When it comes to processing metal parts, tight tolerances are good, but ultimately expensive to achieve.

Chances are that when you are designing parts you are already planning for tight tolerances. What you may not be thinking about is the cost involved with the processing capabilities to make it work.

This is where the value of tube laser technology comes into play. At its basic function, tube laser cutting machines will cut tube, channel or structural shapes to length while also adding holes or complex cutout designs—all in a single step and with the ability to hold tight tolerances on more complex fabrications. Parts can be produced from one continuous piece of raw material to ensure that they only fit one way and are easily assembled. 

A tube laser is a good tool to help produce a product that meets your custom specifications, but have you thought about redesigning your part around the capabilities of the tube laser machine instead? Work with your supplier who can suggest enhanced designs, based on the capabilities of the tube cutting laser, that improve aesthetics or increase functionality that perhaps you had not considered previously.

Take the simple concept of a metal frame: Four corners, four sides, and ultimately four independent pieces that need to be mitered together. Rethinking that concept around the capabilities of a tube laser machine, it now becomes produced as one piece that folds together, with tabs and slots inserted that allow the final product to be produced as one piece that requires no additional secondary assembly steps on your end.

What essentially adds seconds or minutes to the set-up of a machining process could literally trim hours off your final process. And, in the end, you are designing around the idea of tight tolerances and the advanced processing that is necessary to make it cost efficient.

The name of the game these days is cost reduction. Often your ability to reduce costs comes down to the elimination of these secondary steps in the process. Exploring all the capabilities of working with tube laser technology could very well uncover some new efficiencies for your business.

It ultimately comes down to working with process and market experts who can take your design or idea and work with you to explore all the possibilities.

The Gauge Ideas