Putting your faith in another business to pull off your project shouldn’t be a source of stress. Your sheet metal-based vision can get much clearer by tapping the right laser cutting company.
First, let us refresh your memory on why outsourced laser cutting is so great. For starters, in many cases it simply works better than plasma cutting. Secondly, laser cutting machines can cost upward of $1 million. Hiring a manufacturer who already has laser capabilities mitigates your costs big-time.
Here’s how to evaluate a potential partner:
4 Traits Your Laser Cutting Company Needs
Speaking of costs, a knowledgeable vendor will add value to your product.
Your fabrication company should allow a laser cutter operator to perform secondary operations or to run additional machines -- this is quite possible with modern laser machines. Better efficiency will get your product out faster and at a lower overall cost for you.
The right partner will also offer advantages to repeat customers. Those may include price discounts for using multiple services within the company. (More on that in a bit.) Your manufacturer should also watch out for signs you’re designing your part inefficiently (More on that in a sec, too.)
These are easy ways to conserve costs, and your vendor should know that.
Using a vendor with up-to-date, high-end equipment will make laser cutting faster and more cost-effective. Your partner should own models that combine speed and cut quality while offering versatility. The machines should allow the operator to keep the lasers running optimally and consistently.
Here’s what you need to know about your vendor and its laser machine capabilities:
- How thick can the laser cut?
- How precise is the laser?
- What about run size? Can the vendor handle large-volume projects efficiently?
Skill and Knowledge
Laser use is technically demanding -- for example, the heat can warp certain metals. If you don’t find a good servicer, you may end up having to repair or replace your parts. If your manufacturer screws up, will they remake and reship your product for free? Don’t be afraid to ask.
A good manufacturer will know when and how to take advantage of laser cutting’s benefits. This method is best for projects with:
- Tight tolerances
- Thinner material
- Detailed cuts
- Small cuts
Production speed will increase if your partner owns a multihead laser or has multiple lasers working simultaneously.
Many manufacturers offer a combination of machine and laser cutting so you can choose the best fit for your project, financial or otherwise. And if they see signs that laser cutting isn’t ideal, they’ll hit the brakes and help you reassess your plans and maybe even your designs ...
… which segues conveniently into the benefits of an all-in-one manufacturer! If you work with a laser cutting company from phase one, you can receive consolidated:
- Metal procurement
- Design help
- Packing and shipping
If your laser-cut part can go in a straight line from material finding to finished product, you’ll conserve time and money. For one, you’ll be able to pass on important requirements, and the vendor can work with you to improve the concept and make cuts as accurate as possible.
What a way to save time! Don’t forget that every moment your product sits in transport or otherwise idle is a wasted opportunity.
Speak to an Expert
These are the basics of partnering with the right laser cutting company. It’s usually best to go with experience rather than a metal manufacturer less familiar with laser use. If you want to speak directly to an expert about your laser cutting needs, we're happy to help.