David Larcombe, managing director of Bystronic UK, has been asked by the group’s Swiss management committee to make an internal presentation outlining why uptake of fibre laser cutting technology in the UK has surpassed that in other world markets, both established and emerging. The Coventry subsidiary has sold 33 such machines in the last eight months in the UK.
To assist with the presentation, he decided to hear straight from the horse’s mouth and emailed several customers to ask what they thought was the single best thing about the Bystronic Fiber laser machines they operated. Over half thought that the overriding benefit was the high cutting speeds attained when processing thin materials, including stainless steel.
From this group, the following quotes are noteworthy;
1. “We cut a job for a long-term customer which used to take one week on our CO2 machine. This happened to be the first time we cut on the new fibre machine, which is of the same wattage. The job was started Monday morning and was finished by lunchtime.”
2. “Most of the work we do on the 2 kW BySprint Fiber is between two and three times faster than the former 2.2 kW BySprint CO2 machine.” (This user was also of the opinion that the machine had been undersold by Bystronic, ie it is actually quicker than the sales engineer said.)
3. “Compared to the CO2 laser and when you include the time to take parts off the sheets and the extra labour required to get components to the next operation, the fibre machine is faster by an average of 20 to 25 per cent on our type of work.
Other reasons for preferring fibre laser cutting are recorded below
4. “Dependability is the main advantage. We turn the machine on in the morning, start cutting straight away and cut all day at speeds that are unbelievable. We turn it off at night; then the process restarts without fuss the next day.”
5. “Set up time is the principal benefit, closely followed by low energy usage and consumable costs.”
6. “It is the best product we have ever received out-of-the-box from Bystronic.”
7. “We replaced our 4.4kW BySpeed CO2 machine with a 4 kW Fiber and it has simply exceeded all my expectations.”
Mr Larcombe added, “Every so often a disruptive technology comes along that causes a paradigm shift in manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has been one example in recent years. It is increasingly clear that fibre laser cutting is rapidly becoming another.”
Image: Fibre laser cutting in progress on a BySprint Fiber machine.