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Distributor's Link Magazine Winter 2023 / Vol 46 No 1


50 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK CARVER LASER & SECONDARY CARVER ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING 1920 Cordell Court, El Cajon, CA 92020 TEL 619-204 1543 EMAIL WEB DADDY - WHERE DO WASHERS COME FROM? by Carmen Vertullo Fastener suppliers consider flat washers to be a commodity and price is the driving factor. Standard flat washers are readily available from a variety of sources. They are mostly stamped out of sheet metal. One amazing new process for making flat washers is laser cutting. While laser cutting of sheet metal has been around for several decades, only recently has the cost, quality and equipment arrived at a point where laser cut washer are competitive with stamped washers. The advent of affordable and powerful fiber lasers has made the production of flat washers and similar flat sheet metal and plate parts attractive for laser cutting. Lasers have several advantages over traditional stamping: ¤ There is no tooling needed. CNC programs are fast and easy to develop, so getting from print to part takes only minutes. Interrupting a production run to get a hot job done is no problem because there is no set-up to take down and put back up. ¤ It used to be that lasers were best suited for short runs where quantities are in the thousands or less. It is true that laser cutting is particularly attractive when quantities are very small and tooling and set-up costs become an issue with punched parts. However, with the speed and power of today’s fiber lasers, any quantity can be practical – even one part. ¤ If you need millions of parts, you can run them in smaller quantities as needed because there is no set-up cost. This keeps your investment in raw materials and finished parts low, and keeps the supply chain satisfied. ¤ Laser precision and edge quality is excellent, and can be adjusted to the needs of the customer. ¤ Depending on power, new fiber lasers can cut virtually any metal in any thickness. ¤ Fiber Lasers can produce features such as very small holes and narrow slits that are not possible with any other process. ¤ Lasers are now competitive with processes such as CNC plasma and water jet cutting, including for thick plate parts. ¤ Today’s fiber lasers are easy on consumables, quiet, clean, need very little maintenance, and there are no die sets to maintain or dies to sharpen. You should consider a laser cutting process provider for your special and standard flat metal parts. You will be pleased with the cost, the lead time and the quality. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CARVER LASER & SECONDARY



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