When you need to cut metal for your production processes, you have a variety of processes available to you, from standard metal saws, to welders and even snips and shears. While each one might offer certain advantages, there are many reasons why laser cutting is quickly becoming the most popular option, whether facilities need intricate designs cut into flat metal pieces or they simply need to trim and cut metal pieces down to size. Note a few reasons why laser cutting is often the right choice for metal fabrication so you can determine if the equipment is a good investment for your facility.
1. Precise cuts, greater versatility
Laser cutting may offer the most precise cuts of any type of shearing; with snips or even welders, it's often difficult to cut small holes or intricate designs and patterns. While presses or punch machines can be used to punch out small patterns in metal, these machines often cannot also be used for simply shearing or slicing metal. Laser cutters can be programmed to cut intricate designs and then also programmed to shear through a piece of metal quickly and easily, so they offer greater versatility along with greater precision.
2. Safer than welding
Welders are often a popular choice for cutting metal but this process can be dangerous. There is heat, and often sparks, created with welding, which can be a hazard to the welder himself or herself, and storing the tanks of gas that are often used for welding can also create a hazard in a facility. A laser cutter doesn't produce heat or sparks and needs no gas or other chemicals to operate, so it's often safer for workers and for a production facility overall.
3. Faster cuts between materials and designs than welding
Because laser cutters work with computers that guide and direct the cuts, including the shape and depth, these can often switch quickly between metals and between designs. An operator can simply change the controls of the laser cutter, and it will switch from shearing to cutting out a pattern within seconds. To switch these types of cuts between materials manually, a welder may need to switch out the type of welding equipment being used. This can be time-consuming and slow down production.
4. Less deformity in materials
A metal press or punch may stretch the metal as it cuts it, and the edges may not be smooth and safe to the touch. Welding heats metal so that it can be soft and pliable, and this can weaken the welded points. With laser cutting, there is less deformity of the materials and no burring of the edges, so the material maintains its integrity and there is less need for operator intervention to treat the edges after the metal has been cut.
For more information, contact local laser cutting services.