Subcontractor’s meteoric rise leads to £2 million order for laser cutting machines

In 2012, Danny Fantom opened the doors at FC Laser Ltd with a single Bystronic Bysprint Pro 4.4 kW CO2 laser cutting machine. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength. Growth created investment in two further laser machines, two press brakes and a move in 2015 to larger premises in Draycott, Derbyshire.

In December 2016, Mr Fantom instigated the firm’s next quantum step forward by placing a £2 million order with Bystronic UK for three new laser cutting machines. The first, a 10 kW ByStar Fiber with 3 metre x 1.5 metre sheet capacity, was delivered in January 2017 followed by a further two 10 kW Fiber laser cutters capable of processing sheet up to 4 metres x 2 metres. At the same time, a 225-tonne / 4-metre press brake has been ordered to extend the company’s bending capability.

Mr Fantom commented, ‘The latest fibre lasers are a game-changer compared to conventional CO2 lasers. We can now effortlessly cut stainless steel and aluminium up to 30 mm, mild steel up to 25 mm and more exotic materials such as brass up to 15 mm.

‘In the past, these materials have been processed conventionally by plasma or water jet at great expense, but can be now cut in moments on our latest, cost-efficient laser machines.

‘As users of this technology for more than 20 years, we aim to realise the full potential from our machines, especially the fibre laser’s speed whilst ensuring that the highest cutting standards are achieved.’

FC Laser’s customers come from a range of sectors including the structural, architectural, shopfitting and automotive industries and will benefit from the improvements in production capacity and shorter lead-times.

Apprenticeships are important to the growth of FC Laser, as Mr Fantom, who is also apprentice trained, fully appreciates. The latest investments have generated five new technical and administration apprentice schemes, two of which are already filled. The apprentices will work towards NVQ III Business Administration and NVQ III Fabrication, Welding and Mechanical Services qualifications.

Analysis and opinion

By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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