Over the last several years many technological changes have affected the sheet metal fabrication industry. Many fabricators I have spoken with are amazed at the technological leaps that have occurred. I am frequently asked: How are other fabricators getting started with adapting to these new technologies?
To begin with, Fiber laser cutting has been one of the most “disruptive” technologies introduced over to the metalworking market over the last seven years. Fiber laser technology is considered a disruptive and “revolutionary” change because it has changed the entire status quo in sheet metal fabrication. Achieving double the productivity at half the operating cost has been a real “game changer.” Every aspect of sheet metal fabrication has been affected by the implementation of Fiber laser technology, from order entry to programming, to fabrication and all the processes that precede the shipping of the finished product.
Adapting to Fiber technology requires a “proactive” understanding of the pull and push dynamics created by the Fiber laser’s capability and how to capitalize on the increased productivity and profit potentials that exist. This dynamic is what Bystronic calls “Fibernomics” – the economic advantage that is created when all of the push and pull dynamics are satisfied to meet the productivity of the Fiber laser. The “pull” occurs in the processes before the fiber cuts the material and the “push” directly after the parts have been cut. Yet this is not an “all or nothing” approach, Fibernomics is simply educating fabricators on the dynamics involved so they can proactively plan for the implementation of the fiber laser one piece at a time. Like building a puzzle, it is helpful to see the overall picture to gain a perspective on where the best place to start is. [See related post on The Fibernomics Advantage in Sheet Metal Fabricating.]
Knowledge of the Big Picture
Certainly knowing and preparing in advance that front-end systems will need to keep up with the productivity of the fiber laser helps fabricators adjust their front end processes to keep the fiber laser cutting jobs instead of waiting for jobs. Knowing that materials will need to be presented to the fiber laser in a timely manner will drive new efficiency in material handling and inventory. Knowing that increased cut part volumes need to be met with additional bending capacity will help prepare the bending area for the increased volume.
A puzzle is built one piece at a time and eventually the big picture appears before you. Creating a proactive plan to see the big picture in advance is the key to a successful and profitable implementation of new fiber technology.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org