Innovation is always welcome in a world that requires change to improve. One of mankind’s greatest innovations is laser technology, mainly because of its wide range of applications that are extremely useful across various fields and industries. Before advanced laser cutting processes existed, people used to utilised traditional cutting methods that work really well but are sometimes unsafe, inefficient, and prone to errors. Now that laser cutting is here, it absolutely is a blessing to everyone who used to rely on the old, unreliable cutting methods.
Laser cutting is an advanced piece of technology that is currently being widely utilised by manufacturing industries to improve productivity and efficiency in their workplaces, but it also has practical uses in medicine, art and so much more. This technology is highly regarded due to its usefulness and effectiveness in the field.
Here in Australia alone, there are laser cutting Sydney companies that maximise the full potential of this technology. They are able to provide anything from sheet metal bending to metal laser cutting services because they are in possession of advanced lasers and other metalwork equipment.
But is laser cutting really worth it? Because nothing in this world is perfect, laser cutting technology also has its fair share of disadvantages that make industries and businesses think twice before getting one. In this article, we will change up things a little bit by listing the disadvantages of laser cutting first before proceeding on with its notable advantages.
- The power consumption is not fixed and depends on the components of the laser cutter. Laser cutting technology is typically praised for its lower power consumption compared to other advanced cutting methods, but sadly not all laser cutters are the made same. The lowest known power consumption of a laser cutter is 10kW, an amount which is significantly lower than the average 50kW energy consumption of other cutting technologies.
- Its cutting power is not strong enough to rip through thicker metals. Because of its limited cutting power, it can sometimes take a little bit more time when cutting through slightly thicker materials that is within its power, which then results to production rate inconsistencies.
- Laser cutters are more expensive compared to other cutting processes. For a piece of technology that is as high tech as a laser cutter, it’s very reasonable for it to have a costly price tag. Other than the hefty price tag of the technology itself, it’s important to put the laser cutter in a well-ventilated room for optimal performance, which is another piece of potential expense if no such room currently exists in the workplace.
- The laser beam doesn’t work well on all metals.
- While the power consumption of laser cutters is not fixed, it usually is lower than the energy consumption of other cutting technologies. Again, it varies on the type of laser cutting technology you have, so this one can either be an advantage or a disadvantage.
- Laser cutting boasts a high level of precision because it is operated through a computer. As long as the right set of variables are inputted in the CAD file, then the laser beam will be highly accurate. This technology is so precise that it can also perform rotary laser cutting with ease, a task which typically requires extreme accuracy and attention to detail.
- Laser cutting is much safer compared to other processes because of the nature of how it is operated. Unlike with manual and machine cutting technologies where the worker is required to be within close proximity of the materials being handled to ensure accuracy, laser cutting is different because it is guided by a computer while performing cuts, which then allows the operator to sit at a safe distance away from the laser beam.
- The risk of damaging materials is very low with laser cutting because it is a non-contact process. With the absence of physical contact, the quality and integrity of the materials being worked are going to remain the same.
- Laser cutting technology is so versatile that it can cut through anything from thin metals to delicate papers.
So, is using laser cutting technology really worth it? The answer is a big YES.
While the technology may have its own set of unappealing disadvantages, the advantages that it presents to industries definitely outweigh its shortcomings. Laser cutting is accurate, efficient and safe. Despite its expensive price tag, the money that will be saved in the long run absolutely makes up for it because of its low energy consumption, incredible precision, and reduced risk of damaging materials. Lastly, it may not be able to cut through thicker metals, but it can laser cut steel, aluminium, brass, and other materials with ease and precision.