When Brad Drury and James Cao founded New Touch Laser in Bayswater Victoria in 2001, they owned just one laser processing machine, which they operated themselves. Now some five years down the track, New Touch Laser employs thirty staff and operates five laser machines, including a new Mazak U44 Spacegear which was recently installed by John Hart.
In the early years New Touch Laser focussed on market niches, specialising in processing long flat sheet and plate work (up to 4000mm), jigging, rotary and RHS (rectangular hollow section) work. They also invested considerable time and effort into refining and perfecting the cutting of thicker plates; 25mm mild steel, 20mm stainless steel and 12 mm aluminium. Brad and James consistently grew their business through their commitment to high quality products and quality customer service.
However by 2003 they realised that to take the next step as a company, they needed to gain a competitive edge. As a result Brad and James sat down with the team at John Hart and discussed the possibilities offered from Mazak’s range of world class technology. Brad and James were impressed with the capabilities and flexibility of the Mazak U44 Spacegear from the outset. With three dimensional cubic, pipe and long piece processing capabilities, the U44 Spacegear offered New Touch Laser the innovation and complex processing capability they were looking for.
In considering the machine, important to New Touch Laser was the knowledge that they could not only justify the financial commitment and quantify the returns, but also the time and personnel commitments required to prepare for, implement and fully utilise a machine of this level of technology. Being able to successfully market and sell the new capabilities and concepts to their customers also affected the decision making process. Other important considerations included:
- Back up and support
- Product quality and reliability
- The small foot print of the machine
- The strategic move from 2D flat sheet to 3D concepts
Having invested so much time, money and research into what the Mazak U44 would bring to their business, Brad and James were confident the machine would live up to their expectations.
Features of their new Mazak U44 Spacegear include:
- New Touch Laser U44 LaserFlexible laser processing of 2D sheet and plate and 3D applications including tube, pipe, and full 3D laser cutting along an unprecedented 6 simultaneously controlled axes
- Mazak’s innovative compact cutting head with 7.5” focus lens to cope with a wide range of materials and plate thicknesses
- Mazak’s SPACE CAM software that allows 3D programming to CAD models and automatically programs work piece fixtures
- The ability to eliminate secondary operations such as bending, drilling, countersinking and milling on flat plate materials
Currently the only one of its kind in Australia, the Mazak U44 allows Brad and James the ability to offer a diverse range of complex jobs. Some of these jobs completed at New Touch now include:
- Counter sinking of holes and slots on flat plates, and square and round pipe
- Bevel edging of blades
- Mitring of plates for weld preparation
- Full 3D cutting metal pressings and pre-formed non-metal parts
- Creating perfect “monolithic” join points on RHS and tubing
By allowing New Touch the ability to perform these processes, the Mazak U44 is also eliminating multiple, time consuming steps in job shop processing, and thus significantly reducing costs, and production times. Something that was not expected and noted by Brad was that New Touch Laser now has better utilisation of off–cuts from their larger bed machines that are ideally suited to the 4’x4’ bed on the Mazak U44.
New Touch Laser is an excellent example of a small, yet growing company that wanted to improve their capabilities and increase their profits, but were also not afraid of the new technology they required to do so. While some competition companies have not been prepared to make this change, New Touch were willing to undertake thorough research before investing in the technology.
U44 ActionWith the support and knowledge of the John Hart team, New Touch have been successful in implementing the Mazak U44 Spacegear and a new way of thinking. According to Brad and James, John Hart were instrumental in the success of the installation, with the training and support they received exceeding all expectations.
With the Mazak U44, New Touch Laser can now take on a much larger range of work, and subsequently are able to boast the tag as “Your One Stop Laser Shop”, by performing all tasks in house with the addition of their Mazak U44 Spacegear.