After extensive research into fibre laser cutting machines on the market, subcontractor McAuley Engineering in Northern Ireland concluded that the 6 kW BySprint Fiber from Bystronic UK offered the best performance. During cutting trials at three potential suppliers, average production cost per laser-cut part was lower using the Bystronic machine than on the other shortlisted models.
The scope of the review was far-reaching, encompassing not only capital investment but also machine running costs including power consumption, cutting gas usage, other consumable costs and after-sales service. It led to a BySprint Fiber 3015, the company’s first laser cutting machine, being installed last year at the subcontractor’s 7,000 sq m factory in Ballymoney, County Antrim.
Managing director Jonathan McAuley said, “Typically, 60 per cent of our sheet metal throughput is aluminium and we also process stainless steel and copper. These reflective materials are cut much more efficiently using fibre laser technology than on a CO2 laser machine, which shaped our purchasing decision. We frequently profile light gauges down to 1 mm and a fibre laser is well known to be several times faster when processing thinner materials up to, say, 5 mm. However, it was a customer’s 15 mm thick, plasma-cut component that we asked the three potential fibre laser cutting machine suppliers to nest and cut out of a plate of aluminium. Not only was the Bystronic machine faster but the quality of the cut edge was easily the best.
We are still getting the same performance from the machine one year on”.
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