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Benefits of Lean Manufacturing and Related Blogs

Lean manufacturing is the process of cutting back on certain materials or speeding up certain processes to lower the overall cost of manufacturing. There can be key benefits to this approach to manufacturing, but it's important to move forward with a balanced view of lowering costs without compromising quality. This blog looks at that concept, but it also delves into other information related to the manufacturing and industrial fields. Ultimately, this blog is designed to help manufacturing professionals as well as B2B clients who purchase products or outsource processes to this field. If you have questions, I hope that you find the answers you need here.


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Benefits of Lean Manufacturing and Related Blogs

Three Critical Quality Issues to Consider for Your Laser Cutting Project

by Mark Peters

When planning a custom laser cutting project, there are multiple factors which you should consider before commissioning the work. The most important of these machining aspects is the quality of the product. If the quality of the fabricated item is subpar, it will not be usable or suitable for sale. Moreover, this factor relates to the economic value of your merchandise. You will experience significant losses if the final items are not as expected. 

There are different issues which can affect and compromise the quality of laser cut materials. While some might seem unavoidable, they can be managed through proper preparation and planning. Often, the arising problems are caused by human errors such as poor selection of materials and inadequate evaluation of the custom product design. Here are the most important concerns that you should discuss with your fabricator before beginning the laser cutting project.

Heat Modification

Laser cutting machines use high-intensity light at high temperatures to process custom products. When the beam comes in contact with the raw material, it melts the structure, creating a cut. Therefore, any product which is handled using laser cutting techniques will have a heat affected zone in the areas where the beam passes. In most cases, this heat modification is not a problem. It does not affect the functionality of the final products. 

On the other hand, if you are dealing with highly sensitive custom merchandise, you should address this issue. If you are planning on manufacturing parts which require tight dimensional tolerances, you should make sure that a fabricator can provide CNC laser cutting services. This choice will ensure that the design is translated with minimal discrepancies. If you would like flawless aesthetics, you can perform edge finishing processes.

Edge Tapering

Focused laser beams are not entirely straight. Therefore, the cut material might have a tapered edge. This tapering is negligible in thin sheets of metal. However, if you are planning on cutting thick plates, the visual impact will be apparent. If possible, you should reduce the thickness of the material. Where this is not a valid choice, you should discuss beam modulation techniques with the manufacturer.

Powder Coating 

Finally, you should inform your laser cutting expert if you are planning on powder coating your finished product. This information will help the fabricator choose the right cutting techniques. Typically, if the standard procedure is used, the powder coat will flake prematurely. Ideally, laser cutting a product intended for powder coating should use nitrogen as the assist gas to prevent surface oxidation.