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Fiber laser delivers total quality control

A need for additional space and a desire to separate its mild and stainless steel operations encouraged JC Butko Engineering to build a new factory dedicated to mild steel production.

Combined with the existing factory which now focuses entirely on stainless steel production, the entire facility covers 7,000 square metres. This enables it to maintain its status as the region’s largest general engineering company.

“The new factory has been a big investment for us but splitting the steel operations was something the industry demanded and will ensure we maintain the highest quality and service levels,” Butko’s commercial manager, Paul Butko said.

This additional space also prompted the company to look at purchasing a new Yawei fiber laser to join the existing Yawei pressbrakes.

Butko explained that the ability to do plate cutting in-house, which had previously been outsourced, was a key reason to look at a fiber laser. It now allows the company greater control over the production process.

“In conjunction with our Yawei pressbrakes, the new fiber laser allows us to have total quality control of the entire process from start to finish – especially important with our stainless division,” Butko added.

Excellent support

Whilst Yawei’s competitive price and advanced features were factors, it was the excellent relationship that Butko has established with Applied Machinery during the pressbrake purchase that was an important consideration to opt for the Yawei.

“We received excellent back-up and support from Applied throughout the purchase and installation process of the pressbrakes; it was this experience that provided us with a high degree of comfort and reassurance that we would be fully supported with the new Yawei fiber laser and why we ultimately chose the Yawei brand,” Butko added.

Installed in May this year, the fiber laser is an 8kW HLF model featuring a high cutting speed, extreme accuracy and a large format 2m x 6m cutting bed.

The quality components fitted standard to the HLF include a powerful, yet user-friendly Siemens 840D controller and a Precitec Pro Cutter auto-focus cutting head. Another attraction is that it can cut using filtered, high pressure compressed air which is more economical in the long term due to its lower cost compared to ‘traditional’ assist gases.

Quick turnaround

According to Butko, a major benefit of the new fiber laser is the ability to turn production around very quickly. “This means we’re not reliant on other people. If something urgent develops we can stop what we’re doing and cut immediately.”

The company’s list of clients includes Thales, Skog, Fulton Hogan, John Holland, CPB Contractors, MARS, Lend Lease, GrainCorp, Visy, Nestle and Orora Paper, as well as government work such as Transport for NSW.

The company was recently awarded with the Thales Australia Supplier HSE Award. This reconised the outstanding achievements of the Butko Thales Team, and its collaborative and proactive approach towards improving HSE culture at the Mulwala Facility.

Butko is optimistic about the future of JC Butko and what it holds: “With significant investment in both our facilities and new hi-tech machinery we are well set for continued growth into the future,” he concluded.