The benefits that result from a company implementing laser automation are profound. A typical standalone laser is utilized only a fraction of the useable workweek. It sits idle while waiting for setup or material, as well as during lunch breaks and off hours. Owners who track actual laser cut time are almost always shocked to see the reality of the underutilization of such a major asset.
Automation systems allow capacity to flex through with lights-out operation, without the burden of adding manpower. It also makes one-piece flow more practical, while producing short-run efficiencies that will reduce non value-added fabricating time. The bottom line is typically up to a 50% increase in capacity as compared to standalone machines and a significant reduction in lead times.
Mazak was the first to introduce laser-cutting machines into a Flexible Manufacturing System.