes and eliminating bottlenecks. There is no longer cause for deliberation; fiber optic laser cutting technology offers companies the best in terms of flexibility, capability and capacity.
In response to these developments, Mainstay recently invested in a new Trumpf Fiber Optic Laser Cutting Machine. The machine’s BrightLine Fiber Optic function guarantees high edge quality with a broad range of materials (including thick mild steel), facilitates easy part removal and produces very small holes which could previously only be drilled. This impressive machine offers increased flexibility and cost-effectiveness, cutting all sheet thicknesses efficiently.
Our new laser cutting machine has replaced our plasma cutter; it has increased our cutting capability and significantly increased our capacity as relates to cutting. The laser cutter offers Mainstay more redundancy, additional flexibility in production scheduling, quicker purchase order-to-cutting lead times and reduced operating costs. It allows us to operate leaner, more efficiently and consistently.
Of course, technology is constantly evolving, and so these developments are subject to change. Because of this, at Mainstay, we stay abreast of new innovations and invest in technologies that will best serve our internal operations and our clients’ needs.