Service Center Adds 7-kW Laser-Cutting MachineDecember 1, 2009
Debro Steel in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, recently became one of the first North American steel-service centers to deploy a 7-kW laser-cutting machine, a TLX-1480 three-axis system from NTC America—Laser Group, Novi, MI. “This was a calculated purchasing decision,” says Debro president Gunar Zenaitis.
The company had formerly relied on a four-head underwater plasma-cutting system for its heavy-gauge work. Many of Debro’s competitors, though, had advanced to newer high-definition plasma-cutting systems. “When we started looking at upgrading our cutting technology,” says Zenaitis, “we had to ask ourselves if we wanted to be one of the pack with a hi-def system that’s just a little bit bigger or newer, or if we wanted to offer state of the art, high precision cutting with a laser.”
The NTC TLX series of machines places the laser resonator and chiller on the system’s gantry, which minimizes the machine’s footprint and shortens the beam path, which translates into space and labor savings, increased flexibility and optimum cut quality. The cantilever design and redesigned controller ease part loading and unloading. The game-changing 7.0-kW machine at Debro Steel boasts a massive 14- by 80-ft. cutting table.
“The large table was a key part of our vision for this new system,” reports Zenaitis. “It opens the door for efficient processing of very large parts and, because of our ability to stage jobs, the faster processing of small parts. This versatility combined with reduced part costs adds value for our customers and enhances their competitive position.”
Zenaitis also notes that the investment sent a good message to Debro’s employees. “By showing that we will reinvest in the company even in tough times, our employees understand that we’re in this for the long haul,” he says. “This was a positive message, and the challenges and the opportunities presented by the laser have been enthusiastically embraced by our people.”
Debro now is looking to add forming capability to its value-added mix and to continue automating parts handling, to further increase the laser’s beam-on time, boosting productivity and further reducing cost per part.
NTC America—Laser Group: 800/682-5277; http://www.ntclaser.com
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