Awards & Engraving

August '17

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18 • A&E AUGUST 2017 By Jim Puentes YOUR LASER AT WORK How can you make the process more efficient? Believe it or not, at that scale, every second that you save, or waste, in the overall process per piece is worth nearly 17 minutes over the course of the job. Saving just 10 seconds on each piece will get the job done two hours and 47 minutes ahead of schedule. It's well worth the time to work on maximizing the efficiency of your laser and your process. There are several areas in most jobs where time can be gained or wasted: • Design • Graphic breaks • Settings • Work process • Contracting DESIGN How you design and place your graphics has a lot to do with how fast a job will run. This is especially true for cutting work. When you have a lot of straight lines, it's possible to make cut lines common to more than one piece. Known as nesting, it is a technique where you can snap lines together and elimi- nate redundant lines. First, make sure that your graphics pro- gram is set so that you can snap objects to objects. Then pick and drag one object and snap it to another along a common cut line; you will then have two cut lines occupying the same space. Before you send the job to the laser, you'll have to eliminate one of them or the line will cut twice. In some programs, you'll be able to remove the top line with a Seg- ment Delete tool. In others, a similar tool will remove both lines and you'll have to redraw a single cut line. Nesting and removing redun- dant cut lines not only saves time (25 percent or more of your cutting time depending on the layout), but material as well. Y ou have a chance to secure an order to mark 1,000 small parts per week for a local manufacturer. You've worked out how long it takes you to do one, taking into account unpacking and pre- paring the parts, loading the machine, running the job, then unloading, cleaning and repacking. You figure each one should take a couple min- utes. Let's see, for 1,000 pieces, that's only 33 hours a week… Speed it Up! TIME-SAVING TRICKS FOR THE LASER SHOP ALL IMAGES COURTESY JIM PUENTES Employing this technique for more complex layouts can save significant time.

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