BY LAUREN DUENSING
Fabrication machinery needs to be tough to cut parts day in and day out, and, when well maintained, it has a long useful life. But technology is always advancing and, sometimes, replacing old equipment can result in big gains.
In 2017, the York, Pennsylvania, warehouse of Kloeckner Metals, one of the largest metals manufacturing, supply and service companies in North America, was evaluating its laser-cutting machines. At the time, it had two CO2 machines that were falling short both in cutting thicker material and in speed. One of these lasers was 15 years old; the other had been worked for 12 years.
“They were in need of some fairly costly repairs, and it didn’t make sense to repair them,” says David Schott, regional fabrication manager for Kloeckner. “They were also quite a bit slower than current laser technology.”