In conversation: Investing in your first laser machine - with Trotec UKby Grace Kneafsey
From cutting materials for high-grade medical technology to engraving personalised keyrings, Trotec machines are used in businesses of all sizes, up and down the country. For many small businesses, investing in a laser machine could be the key to taking the next step & scaling up! We had a great chat with Jonny Green, Area Manager based at Trotec’s Loughborough showroom, who told us more about the types of business who might be turning to laser for the first time, answered some key questions & shared some success stories!
Take a read below and watch out for our upcoming deep dives on some of the applications for laser ⬇️
⚡ So Jonny, it would be great to understand what businesses might want to learn more about laser, and who might invest in a laser machine for the first time.
Laser has many applications and our machines are used by a huge array of businesses, as you’ve said from medical technology to personalised gifts! It’s important to understand each application will generally fall into cutting, engraving or marking.
For first time users, in laser cutting, it might be a wedding stationary business who has previously cut out by hand.
In engraving, it may well be a personalised gifts business who are currently using mechanical engravers. We may also see an industrial toolmaker who currently label or stamp their products, looking to start laser marking serial numbers on each item.
Perhaps a laser machine might be for an application the business isn’t currently doing - they might want to start branding products for the first time or in a different way.
There’s also many businesses who have traditionally outsourced their laser applications & now want to bring that in-house.
⚡ What are the main advantages of switching to your own laser machine?
The biggest reason to switch to laser is efficiency. Time & energy per product are massively reduced.
The level of detail & quality is also vastly improved. To use an example - for a business engraving with a mechanical machine, they are restricted by the tool size. Moving to using a laser beam thinner than a human hair, they are able to engrave with a far greater degree of accuracy.
For many customers, moving to laser doesn’t just provide efficiencies in their existing business, but enables them to diversify & expand their product range as their capabilities increase.
For those previously sub-contracting, having your own laser brings far greater flexibility & control. Orders can be met much more quickly, with real time oversight on quality.
⚡ How can I be confident it’ll work for me and my business before I invest?
Testing is crucial! We always want to prove that the machine works for the specific application, but also that it will be possible & profitable in that specific business context. Our team assist with producing proper samples and helping to calculate the return on investment, before any order is placed.
With many suppliers, you may be expected to know exactly what you require, and will be left with your machine at the kerbside. At Trotec, all our sales people are laser application people themselves, and are able to assist customers in really getting the most out of their machine - not just during the sales process but throughout the life of the machine. In the UK, a third of our sales are repeat business, which we think is a testament to the support we provide.
⚡ And is it a manageable investment, or a big capital outlay?
Our machines cover the full range of investment possibilities.
Something which is quite unique in the market, for example, is our Rayjet laser engraving machine. It really bridges the gap between a ‘hobby’ machine & industrial use - an entry level machine as easy to use as a printer. For a small business looking to begin to scale up, it’s perfect & is a very manageable investment.
Then from the Rayjet we move up all the way to custom machine solutions. There’s options for every level of production. As I mentioned, we’ll always assist businesses in calculating the ROI & understanding the best machine for them in terms of profitability.
We offer a range of finance options which can make investments far more manageable, reducing the cash required up front.
⚡ Is it easy to switch to using laser? What sort of time frames are needed, and is there a lot of training required?
We typically see businesses utilising their laser from the day of installation. Our engineers arrive to install the machine and spend the next few hours providing on-site training, relevant to the specific product and application. What often works best is to begin using the machine for the two or three key jobs, and then once comfortable with those, we will continue to support with training for increased functionality, and any new applications the business might want to pursue!
First time laser success stories
Wee County Trophies
Purchasing a Speedy 300 meant Wee Country Trophies no longer relied on a combination of mechanical engravers & outsourcing to produce their awards, trophies and gifts. Two visits to a showroom for demonstrations and testing gave full confidence in the purchase, and Wee Country Trophies have since been able to reduce cost, have greater control on quality but also open up additional revenue streams in new product lines!
Check out the full story here.
After years of using plastic labels to brand their innovative product, the Ratflap®, and being quoted £4 per product to outsource their branding, Andec Supplies invested in a Speedy 100 to make permanent marks on the Ratflap®.
Check out the full story here.
Trotec develops, manufactures and markets laser systems for marking, cutting and engraving, serving customers in more than 90 countries with more than 500 employees worldwide.
Check out their range of laser machines on the equipal marketplace.
Do you have questions about how laser could benefit your business? Get in touch!
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