Wrap Around Templates Verses Tube Lasers in real life!
If you are still printing patterns to wrap around your structural tube (see picture) you should really consider the amazing benefits of a tube laser.
Please consider the real hours used in the old-school pattern process:
1) Laying out the pattern
2) Printing the pattern
3) Laying the pattern on the tube or pipe and tracing it
4) Hand plasma cutting the pattern
5) Grinding the jagged cut
6) Grinding the weld prep groove
Depending on quantities, this old-school pattern process could be anywhere from .75 hours to 1.5 hours of work per a piece of pipe end.
At $65.00 per an hour, this little hand-cutting process is running you up to $98.00!
When the process is finally complete, the cut-out will be very imprecise and require even more tender-loving-care to make the assembly fit up correctly!
Compare that to using a tube laser.
Even at a higher hourly rate, programming and cutting will likely cost you around $55.00 per unit.
You are already saving time and money but now consider the welding.
The part will fit perfectly.
Bevels will already be in place.
All the pulling and warping and hammering and clamping will be nearly eliminated.
Using the tube laser will save you 50% per joint over your traditional methods.
If every coped and welded joint assembly cost you $200.00 per unit, you will be doing them for $100.00 per a joint assembly.
That is enough money to really consider the benefits of tube laser cutting over traditional methods.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or hop on our tube laser web site and take the tube laser challenge, https://www.allmetalsfab.com/tube-laser-cutting/take-the-challenge/.
You will be the smartest guy in the room for saving your company so much money!
Communication is vital in the metal fabrication and manufacturing industry…
Case study-after-case study, tens of thousands of books, hundreds of thousands of articles have been devoted to inter-company communication.
It is critical for every business. Frankly, it is critical for success in the metal fabrication business.
AMF, as a metal fabricator, works very intentionally, even though our product is cold, hard metal, to create a manufacturing environment where communication is front and center.
Some of our key communication strategies are as follows:
1.) Every person in the company has a stand-up daily huddle. In those small huddle meetings, all our people are invited to communicate things like:
- Where they are stuck
- What is or isn’t working
- What needs special attention
- What needs coordination
Those meetings are invaluable in solving the little things that can often slip through the cracks. It also allows employees to see how their work is impacting others in the company. Even better, it gives the company the chance to spread positive change as people share ideas that are driving improvement in day-to-day operations.
2.) AMF engages in, what we like to call, Meeting Monday. Every single Monday we have the following team coordination meetings:
- Project Managers Meeting where the project managers discuss the backlog of work—what is due that current week and what the backlog looks like for the next six months and even further. We discuss manpower, bottlenecks, coordination of projects, training needs, etc.
- Executive Meeting where the executive team talks about key priorities in the company. We track progress on our key initiatives (set quarterly). We talk about strategy, execution goals, planning and forecasting.
- Sales Meeting where the sales and estimators talk about jobs that are bidding, new leads, sales calls, bidding requirements, order bookings, goals, training and coordination.
- Continuous Improvement Meeting where our CI team meets to review new suggestions that have come in through our Continuous Improvement We also make assignments to implement continuous improvement ideas that have been approved by the committee. Even more, we give out awards and recognitions for meaningful ideas that will be used.
- Finance Meeting where our finance group talks about cash flow, payable, receivables, billings, etc
3.) AMF also sends out weekly email and text messages to everyone in the company. Those messages cover numerous ideas that include the likes of the following:
- Continuous Improvement ideas that have been submitted and implemented.
- Reminders about tasks we want everyone in the company doing.
- Reminders about themes—things we are working on to improve.
- Reminders about culture, vision, values, etc.
4.) AMF spends constant energy in trying to communicate work instruction for each metal part fabricated in our shop. We call it, “One-hundred percent complete and accurate work orders.”
The theme denotes the importance of creating shop travelers that are deadly accurate and keep our shop floor craftsman from having to stop their work to gather clarification on a work order.
Obviously, any stop on the floor creates inefficiency and potential for mistakes when fabricating important parts for our customers.
There is much more but suffice it to say that fabricating metal parts is much more than assigning a person to a machine and telling him to cut or form or weld.
We believe that AMF’s intentional efforts to improve our communication skills are so important that it has become a long-term strategic initiative. We believe that expert communication will lead to world class fabrication, quality and delivery.
Our customers expect that from us—we expect it from ourselves.
Getting your Engineering Mind Wrapped Around Tube Laser Parts
One in a while, when we see something anew, we can have an aha moment—a paradigm shift of sorts.
These creatively engineered parts are all part of a fixture assembly that a clever engineer designed once he understood what kind of cutting a tube laser could do!
All of these would have been machined parts and expensive—now they are tube laser cut, even the channel, and done with relative ease.
Tube Laser allows for parts to have slots, miters, complex angles, etc. and all done at one work station with the fast cutting people have learned to appreciate from laser technology.
Contact us today and learn more!
Tube Laser vs Bundle Cut Sawing
Tube lasers, obviously, are limited to cutting one stick of tube (or angle or channel) at a time.
How does that stack up to saw cutting bundles of tube when comparing labor time?
The answer may be surprising.
Bundle cutting is very efficient, but it has draw backs. Here are a few the bundle cutting advocates should consider:
1) The time it takes to ‘assemble’ the bundle.
2) The time and expense that is encountered when bundle pieces disassemble or flay about causing the saw blade to break.
3) The time it takes to deal with pieces that are not cut exactly right because the bundle isn’t cooperating perfectly.
4) The time it takes to deburr all the parts (normally left with a rough burr).
5) Here is a big, big one that most people forget or fail to recognize…the time it takes to manage downstream fit and weld issues because the parts are not cut squarely or are out of tolerance.
Tube Laser technology has come a long way. We are not talking about a flat laser, meant to cut sheet metal, that has a tube cutting add on. We are talking about a dedicated sixty foot machine that is cycling through 20’ lengths of material in automated fashion.
If the tube is square and the parts have no holes, miters or angle cuts, bundle cutting may still win, particularly if there are very large quantities.
However, if you had any kind of miter or angle cut, or any kind of hole or slot, tube laser technology will prove significantly faster.
Here is why:
1) Tube Lasers eliminate the huge amounts of time consumed in multiple setups needed to saw, deburr, cope, fixture, drill.
2) Tube Lasers eliminate huge amounts of waste in material movement (from work center to work center).
3) Tube Lasers eliminate waste of space as piles of batch and queue parts can be removed from the shop floor.
4) Tube Lasers vastly improve the fit and weld time down stream because the parts are perfectly cut, +/- .01, which keeps fitters from struggling with alignment and welders from filling gaps (and fighting all the warping that comes from excess welding). This is a huge benefit!
Even more, parts can be laser cut to fit into each other with tabs and slots making it virtually impossible for down stream quality errors.
Even more, parts can be cut with etching, tabs and slots that make fixtures unnecessary.
Bundle cutting may still have a car in the race but only on the rare exception. The first notion of anything beside square cuts and the Tube Laser will easily win the race.
Call us or email for more information—the costs savings are real!
Explanation of What 5-Axis Means for Tube Laser
5-Axis Tube Lasers sound pretty cool but what does that actually mean?
Pictures well help explain—hopefully a few sentences will help as well.
Axis #1: Material is moved from Left to Right (or Right to Left) along the horizon, as it were, of the machine.
Axis #2: Tube Laser Head is moved from Front to Back (or Back to Front) across the material like saw cutting across a two-by-four.
Axis #3: Tube Laser Head is moved Up and Down (or Down and Up) above the material like a drill press moving up and down to drill.
Axis #4: Tube Laser Head is Pivoting on a radius (or arc) on the same horizontal plane as Axis #1 like sketching an ark with a hand compass.
Axis #5: Tube Laser Head is rotating on a 360 degree radius above the laser nozzle like an owl’s head so-to-speak.
Ultimately, with all these axis operating simultaneously, the Tube Laser can cut a huge array of shapes and sizes with cutting surfaces that are normal and angle cut to the surface of the metal.
For more information, we invite you to contact All Metals Fabrication at 801.392.9494 or email@example.com.
What kinds of Material & Shapes will Tube Lasers Cut?
Much like flat sheet lasers, Tube Laser’s can cut Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum.
AMF’s tube laser, a Mazak 3D 220 Fabri Gear, is also equipped with tapping capacity for threaded holes and seam detection so the machine can cut the material knowing where the seam lies inside the tube.
This extensive list of material types and shapes types gives AMF a wonderful amount of capacity.
AMF’s machine allows for 25.5 feet of infeed and 20.0 feet of outfeed.
It is capable of handling round shapes up to 8.66” OD and 6” x 6” Square.
With auto loading and dedicated work space, AMF’s tube laser is set to chunk through vast amounts of material.
The machine is hungry for work—give us a call to find out more about our great lead times and fantastic customer service.
Tube Lasers vs Machining Centers
Tube lasers do battle with tradition fabrication methods very well!
Sawing, deburring, coping, mitering, drilling are common fabrication processes, but one might question how tube lasers stack up against the likes of traditional machining centers.
The answer—very well.
Frankly, the main issue when comparing a tube laser to a machine center is tolerance.
Dedicated tube lasers are very good at holding tolerances in the +/- .01 range.
The question potential tube laser customers should ask is what kind of tolerance is really required on my part.
Engineers are generally good at designing fabricated parts at +/- .01 and machined parts at +/- .005 (or less) but many times those tolerances are more a result of the engineer’s drawing template then the part requirement. Drawing templates are infamous for creating unnecessarily expensive, high-toleranced, parts.
Many of our customers save significant money by simply asking the engineer if the tolerances can be modified for certain parts that could be done on a tube laser which results in a substantial savings.
This drawing is a good example. Saw cutting, machining to size and then tapping…verses stacking a 20’ length of tube into a tube laser and letting the machine go to work. In this example, because of the tolerance allocation, the tube laser will essentially replace three work centers and, obviously, will be much faster—both in processing time and material handling time.
Dedicated Tube Lasers are leading edge technology that save people money. Find out more by contact AMF at 801.392.9494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 4th Continuous Improvement
Continuous Improvement has been coined 6-Minutes by AMF. We are always looking for six minutes of improvement in one hour!
Our Continuous Improvement team meets every week to discuss new ideas submitted and old ideas implemented!
AMF specializes in Laser, Tube Laser, Water Jet, Forming, Welding and works with Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum.
Check out our Continuous Improvement Blog coined The Wall, https://www.allmetalsfab.com/the-wall/, where we post about our improvement journey.
We get better every day on purpose!
Can Tube Lasers Cut C Channel?
The answer is, again, a resounding YES!
Just like Tube and Angle, Channel can be sliced, diced, notched, mitered, slotted, hole-patterned and cut with obscure shapes.
These type of cuts, because of the Tube Laser’s ability to rotate the channel, combined with a 5-Axis beam head, can happen in the web or on the legs of the channel.
AMF boasts a fully loaded 60’ Tube Laser with cutting capacity to handle round tubing up to 8.6” and square or rectangular tubing up to 6”x6” square.
AMF’s machine will load and off load lengths of tubing up to 25 feet.
Finally, with 4000W of laser power, AMF’s tube laser can blast through steel wall up to .75” thick all the while holding tolerance in the +/- .01 range.
AMF can cut steel, stainless steel and aluminum channel.
Our goal is to make fabrication easier than it has ever been. We work for other fab shops, OEM’s, contractors and any customer that has a CAD file and a Purchase Order.