When the first computer numerically controlled machines, now commonly referred to as CNC machines, became available, they were operated in special shops by especially trained operators. Now the trend is for CNC machines to be part of a total design, prototype fabrication, and full production machining service operation, all in one shop. It makes sense for this to be the case. Having all the parts to any process, located together, allows better quality products to be manufactured, at lower prices and in less time.
One of the latest technological advances in equipment for fully equipped machine shops is laser cutting machinery. The benefits of CNC machines working within machining service and fabrication shops were obvious. The same situation has happened with the purchase and placement of modern laser cutting equipment.
For sheet metal fabrication, laser cutting equipment fits easily and operationally perfect, as part of a total package to perform excellent work in a sheet metal fabrication shop. By utilizing the capabilities of a laser cutting machine, there is no requirement for hard tooling, which means setup time is greatly reduced, a minimum amount of manual labor is required to cut sheet metal, and the amount of engineering time required is minimal. There are some significant benefits for customers that send work to a one-stop sheet metal fabrication shop.
In the past, when CNC machines became part of the complete machine shop the customer benefited in many ways. Now with laser cutting equipment joining a complete machine service shop, again the customer is a winner, which is good for business for everyone.