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Comparison to Lasers

The applications for lasers and UniPunch tooling overlap. Computer controlled
lasers can put holes anywhere on a sheet of metal and have the advantage of
being able to put holes in the middle of big sheets or make very large holes or
odd shapes. However, like turrets, lasers make holes one-hole-at-a-time. As with
turrets, the speed advantage of UniPunch tooling derives from making many
holes at once.

If you can make a part with either method the factor that matters in choosing the
method is time. How do you decide? The answer is according to which method
will be faster in the situation.

The power of UniPunch tooling comes from using dedicated setups so the time to
changeover at the press is minimal (some customers report less than a minute).
That is how fabricators use UniPunch tooling to produce small lots of
recurring parts.

A factory that has a laser might use it to make a short run of a part that is seldom
used and for which there is no dedicated tooling, or, for the first few of a long run
of parts until dedicated tooling can be procured. Lasers can make prototypes of parts,
even if in production they will be made faster with another method.

In summary, the advantage of using UniPunch tooling instead of using a laser comes
down to time. If you are making a long run of parts that you may never make again, if
you can make the parts with UniPunch tooling you can make them faster than you can
with a laser. If you are choosing a method to make a part for which small lots will be
predictably required on a recurring basis, and you can make these parts with UniPunch
tooling, then compared to using a laser, from start to finish each lot will be made more
quickly and for less.