May 2014

CO2 Versus Fiber Laser: Cost to Cut a Part

Editor’s Note: Don Hoffman has decades of experience with laser cutters and brings to the table a combination of independence, research skills, and thoughtful analysis. Here he tackles a moving target, with appropriate care and cautions, to write a useful guide to the relative per-part costs with CO2 and fiber lasers.

Focus on Payback, Return on Investment When Seeking Welding Equipment Acquisition

Improvements to the welding process are often felt beyond the welding cell in upstream or downstream operations such as tooling, forming, weld prep, rework, inspection and post-weld cleaning. Measuring the effects of new welding processes or equipment may require input from other areas of the operation due to the potential wide-reaching impacts on the whole manufacturing process.

Wavelength Dependency in High Power Laser Cutting

Relative speeds and costs dominate the fiber-versus-CO2 comparison, but the 10:1 difference in wavelengths has other consequences for the laser user. The speed race has evolved since this story was first published in a laser association journal, but not the practical issues related to wavelength. Also, it addressed 3D laser cutting; the principles still hold for 2D. Consider this essential background for anyone who wants to understand more about using fiber and CO2. For the latest on speeds, as they say in the car business, call for today’s prices.