Did you know the Global Laser Cutting Machines Market is expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2016 to 2022? This makes the laser machine industry a huge one, in terms of market size as well as revenue, with the majority customer base being the local factory owners, SMEs and large organizations.
The increase in production requirements in various industries and the need to reduce human involvement in improving the metal processing quality drive the need for automation in manufacturing industries. These requirements are fulfilled by the laser cutting and engraving machines.
With the increased demand and supply, it becomes extremely important to set a few guidelines in place when buying the perfect laser engraving machine.
To make matters easy, we have curated a list of 9 tips everyone should consider before buying a laser engraving machine.
Buy from a well-established, reputable supplier: A laser engraving machine costs lakhs of rupees, sometimes even crores. So it is advised to buy from a well-established and reputed supplier. Before buying, ask the salesperson in detail about the product, how it functions, and especially their knowledge of applications.
If the salesperson does not understand your application, how can they recommend to you an appropriate system configuration? Remember that the salespeople will try to sell you what they want to sell rather than what you should be buying. So it is the customer’s duty to ensure buying from a trustworthy supplier.
Understand the warranty guidelines: Nothing lasts forever. Every machine will break down or have some defect at some point. When a failure occurs you want to know how quickly it can be fixed and what the overall cost will be so look carefully at the small print of system warranties and look even more carefully at the support resources of the supplier. If you can, talk to a support technician or two as well as the salesperson as these types of people often speak very differently about the same product.
Precision and accuracy shouldn't be compromised: In the laser industry, precision and accuracy are very important parameters. There are different factors that influence the accuracy of the machine. The following are the most prominent ones:
Generally, square devices are more accurate than compass types.
The more the spindle power of a device, the more accurate it becomes.
The proficiency and technique a technician uses when assembling the machine determine its accuracy. A machine that runs better will have a high level of accuracy.
The machine shouldn’t be too expensive: This is one of the most important points when buying a laser engraving machine. This is because your budget determines the type of machine you can buy. Although the price of the laser engraving machine should not dictate its quality, your budget is an important decision-making factor.
If you want a device that can be engraved on different materials, you should expect to spend more money. There may be cheaper options, but they may consume more energy and power, making them expensive over time. Therefore, ensure you consider these factors when setting your budget.
Focus on the core applications: These days, a lot of machines offer dual capabilities. For instance, laser machines from some brands offer the capability to laser engrave and laser-cut materials. An all-rounder machine is a compromised machine in almost every aspect. Just because a machine can cut as well as engrave doesn’t mean it can do both functions very well. Machines designed for a specific purpose will always perform the core application better so it should be no surprise that a laser cutter will cut better than a laser engraver and vice versa.
Availability of the replacement parts: The laser machine industry is a niche market. Hence, it might be difficult to source the replacement parts of the laser engraving machine.
Also, no matter your level of meticulousness, a time will come when you need to replace certain parts of the laser engraving machine. Hence, ensure that you can easily get the parts, or else you will wait for some months before they get to you.
The machine should have a very high power output: The power output of the laser engraving machine will determine the amount of work this machine can put in the cutting. A laser cutting machine with a higher cutting power output is capable of cutting a much denser material than an alternative machine with lower cutting power. Therefore depending on what material you are intending to cut you should be able to pick a machine matching the power required.
Keep the bed size of the machine in mind: Bed size refers to the X-Y dimensions of the stage where the material intended for cutting is to be placed. This factor is influenced by the size of the materials you are dealing with. For eg. the acrylic industry usually needs a machine with a larger work area of 900 x 1300 mm to cut large acrylic sheets. A machine with a larger bed size will have room for cutting huge materials at a go. The size of the bed differs with different models under the same category.
Ensure cooling and ventilation is built within the machine: The laser engraving machines tend to get hot and generate a lot of excessive heat from the current and friction of the laser engraving machine when used for a considerable amount of time. It is therefore important to buy a laser cutting machine with an appropriate cooling system within to counter this heat. Otherwise, the working environment could become very uncomfortable.
Laser Technologies is a pioneer in the laser community making laser cutting and engraving machines accessible to everyone. With this article, we hope the information provided is useful and our tips will help you in buying the perfect laser engraving machine.