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Can I Afford to Do My Own Plasma Cutting?

Aug 21, 2018

 

Making the decision to invest in a high definition plasma cutting system isn’t an easy choice to make. The upfront cost invested can make the task of bringing plasma cutting in-house seem daunting. It really comes down to asking yourself two simple questions:

  • Do you miss ship dates because your outside supplier of cut parts is either late on shipping or the parts are cut incorrectly?
  • Do you want to cut your own parts so you have the ability to quickly change the design of your products?

If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, bringing your plasma cutting in-house is a perfect option for you. Here’s a logical breakdown of the benefits of adding a plasma cutting machine to your shop process:

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Increased Flexibility

The immediate flexibility a CNC plasma machine will bring to a fabrication shop is impactful. When you are in full-control of each project it will be much easier to make project changes, re-make parts, and decrease or re-allocate labor hours. If you are a company evolving your product line regularly, it is far easier if you control the cutting of the parts because you can change at will without worrying about lead times from a supplier. You are easily capable of rapidly customizing products. If you are missing a part, it is simple to produce another one on your machine.

Most fabricators will run their plasma machine for one shift because cutting can be done so quickly. Whereas more complex and expensive machinery requires multiple shifts in order to make the payments.

Quicker Turnaround Times

When setting deadlines without a supplier involved, you have sole control of when your projects ship out. You have the ultimate capability to change project details and can take complete ownership of your set deadlines. Projects will have faster turnaround times when you are not waiting on an outside source for parts.

You may have a good relationship with your supplier, but there is the chance that they will get busy. When outsourcing parts, you are on your supplier’s schedule. If they are too busy, your project deadlines may be pushed back and your customers will not be pleased. With your own plasma machine, you will not miss shipments unless if it is an internal pushback. There is no worrying about waiting on an outside source for parts.

Expand Capabilities

High definition plasma cutters have various console options depending on the metal you want to cut. A plasma machine is capable of more complex cutting, allowing your normal productivity to increase and your product offering to expand. With a machine like this, you’ll be able to pursue work that requires more detailed and precise cutting. The advanced software assists in fabricating products that would be hard or impossible to replicate without a high definition plasma cutter. Hypertherm ProNest™ CNC programming software is included with every EDGE™ Connect CNC. It automatically adds Hypertherm Embedded Expertise to optimize plasma cut quality regardless of the gas combination, material type or even operator skill. This allows the fabricator to take on more demanding projects with confidence.

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Mike Brenseke, owner of Brenseke Welding, shares, "The capabilities of the KANO™ have given us the confidence to take on a more diverse range of jobs than we would have before. The easy communication we have with tech support when any issues arise makes operating our Kano stress-free so we can focus on building our business. We look forward to expanding even more and are constantly finding new ways to incorporate the machine into our daily operations."

Essentially it comes down to the ROI, or return on investment. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to bring your plasma cutting in-house, consider the big picture. High definition plasma cutting systems provide you with the flexibility to take control of your business. HD systems provide a cut quality that can decrease or eliminate secondary processes, even some drilling. Every project can be set up to be consistently within the time restrictions you choose, so your customers can rely on you to be on time with their high-quality project.