If you ask us about the most innovative modern-day technology with proven expertise in various industries - from medical to civil - it must be laser technology. Laser technology is slowly gaining momentum in numerous sectors, including the sheet metal processing industry, owing to its higher accuracy and precision.
You're at the right place if you are an entrepreneur thinking of switching to CNC laser cutting machines - particularly vertical mills that require higher precision and control. But before we move on to selecting the machine for your business, let's discuss what it is and how it is different from a regular cutter.
The word CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. Thus, laser cutters are programmed to mark, engrave, and cut metal sheets and other materials with the help of high-power laser beams to form the desired shapes. Instead of sharp cutting tools, laser cutters use heat to cut and shape metals and are relatively more precise and faster than traditional metal cutters.
Here we talk about some crucial aspects that you need to keep in mind while picking the perfect laser cutting machine suited to your company's demands and requirements.
Before buying a laser cutting machine, you should consider your requirement criteria. Do you require a vertical mill for your hobby or small-scale business, or do you need one for a sufficiently large-scale business? This will dictate the pricing of the laser machines. Nowadays, even DIY laser machines are available and work great for those who use the equipment for hobbies or small-scale businesses.
The machine's power and accuracy further determine the price point. So, even if you are into a small business, you should get a high-power laser machine if your work demands higher precision alongside high power. Alternately, some tasks, especially cutting the round edges and corners, require precision but lower power. In such cases, you should go for a low-power but high-precision laser machine, especially vertical mills that allow you to control the design and the sheets you're cutting.
There are two kinds of CNC laser cutting machines - single head and double head. Do your research on both before investing.
Since the laser technology market is fast-growing, you will find new launches every other day. Many people might insist you consider getting a new CNC laser cutting machine as a form of capital investment. While this parameter makes sense, at the end of the day, your decision should be based on your budget.
For example, the higher the power of a laser cutting machine, the more is the price. Furthermore, other configurations such as chillers, dust collectors, etc., will also be impacted as the power increases. The price of mending a high-power laser machine in case of any discrepancy beyond the warranty period is also high.
Under such circumstances, you must assess your purchasing power and go for a machine that will prove worthy in the long run - one that can be repaired quickly and whose parts are easily available.
This is especially important if you purchase a high-power laser cutting machine for the first time. The more a machine's power, the higher its tendency to heat up following friction. Hence, you must check a machine's cooling system and ventilation before purchasing.
A vertical mill machine equipped with a superb cooling system is also cost-effective in the long run since the chances of it getting damaged due to friction are low.
While it may seem a no-brainer, we often tend to overlook their storage or floor space while picking up machines for work. As a result, the workspace becomes too claustrophobic to work in and move about freely.
The good news is that nowadays, cnc fiber laser cutting machines are eavailable in various sizes and styles, even the relatively high-power ones. Hence, you can choose from a range of options before pinpointing the perfect one for you.
With the growing demand, the laser industry is seeing a plethora of brands and manufacturers coming up. The high competition has also created a space for duplicate or sub-par products to seep into the market. Considering you are here to purchase your first CNC laser cutting machine, you should make it a point not to fall for the lowest price tags but to strive for quality. Going for reputed or known brands might be great for first-timers. Or, if you know your way about machines, you can delve deeper into the market and research your way to the product suited to your requirements.
Laser machines are in high demand right now. The productivity and precision you get with a laser machine are incomparable. However, although the choice is much more varied now than ever before, with newer innovations seeping in every day, the vast number of manufacturers with fluctuating pricing and rates make it tricky for a novice to get their hands on the best machine. This blog has tried to make buying your first CNC laser cutting machine a relatively easy affair.
About the Author:
Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing atCNC Masters. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights to various blogs on CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general.