Measurable advantages in implementing new technology

In the years since Jake Wieler and Pedro Dyck started Custom Quality Manufacturing (CQM) in 2006 as a fabrication company, the Aylmer, Ontario-based business has seen exponential growth. Located in the hub of Ontario’s industrial heartland, CQM focuses on providing exceptional products, service, and support to its customers. The combination of the company’s growth and goals led CQM to purchase new reliable machines, including an eX-F 8kW Mitsubishi fiber laser, equipped with the Mitsubishi Zoom cutting head and a 12-shelf automated material handling tower.

The company had explored fiber laser technology for the shop but didn’t feel it was a good fit for its short-run custom fabrication operation. The speed at which a fiber laser could operate appealed to CQM, but Wieler and Dyck couldn’t justify the cost.

As CQM’s customer base rapidly grew, Wieler and Dyck changed their decision and committed to purchasing the machine to keep up with customer demands. The company purchased the machine from MC Machinery’s local distributor, Fabricating Machinery Solutions.

Wieler and Dyck were also amazed to learn about Mitsubishi Laser’s advanced fiber laser technology, which allows fabricators to cut high-quality thick and thin materials quickly. The eX-F fiber laser series machines are equipped with MC Machinery’s Zoom cutting head, an all-in-one design that includes an auto focus focal range from 3.75 to 10 in., HPP pierce technology and collision protection.

“For us, fiber wasn’t an option because of the custom work we do for our customers, but when we learned of the Zoom cutting head on the 8kW fiber laser we were considering, we decided to purchase it,” says Wieler. “With the Zoom cutting head, we have a big advantage. It used to take us 15 to 20 seconds to pierce a one-inch plate, and now we’re piercing it in two seconds. It’s valuable to note that the quality is the same, if not better than with our CO2 lasers.”

Wieler also realized that investing in a high-speed fiber laser cutting machine would mean investing in automation to ensure the shop wouldn’t hit any bottlenecks downstream.

“It didn’t make sense to have a standalone high-speed machine like this because it would simply sit idle,” says Wieler. “With the addition of the SmartFlex Rapid Tower, we are impressed with what we can run through our system. Before automation, we ran 60 to 70 sheets through with a two-minute cycle time. That didn’t give us enough time to clear the tables fast enough, but we no longer have that problem.”

CQM is a one-stop metal fabricating shop operating out of a 40,000 square-foot facility with 25 employees. The shop offers laser cutting, forming, blasting, welding, and paint finishing services and focuses on the agriculture, automotive, and general industrial industry, but Wieler says he’s hoping to expand that.

“Even as we were installing the fiber, we were keeping in mind that we would want to add a second laser under the towers so that it could feed two machines,” says Wieler. “We want to gain experience working the fiber laser and then we will discuss the decision of purchasing a second fiber machine from Mitsubishi Laser.”