25 September 2007

New Laser Profiling Machine Trebles YLF Capacity

Increased productivity for bigger contracts is provided by a new, faster Bystar 4020. Time studies proved programming reduction time.

In today's sub contract laser profiling market, people expect quality and delivery as standard and they want this at the most competitive of prices. This means that as a subcontractor we have to invest in the latest equipment to stay competitive and keep giving our customer what they want.

In December 2006 Yorkshire Laser took delivery of their second laser profiling machine, a Bystar 4020 with a 4.4 kilowatt resonator, their sales and technical director Matthew Orford looks at the reasons behind the purchase of this machine.

With the existing laser working on a 3 shift basis 6 days a week with Sundays also being manned it was time to look at new capacity. Investing in a new machine also presented the opportunity to further improve productivity and responsiveness on lead time. It also gives us the capability to handle bigger contracts.

Once the decision was taken to take the plunge and invest in the second machine we had to analyse what we wanted from the machine and where we wanted it to take us as a company. One of the most important factors on the agenda was enquiry conversion rates. The existing five year old laser remains competitive on short run, but we needed something faster to compete on longer runs.

The first issue was part run times, both in terms of federate and piercing times. After examining the machines that were available in the market it was decided that an increase in resonator size from our existing 2.5 kilowatts would be required. It was also noted that we would require a machine with fly piercing technology allowing us to ‘pierce on the fly' materials up to a medium thickness, as opposed to always controlled pulse piercing.

Secondly time studies had shown that programming time in the production office was taking too long and we either needed to increase staff or reduce programming times. With the expected increase in profiling there would also be an increase in programming so this became an issue of some importance.

Other factors in deciding on the machine were the bed size, the machine type i.e. flying bridge or hybrid and resonator size of either 3, 4, 5 or even 6 kilowatts that are now available. Reliability and servicing, and importantly ease of operation and of training new operators were also considered.

After taking all of these factors into account it was decided that the Bystar 4020 with a 4.4 kilowatt resonator would suit our needs. This machine gave us the increased resonator power for federates and fly piecing technology that we required. The Bysoft software was excellent and has seen a huge reduction in programming times.

The 4.4 kilowatt resonator gave us the increased power we needed for cut speeds but not the increased running costs in gasses and consumables associated with the 5 and 6 kilowatt machines. The ease of operation of the machine is very good with newly trained operators successfully running the machine in around 2-4 weeks unaided. And finally the support and back up provided by Bystronic in Leeds has proved to be excellent.

Contact: Matt Orford

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