The purchase of a laser engraver is a key decision for many businesses and high on the wish list of many do-it-yourselfers. As the name implies, these sophisticated pieces of technology employ high-powered lasers to engrave designs onto surfaces. Just like 3-D printers, laser engraver’s are computer-controlled and carry out a job independently once given the CAD design.
But before purchasing a laser engraving machine, there are several things that you will need to consider first. All of these considerations relate to making the correct choice when purchasing an engraver for your company. Below are the things you need to think about prior to making a sizable investment in a laser engraver.
How Much Are the Maintenance Costs Going to Be?
The first thing to think about when purchasing a laser engraver is just how much the maintenance costs are going to be. While you might be able to find a laser engraver that seems like a real bargain at first, it could easily turn out later that the maintenance for that particular machine is going to be excessive. This is one reason why it’s sometimes better to simply invest a bit more up front in a high quality machine.
Find out just how frequently maintenance is required on the machine you’re looking at. The lower the frequency of repairs, the less you’re going to have to spend on maintenance. Also determine how long repairs usually take on a given machine, since downtime means you’re losing money while you’re waiting for the machine to be fixed.
Are Replacement Parts Easily Accessible?
Another key consideration is whether you will have difficulty in getting replacement parts for your new laser engraver whenever it breaks down. And it certainly will break down eventually, regardless of which machine you choose and how carefully you maintain it. Ultimately, there will come a time when it’s necessary for one or more parts to be replaced. When this happens, are you going to have to wait weeks for the parts you need?
With some manufacturers, getting parts isn’t necessarily easy. Experience has shown that getting high quality support for repairs and parts for a laser engraver can be problematic if the manufacturer doesn’t have a presence in the United States. This is why many Chinese laser engraver manufacturers are stockpiling parts on the U.S. mainland to provide better service for their customers. But this isn’t always the case.
Will You Have To Hire Someone for Repairs and Maintenance?
Some laser engravers are remarkably easy to maintain, which means your business’s own maintenance staff should be able to take care of any necessary maintenance for the machine. On the other hand, some other laser engravers are difficult to perform maintenance on. These more complex machines can also be extremely difficult to repair.
In these cases, your company will have to hire a technician to come in and perform maintenance and repairs on the laser engraver. This costs the company additional money that has to be figured into the purchasing decision. This is why it’s best to look for a laser engraving machine that is easily maintained by your own staff.
Can You Use the Laser Engraver?
It’s all well and good to purchase a quality, economical and easily maintained laser engraving machine. But will you have someone on staff with the necessary experience and knowledge to actually use the machine you choose? You don’t want to make a major investment in a laser engraving machine only to find that none of your people know how to use it.
If it turns out that none of your employees are familiar with any laser engraving machines, one or more staff members will have to take courses covering the machine you purchase. This should include safety procedures. Obviously, it’s much cheaper and simpler to purchase a machine that’s already familiar to at least one person working for you. Plus, you will be able to get your machine actively producing for you much sooner so you can start recouping your investment.