6 April 2009

Investment to eliminate variable costs

Metal Processes (1959) Limited, one of the UK’s first flat bed laser cutting sub-contractors, has placed two separate orders for Bystronic laser cutting systems within an eight month period for a Bystronic ByVention laser cutting system and a Bystronic BySpeed laser cutting system. The orders total in excess of £650,000.

To date, Metal Processes is privileged to have over 1000 loyal customers covering a wide cross section of engineering. The company has a history of purchasing Bystronic laser cutting systems dating back to 1998 when its first Bystronic Bystar was purchased. Two Bystronic Bysprint laser cutting systems followed in 2002/03 and a Bystronic AFM EP press brake in 2007. Chairman and director John Hayward comments: “With laser technological advances improving each year, companies have to follow laser specialists trends and invest in order to expand and provide their customers with the best service possible, from the best machines available.”

When it came to replacing another manufacturer’s older, out of date laser Mr Hayward analysed 12 months of incoming orders received by Metal Processes and concluded that 59 per cent of these orders fell into a footprint of 700 mm x 1500 mm. Not only this, due to space restrictions, a new laser had to be able to occupy the space left by its predecessor. Therefore a new laser had to be able to handle this large amount of work but have a small footprint.

Mr Hayward continues: “We naturally went to Bystronic when looking at a new laser – when you find a range you like, which does the job you want it to do, you remain with it! We are comfortable with the product range, we are used to the technology, we work actively with Bystronic and the software is common to all the machines. In addition, we have four qualified CAD engineers competent in the use of the Bysoft software making light work of urgent requirements and the service offered by Bystronic meets our demanding needs.”

Having listened to Metal Processes’s requirements Bystronic advised Mr Hayward to look at the ByVention, particularly because of its cutting area of 1562 x 772 mm and, when equipped with the 2.2 kW resonator, its ability to cut a maximum sheet thickness of 4 mm for aluminium, 6 mm for stainless steel and 8 mm for mild steel. The machine is easy to operate and as a result training time is reduced to a minimum. This is achieved as the ByVention is operated via pre-defined programs and cutting parameters using a touch screen. New operators benefit from the simple and logical operation and after a short period of training are familiar with the control and its integrated function and are able to operate the machine to its full capacity. One major characteristic of the ByVention is its compact design which makes it the smallest laser cutting machine for standard-sized metal sheets. The machine, when equipped with the 2.2 kW resonator requires just 6000 x 6000 mm of floor space and therefore was ideal for available space.

“The production outputs we are achieving per square metre of machine spaces makes the ByVention a very productive laser cutting system,” continues Mr Hayward. “It is very easy to set up and also very accurate which is essential to our business. A standard laser beams travels all over a 3 m x 1.5 m machine bed which can give a slight effect on accuracy depending on the distance travelled by the light beam. The beam on the ByBention has only to travel 750 mm x 1500 mm which makes it exceedingly accurate. In addition, the fact that the ByVention has only two laser mirrors reduces the cost of consumables.”

Just months after investing in the ByVention Metal Processes invested in a BySpeed laser cutting centre. The Byspeed is Bystronic’s fastest Laser cutting machine capable of cutting 600 holes per minute with simultaneous accelerations of over 4G.

“Our two Bysprint lasers were six years old and we have had many hours of cutting out of them having run multiple shifts. However, we were conscious that they were costing money to maintain each year and we felt that in this economic climate it was prudent to reduce and even eliminate our variable costs.

“We took the decision to replace both the BySprint lasers with the single BySpeed laser cutting centre, which will provide greater productivity. Having a new machine, with an excellent warranty and service cover, along with a new machine purchased eight months ago (which has the majority of its warranty remaining) made economic sense, drastically reducing our variable maintenance and breakdown costs and helping us to face the difficult year ahead with confidence.”

The Byspeed 3015 is equipped with a 4.4 kW resonator. Metal Processes has also purchased a wide range of Bystronic press brake tooling to provide the company with the ability to bend various types of material in thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mm to 8 mm.

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