Dunstable-based Steel & Glass Solutions has taken delivery of a new Nukon Rex 315 6 kW 2D fibre laser cutting machine from Nukon Lasers UK. The machine was ordered at the UK’s MACH 2022 machine tool exhibition, with installation postponed until Steel & Glass Solutions moved into purpose-built new premises.
Steel & Glass Solutions is renowned for producing incredible architectural metalwork for some of the UK’s most iconic building projects – an accolade which means there is never room for compromise on specification or product quality. Earlier this year, with a growing order book, the business decided it was time to invest in its own flat sheet metal laser cutting capability.
“Traditionally, we have relied on outsourcing the laser cutting of the high-end polished steel fabrications and steel cladding panels used in our designs,” comments production director, Warren Few. “However, these would sometimes arrive with imperfections, meaning they would have to be sent back. Additionally, outsourcing laser cutting meant we couldn’t always react quite as quickly as we would like to customer needs. We were also aware that having our own fibre laser cutting capability on site would help us to remain as competitive as possible in these times of high energy prices.”
Steel & Glass Solutions’ new Nukon Rex 315 6 kW 2D fibre laser cutting machine can cut intricate shapes and pieces with speed and precision
With MACH 2022 fast approaching, the Steel & Glass Solutions team decided that visiting the show would be the best way of comparing the various fibre laser technologies on offer. Knowing they would need a fairly powerful 2D flat sheet metal model, they drew up a shortlist of laser machines they would like to take a closer look at.
“Before going to MACH, we had only given a cursory glance to Nukon’s fibre laser machines as, although built in Europe, the brand wasn’t one that was on our radar,” adds Warren Few. “However, at the show, we couldn’t ignore the quality, speed and value they offered – or the exceptionally low running costs. Perhaps the thing that really convinced us to order the Nukon Rex machine was meeting Alan Pickering from tube bending machinery manufacturer, Unison Ltd., on the Nukon stand. Alan explained how for quite some time Unison had been looking to complement its British-built tube bending machines with high-quality laser cutting technologies and how, after researching the market, established Nukon Lasers UK as the official Nukon dealer for the UK and Ireland.
“Having owned and operated an all-electric Unison Breeze tube bending machine at a previous company,” continues Warren Few, “I was well aware that Unison would only offer and support a product they had complete confidence in. It was a pleasure to deal with like-minded people.”
Steel & Glass Solutions chose the Nukon Rex 2D fibre laser machine for its ability to cut intricate shapes and pieces with speed and precision, supported by fast, easy programming – essential for a business dealing with short product runs and complex, different projects. A Nukon 315 Series machine, the Rex is able to accommodate sheet dimensions of 3050 mm x 1530 mm and is equipped with a powerful 6 kW nLIGHT fibre laser, with advanced cutline beam shaping technology for a superior edge finish. The machine also features the innovative Nukon NLCH cutting head that is fully field serviceable, further reducing running costs and downtime.
“Installation was quick and straightforward, and the training provided by Nukon Lasers UK’s Steve Haddrell was excellent,” says Warren Few. “In fact, considering no one at Steel & Glass Solutions had ever used a laser cutting machine before, it’s hard to believe that we were successfully cutting customer orders in 1.5 mm to 10 mm stainless steel within two days.
“We appreciate that the Nukon Rex is a very fast machine. But for us, the real benefit has been the quality of the parts produced and the ease of programming. The Nukon Lasers UK team helped immeasurably in getting our laser cutting capability up and running. Perhaps what’s most impressive is that if they don’t have an immediate answer to a cutting challenge, they don’t blag it, they solve it.
For example, a nesting issue for a particularly complex design was resolved with a quick call to Lantek, who linked up with our PC in under 15 seconds.”