How would you go about purchasing a laser cutting machine?
That’s not an everyday task, and as a result, some shops aren’t sure where to start.
This guide can help fabricators ask the right questions when making this important purchase.
For most manufacturers, buying an industrial laser cutting machine is a major investment.
It’s not just the initial price you pay, but the fact that the purchase will have a great impact on the entire manufacturing process.
If the wrong equipment is chosen, you have to live with the decision for quite a long time.
It is not unusual to see manufacturers keep a laser for seven to 10 years.
Do you know the best way to go about purchasing a laser cutting machine?
Even if you currently own one, how long ago did you buy it, and what has changed since then?
This guide should help you in making a capital purchase decision that will drive your manufacturing operations to new heights.
Do We Really Need to Invest in Laser Cutting?
A company that doesn’t have a laser cutting machine generally subcontracts the work to one or several job shops with that capability.
This scenario doesn’t involve a lot of risk and can work if you have some flexibility with lead times.
But, there will come a time when you have to ask yourself if it is time for the company to bring laser cutting in-house. This has to be considered even if the business relationship with the subcontractor is great.
How do you know if it is the right time to own a laser?
Look at how much you are spending monthly for laser-cut parts.
In the words of Henry Ford, “If you need a machine and don’t buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and don’t have it.”
If the decision is made to bring laser cutting in-house, you may be put in a position where you need to justify why the investment needs to be made.
The costs associated with subcontracting out the laser cutting are just the starting point for the justification.
How much more productive will the manufacturing process be with in-house laser cutting?
How does this affect lead times?
From an expense standpoint, not only do you have the cost of the laser cutting machine, you have labor and consumable costs, such as laser cutting assist gas.