The Exeter-based manufacturer, Van Guard, has installed a new 3kW fibre laser cutting machine from Bystronic UK. The company specialises in the vehicle accessory market, manufacturing and supplying roof bars and racks, pipe carriers, bulkheads, grilles, internal storage and other items.
Van Guard’s managing director, Barry Woodward, pointed out that improved operational speed, flexibility, and automation that the laser cutter brings also allows the company to increase output and deliver bespoke orders quicker. Using a laser will also boost Van Guard’s green credentials due to lower energy consumption.
Woodward said: ‘Our investment in the new fibre laser profiling machine marks a new and exciting chapter in our company’s history and means we can capitalise on an improving marketplace and economy. Turnover is currently at record levels.’
The company picked Bystronic’s BySprint 3015 Fiber laser cutting machine, which is equipped with a 3kW fibre laser for profiling sheets up to 3 x 1.5m. Bystronic said that the machine’s main benefit is high speed cutting, at up to 35m/min. It will profile 20mm thick mild steel and is also capable of processing reflective materials such as stainless steel and aluminium up to 12mm as well as brass and copper up to 6mm thick.
The fibre machine has allowed Van Guard to replace two modern CNC punching machines with one laser and increase productivity, reduce scrap material, and lower noise levels. The laser machine also allows greater flexibility and more complex part designs to be incorporated without additional tooling costs.