Kansas fabricator installs one of first fiber laser cutters in state

April 29, 2013
The fiber laser "really leapfrogs everything else," says North Topeka Fabricator owner Jim Lee.

Topeka, KS - North Topeka Fabrication, a 17-employee company specializing in metal fabrication for industries ranging from food services to railroad, has installed one of the first fiber lasers in Kansas.

The fiber laser, an Amada 4,000 W FOL 3015 AJ, is one of the first in the region in a custom shop. Fiber lasers offer significant advantages such as speed, energy efficiency, and low maintenance.

“Feedback from current users of both our 4kW CO2 machines and the 4kW FOL-AJ is that the FOL-AJ is showing productivity increases of anywhere from 50 to 300%," said Jason Hillenbrand of Amada. "We still see an advantage with CO2 in plate material and still think while the growth of fiber is going to be very rapid, the higher power CO2 machines will increase as well to address the high speed productivity advantages in thicker (generally ¼ inch and above) materials. But advances in fiber technology could always shift this trend.”

"The fiber laser really leapfrogs everything else. We are amazed at its speed and efficiency. The controls and operation are very similar to our CO2 lasers," said NTF owner Jim Lee, a 38-year industry veteran. "Fibers lasers will become standard within the next five years. We are getting work that we never could have done before."

Other equipment at the facility includes four turret punches (including a punch/shear and a punch/laser), three 2000 W lasers, as well as several press brakes (up to 14 ft.), shears, saws, and other shop equipment.

Scott Lee, NTF's sales manager and a 12-year industry veteran, noted that the fiber laser helps NTF be responsive to the customer. "We focus on making the part that's right for the customer," he commented.

NTF works with sheet metal and plate up to 5 ft. wide and 5/8 in. thick, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, galvanized, and galvanealed. Lee noted that companies wanting parts in thicker material can call and find out what the options can be.

Industries served by NTF include railroad, storage, communications, medical, food processing and de-icing equipment. NTF supplies customers across the six mid-America states and offers delivery to local customers.

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(Image via Shutterstock)

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