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What does this mean?
In what other business can you invest in a piece of equipment to produce such a variety of different products? Products can be manufactured using plastic, woods, fabrics, rubber, and metals. Because kerf is very narrow and laser controlled by a computer nearly any design can be cut. It is just as easy to cut one design as it is to cut a million. Comparing this too most manufacturing equipment, you could invest $50K to $500K on an offset printing press. However, you can only use this equipment to print on a specific type of material. A silkscreener, sign maker, engraver, or for that matter most everyone in manufacturing field, will purchase a specific piece of manufacturing equipment to accomplish a specific task. A machinist may be one of only people that will purchase a piece of equipment and be able to work a small number of different materials. The machinistsí limitations show up in restricted types of designs he can shape. Nevertheless, even a machinistís tools cannot work with variety of materials and designs that one can attain using a Roll Feed Laser.
Acquiring capital equipment is usually difficult for a new or growing business. Capital investment is one of major issues for a new or growing business. To a start-up company, or a company that is seeking to reinvest, capital investment is one main issue that is becoming harder to justify. A piece of capital equipment that is designed for just one purpose is not cost effective when a multifunctional alternative is available. The capital investment to produce an exclusive product has become such an immense cost that these moneys are rapidly shrinking. Switching to use of a laser for manufacturing is a contemporary new process. A process that, if not adhered to, could cost business owner market share, and ultimately his market completely. Most of us have known someone that this has happened to in past. Reluctance to change can cause demise of any very good company. EdgeWISE Tools is unaware of any other process that can produce variety of products and open up design creativity as much as what you get when you use RFL. Nowhere else can you work with paper to plastic to wood and pretty much everything in-between and back again with one piece of equipment. The only challenge now is left up to ingenuity of owner or operator to produce product.
Since a laser does not come in contact with or use force on material being manufactured spoilage can be drastically reduced. Lasers will increase a companies yield. Some surveys show a yield rate of 95% to 99%. Having owned a graphic arts manufacturing facility in late 1980ís, on best of days yield was 80% to 85% and on average yield rate would be 75% to 80%. The lack of contact with materials attributes to higher yield rates. Because process of using a laser is automated, process tends to be far more repeatable than most methods. Once process starts, it is frozen and day to day repeatability is maintained.
The future is at hand!
Imagine industrial revolution...now imagine industrial revolution with mass customization. A comparable example mass-customization is jeans industry. Only affluent could afford to purchase a pair of custom-made jeans from a tailor. Most consumers can only buy jeans in sizes manufactured to suit cost of production, not body shapes. As mass-customization technology is available, manufacturers need to again provide American people with a quality product. The jeans and roll feed laser industries are forerunners in race to make mass-customized products accessible to consumers
The industrial revolution made products affordable by mass-production. This mass-production required only one setup to produce thousands of pieces. The cost for tooling is one of largest expenses, which controls break-even-point. During industrial revolution, customization was compromised to maintain low manufacturing costs. Today, however, you have opportunity to choose to take next step to processing power, user-friendly software, low wattage laser technology, and minimal to no setup time. As you contemplate capital investments, consider end-product quality, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of roll feed laser technology.
Written in 1996 by: Patrick J. Momany, Founder of EdgeWISE Tools, Inc. www.ewt-inc.com Edited by: Marty Kalberer, Laser Systems Engineer.
EdgeWISE Tools founder Pat Momany ó didnít start out at the high-tech edge of the fabric cutting industry. Problems that need solving get his inventive juices flowing, and his penchant for saying, "Sure, we can do that," before figuring out how, add up to an enterprise thatís reinvented itself several times.