Super cuts

Increased speed and capacity pay for new laser machine

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Increased speed and capacity pay for new laser machine

Jamie Bush

AccuBurn’s plate-burning division was started by Marcus McGowan eight years ago with one plasma machine in a borrowed corner of the shop’s facility. The business grew rapidly into today’s 25,000-square-foot facility, with 15 employees operating two full-time shifts.

AccuBurn is an industrial supplier of nearly 4000 part numbers for Caterpillar’s small-mining division, and is looking to expand into other divisions of the global corporation. Other work includes complete suspensions and body panels manufacturing for a local trucking company.

“Word of mouth IS our business. We have very faithful customers, and our relationships with them play a crucial role in our continuous growth,” explains Steve Smith, plant manager. The company can cut mild steels from 16 gauge to 6 inches.

In 2000, the company moved into laser manufacturing for increased work volume and long-term growth opportunity. It purchased a Mitsubishi 5036-DLZ. “We didn’t have work waiting for the equipment when we bought it. We were rolling the dice when we made the purchase, and we won,” Smith says.

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AccuBurn is an industrial supplier of nearly 4000 part numbers for Caterpillar’s small-mining division.
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As soon as the LZ was installed, the company was quoting out new jobs. With the system’s speed and reliability, AccuBurn began turning over an increasingly larger volume of work. A few years later, an LVP-40CFX and a Toyokoki HYB press brake were incorporated. “Earning new jobs hasn’t been difficult,” Smith says. “When our competition is cutting ¼ in. at 60 in/min, and we’re cutting it at 110 in/min, the choice is obvious.”

“We researched every manufacturer and Mitsubishi delivered the best results, including the best cuts and best speeds with a lot less power,” says Smith. “The LVP is phenomenal…its speed capacity alone pays for itself. Where the LZ cuts 3/8 in. at 45-48 in/min, the LVP is cutting 3/8 in. at 80 in/min.”

He adds, “Laser technology is evolving so fast that we have to continuously rotate in new equipment. Since I’m cutting three times faster than my competition, I can give customers better rates and better products at lower cost and still turn a larger profit.”

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The company cuts mild steel from 16-gauge to 6-inch steel and is known for its ability to turn around hot jobs.
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Smith credits Mitsubishi for identifying new places to improve machine performance and design. He has just purchased a third laser, the LVPLUS, the newest version of the current LVP. The new machine’s features include solid design, thicker bend mirrors to hold heat better, and water-cooled boards. Manual operations will be eliminated by the machine’s self-oiling abilities and longer-lasting ceramic electrodes.

In terms of maintenance cycles, Smith says. “If a typical maintenance cycle is 500-600 hours, we’ve cut more than 1500 continuous hours before needing maintenance.”

AccuBurn serves as a beta site for the Mitsubishi LVP. Smith also talks with other LVP owners to address production issues. “We’re very hands-on here, so many times we’re able to help other companies resolve issues or answer their questions about the machine,” he says.

Jamie Bush is PR coordinator for MC Machinery Systems Inc. in Chicago. For more information, visit www.mitsubishi-world.com.

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