Prior to opening his job shop, Larry Rosevear honed his sheet metal fabrication skills by building dune buggies … a lot of dune buggies.
“My company, Suspensions Unlimited was selling 100 cars per year,” reflects Rosevear. “I purchased my first used laser in 2000. As I went through the process of cutting dune buggy parts, I realized that the laser cut much faster than my plasma cutter. I was getting my work done in two hours, and the laser was sitting idle for six hours a day. So I began doing little odd jobs and cutting my own parts. Soon I began cutting parts for other people and we received more and more orders. Eventually, the business grew so quickly that the company evolved into a 100% job shop.” Rosevear named his new company Laser Innovations and opened up shop in Anaheim, CA, in 2001.
The fledgling company began operations with just a laser, a water jet and a press brake. “The job shop business was easier to predict than the dune buggy business,” explains Rosevear. My early clientele were my customers who had purchased dune buggies. They saw the quality of the laser. We were getting business through word of mouth and soon I was building parts for my previous dune buggy competitors.”
Today, the company has grown into two 8,700-square-foot buildings for a total of 17,400 square feet. The equipment list and services have also grown to include multiple CO2 lasers, waterjet cutting, welding fabrications, sheet metal and all types of customer fabrication. And the company’s customer list has evolved by adding the following industries – medical, display, military, automotive, construction and manufacturing.
By 2014, Laser Innovations continued its growth and Rosevear began his search for additional laser capacity. He attended the 2014 FABTECH show in Atlanta with a friend who owned a job shop in Utah. “My friend owns three Prima Power CO2 lasers that have automation, and he told me that I was missing the boat if I didn’t consider automation on my next laser. We had been studying the fiber lasers for some time and I pretty much decided that I was going to do thinner sheet metal work on an automated laser. I planned on running large quantities of 16, 18 and 20 gauge material on a continuing basis. While at FABTECH, I decided to purchase the Platino Fiber Laser for its speed. I also made the decision to automate the laser.”
Prima Power Platino® Fiber Laser
Laser Innovations purchased the Prima Power 4000 watt Platino Fiber Laser with a 3-station tower. The laser was installed in March, 2015 and the tower was installed a few months later.
The Platino Fiber Laser cutting machine is the perfect balance of innovation and experience. This product combines state-of-the-art efficient and ecological fiber laser technology, with the proven reliability and flexibility of the Platino platform. It is the right choice for sheet metal manufacturers looking for a production tool which is:
- efficient, granting energy and maintenance savings
- productive, particularly on thin and medium-gauge sheets
- flexible, suitable for a wide range of materials, including highly-reflective metals
- reliable and capable of meeting any production need, with a variety of automation modules
- user-friendly, easy to install, use and maintain
The Platino Fiber Laser can be used to cut a wide range of materials. Fiber lasers are more effective than other laser sources for cutting highly-reflective materials (e.g. aluminium alloys, copper, brass). The Platino Fiber cuts various thicknesses, up to 20mm of mild steel, with efficiency and quality. Productivity increases particularly with thin and medium-gauge sheet metal.
Other features and benefits include:
- Very low power consumption
- No laser gases
- Minimum maintenance and low consumables
- Floor space saving – compact automatic loading, unloading and storage
- Easy and fast operating interface – fast setup
- Less energy, less waste of material, no laser gases
- Unique machine design using a synthetic granite frame offering the best thermal stability and vibration damping
- Cantilever design for maximum accessibility to the machine
- Protection cabin with roof, fiber-safe windows and fully-opening sliding doors – total safety, visibility of the work area and accessibility
Prima Power’s Compact TowerServer allows easy loading/unloading for blanks and processed sheets. It has an elevator for loading and unloading the pallets on and off the tower and features single sheet separating, control systems, and sheet reference.
The Platino Fiber is particularly suitable for 24/7 operation, often performed in unattended mode. It is a fully independent machine, with no need for manual intervention during machine operation. Once the production schedule is programmed, the Platino Fiber laser takes care of the necessary settings, tip replacement, sheet change and storage, etc.
“With the Platino Fiber Laser we often cut 3/8″ and 5/16″ material at night,” says Rosevear. “It is reliable and cuts all night long on these thicker materials. With the automated tower we can run unmanned and lights out. We love the tower … we just load all our sheets, automatically transfers them and then unloads the parts. It is a real time saver. The sheets are heavy for one operator to load manually. The tower eliminates manual labor and material handling. It loads the sheet to the laser, laser cuts, unloads, and we’re up and running again. The Platino Fiber Laser has worked out beautifully. Compared to a CO2 laser, we’ve only had to replace one lens in the Platino Fiber to date. And the speed is awesome. We can cut up to 1200″/minute with the Platino Fiber. The fastest my CO2 laser cuts is 400″/minute.”
Attracting New Business
“We have picked up a few new customers because of the fiber laser,” concludes Rosevear. “On long runs we can actually charge a lower price for the same hourly work because of the speed of the machine. The Platino Fiber Laser has allowed us to pick up the larger jobs … jobs we weren’t getting with just the CO2 lasers. Since installing the Prima Power 4000W Platino Fiber Laser my business has increased 35%. Profit margins are up, and production time is down.”
For more information, contact Talmac Machine Tools – Tel: (011) 827-6539.