High-Power Laser is Service Centers Big Dog in a Competitive Dogfight

December 1, 2009

Steve Heneveld, president of Harbor Steel & Supply, Lexington, KY, credits the firm’s recent investment in a 4000-W Cincinnati Inc. laser-cutting system with allowing the firm to capture business from a multitude of industries requiring ultra-fast delivery and precision. Able to cut mild steel to 1-in. thick, the CL-840 has brought Harbor Steel customers in the mining, food processing, petrochemical, construction, power generation and marine industries.

With operations in Lexington and three Michigan locations, Harbor Steel traditionally has served the furniture and automotive markets; it recently added a new service center in Pritchard, WV, primarily to serve customers in construction and mining.

“Turnaround times are deal-breakers these days,” says Heneveld. “We have a window in which to service our customers, and that window closes a little more each day. We used to have seven to 10 days to complete a job, but now if we can’t turn an order around in 24 to 48 hr., the customers won’t wait.”

According to Heneveld, cutting speed was a key factor in the firm’s decision to purchase the CL-840 cutting system. “We must be able to move in and out of thicknesses as fast as possible,” he says, “and cut stainless, aluminum, carbon steel and galvanized material—whatever the customer needs.” The machine features Cincinnati’s third-generation linear-motor drive that allows cutting of 20-gauge steel at speeds to 1000 in./min. The laser’s cutting head features AutoFocus lenses of 5, 7.5 and 10-in. focal length.

Says Harbor Steel regional sales manager Mike McDermott: “We have a customer that requires a -0.00/+0.001-in. tolerance for holes in ¼-in.-thick steel, and the Cincinnati laser’s ability to meet this tolerance earned us the business.”

Cincinnati Inc.: 513/367-7100; http://www.e-ci.com/
Industry-Related Terms: Carbon Steel, Center, Tolerance
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Cincinnati Inc.

Technologies: Cutting


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