Laser Cutting Speeds: How They Play a Role in Filling Customer Orders

Posted on: 25 March 2018

Laser cutting in manufacturing is not that new of a process. However, the speed with which a laser cuts material has greatly improved in recent years. Laser times play a large role in how quickly projects can be completed and handed over to the customer. Here is a look at laser speeds, then and now, and the role the speeds play in filing customer orders.


When manufacturers first started using lasers in-house, they were using them more or less because of the precision lasers provided. Speed was not a deciding factor, since the lasers were much slower than they are now. Back then, lasers were a choice made by customers who wanted perfect cuts, not fast completion times. 


Now, lasers are not only used for precision cutting, but they are the chosen method for completing and filling orders quickly. The only time a customer can expect to receive a laser-cut project later than expected is when the material provided is very thick, the person operating the laser made a mistake with aligning the material on the cutting plate, or when the material breaks or slivers.

That said, if you want just one item cut with a laser, you can expect to have your order filled very quickly, with about a week's turnaround time, give or take a few business days. Larger orders may take a couple more weeks, with mass production orders taking a few months. Still, when compared to what lasers could do twenty-plus years ago, this is amazingly fast.

Even Faster Cutting Speeds

Better still are the CNC laser machines that can cut things so quickly it would make your head spin just to watch. If you have a very lightweight material with a relatively uncomplicated cutting design, the shop can have your project complete in an even shorter amount of time. For example, let's say that you have large metal sheets and you need two inches shaved off one edge of the sheets and 1/16th inch shaved off the remaining 3 edges. This is a simple project that can be completed in hardly no time flat when the lasers are set on medium-high speed. 

The missing factor for figuring project completion is always the number of items requested. A more accurate completion date can be provided if customers provide the expected number of items to be cut. Ten metal sheets cut per the aforementioned specifications can easily be completed in an hour or less. The extra time is usually delivery time.

For more information, contact companies like J&E Metal Fabricators Inc.