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how much does it cost to run a laser cutting machine

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How much does it cost to run a laser cutting machine?
28th April 2017

If you are a large business or a small up and coming firm, a laser cutting machine is a wise investment. This is especially the case if you require the cutting or engraving of a range of materials from plastics, metal, ceramics or glass. If you are considering investing in a laser machine for your company, understanding a few financial aspects may help you decide on the right model for your requirements. 

If you are producing enough products requiring accurate, precise, neat cutting or engraving then investing in your own laser cutting and engraving machine is a no brainer. While you work out your potential profit margins and calculate the financial benefit of owning your own laser machines, there are a couple of extra outgoings to consider when it comes to running costs. It is important to know that laser cutting machines tend to run at a higher cost than an engraving machine, and this is due to power consumption and consumables.
Take consumables for instance, cutting is a faster process than engraving, yet engraving uses less power than cutting, so there are different benefits to both. It is estimated that the CO2 laser cutting machine uses 51 pence per hour compared to the CO2 laser engraving machine which uses 25 pence per hour. With this in mind, each really cancels the other out when adding up the amount of profit made. 
Laser cutting and engraving machines require the use of a PC to communicate and carry out tasks effectively. This leads us to consider the power consumption used, so an average PC uses 800VA, and the CO2 laser cutting machine uses 2480VA, while the CO2 laser engraving machine uses 2140VA. An estimation for each machine is as follows: CO2 Laser cutting machine uses 24.8p/hr and the CO2 Laser engraving machine uses 21.4p/hr. 
When investing in a cutting machine, you also have to factor in maintenance costs. Your machine’s daily maintenance generally shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes and weekly cleaning should apply. The amount of cleaning required will depend on the materials being used, and at times the mirrors or lenses will need a delicate clean whilst the machine may also require realignment. Simple upkeep does not take up much time if your machine is kept clean and clear and ready for its next day’s use. The cleaning of your laser machine’s lens and mirror may take up to one hour, including realignment, but this should not interfere with your company’s production line as this can be done after working hours. 
With all of these financial aspects taken on board, investing in your own laser machine appears to be a very cost effective choice as the low running costs and minor maintenance work required will help produce a larger range of products for your business, and will help increase your companies profit in the future.

You can find out more about running costs by clicking here.