Sliver of light XIV: UK job shops invest in laser systems in a tight economy

David Larcombe, managing director of Bystronic UK Ltd. and a Committee Member of the Association of Industrial Laser Users, offered the following in the April issue of the AILU e-Newsletter.

You would imagine Bystronic UK might be in a poor state at this point in the economic cycle. We sell and provide services mainly to the engineering industry, which if you listen to the media is on its knees. Yet we finished 2008 on budget and although this year started a little slower than usual the last two months have seen many orders being placed in line with a more positive outlook.

The refreshing point is that many of the customers who are investing are not from 'sexy' sectors unaffected by the world down turn; they are from laser job shops and other subcontract companies and OEM manufacturers keen to make the most of the opportunities of today.

Two specific customers spring to mind, both involved in subcontract laser cutting, who decided to order new machines, not due to increased order books but because they both recognized the potential savings and opportunities of replacing two older machines with one brand new machine.

Strangely, as the Managing Director of a laser machine supplier company, I found myself questioning one of the two customers for the reason he was investing at this point in time. He explained that he could gain all the benefits of running one less machine and with the increased productivity of the new machine still produce the same number of parts. Added to this he enjoyed the benefit of the machine warranty and servicing, and for this period of time would have no expensive surprises when every penny counts.

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