Wilke Enginuity has built its reputation on providing advanced CNC laser cutting and engraving services in a way that few other companies can equal, or even emulate. While we are fully confident in saying that laser cutting is your best overall bet when it comes to producing a quality cut, we wanted to acknowledge some of the other cutting methods out there on the market – and how they differ from the type of advanced laser cutting we provide here at Wilke. Finally, we want to talk about why we feel laser cutting is – all things considered – the safest and most reliable option in terms of getting a particular job done right, once and for all.
- Friction Sawing: This is a method practiced by many companies still in the world, one that uses high-speed rotary blades to cut through metal at a relatively quick place. But it’s gone out of favor with most serious North American manufacturing companies. Why? For a lot of reasons, but one of the foremost is that the wear-and-tear on blades can be cost-prohibitive in the long-run when compared to other, newer technologies.
- Shearing: This is still a widely-used method of cutting metal (steel in particular) in North America and is cost-effective to a large extent. One of the disadvantages of shearing – of manual shearing especially – is that it has a limited tolerance grade. If you want to cut more precisely through metals, laser cutting and plasma cutting are going to be better bets.
- Plasma Cutting: This is considered a relatively cost-effective means of cutting different types of ferrous and nonferrous metal with thicknesses ranging from gauge to 80 mm. While easy to use, fast-cutting, and reliably accurate, plasma cutters often need their electrodes and nozzles replaced, the costs of which can definitely add up over time. Also, plasma cutting doesn’t work on wood or plastic – which is its major drawback.
- Water-Jet Cutting: A method that’s prized for its high degree of accuracy, water-jet cutting is often used when cutting through materials like concrete, or materials that would otherwise get affected by the heat involved in the cutting process. While water-jet cutting can cut thickermaterials, non-conductive materials, and more, it’s much slower on the job when cutting the same kinds of materials that laser cutting is capable of.
- Laser Cutting: The advantages of laser cutting are considerable in comparison to other methods. Unlike other types of mechanical cutting, a piece of metal can be held in place much more easily when doing laser cutting. Furthermore, the cuts obtained are extremely precise – on par with plasma or some water-jet. The versatility of laser cutting and laser engraving is basically unparalleled: you can cut highly intricate designs into the surface. Finally, the range of materials that are workable via laser cutting is extremely wide: wood, rubber,carbon and stainless steel, and some plastics are all fair game when it comes to laser cutting.
Laser cutting provides a wide range of precise cutting capabilities in a large range of material thicknesses. Its range, its ease of operation, and its long-term cost savings make it a powerful tool in meeting your production goals in nearly any given material.
For more information on how our laser cutting services can impact your business for the better, contact us at Wilke today.