Automation in sheet metal fabrication and laser cutting

Date: 20/01/2021

Automation is a vital tool for improving efficiency in laser cutting and sheet metal fabrication

Technological advances are constantly altering the manufacturing landscape – and especially in sheet metal fabrication.

In such a fast-moving sector, with tight turnaround times, many organisations are embracing industrial automation – and it’s having a major effect.

Meeting demand

Automation in metal fabrication helps firms meet high demand. Many modern facilities are capable of producing prodigious quantities of product to a high specification and meeting short lead times.

Put simply, automation leads to higher productivity, as equipment is able to run for longer with little or no input from workers.

The workforce doesn’t have to focus on manually intensive jobs that a smart tool can take on, and can spend time on other more important tasks.

Metal fabrication firms – and their customers, more importantly – also benefit from lower costs thanks to industrial automation.

Automated systems ensure efficiency, cut down on waste and use the minimum of power needed thanks to precise, controlled movements.

This all adds up to lower costs and increased profit.

No errors, and 24-hour service

Automated systems also allow sheet metal fabrication companies to track all of their processes at any time. 

Normally tedious manual labour can be left to machines and remotely managed from anywhere, which means firms can potentially offer a round-the-clock service to customers.

Industrial automation removes a lot of the risk of human error and increases accuracy and repeatability as machines can be programmed to repeatedly perform the same task.

The rise of the machines

Laser cutting, bending and welding are core tasks in sheet metal fabrication. Automating parts of these processes can increase productivity and competitiveness.

The same is true of robot-assisted parts handling, with machines for levelling and deburring now operating with robot arms to handle, sort and orient sheet metal parts before and after the machining process.

Linking various processing steps through automation also saves time, money and effort as workers don’t have to load and unload parts multiple times. 

Lights-out capability

In recent months Yorkshire Laser have invested £1.7m in new technology to offer an even higher-quality laser cutting service and keep us at the forefront of the industry.

Our 6kW Amada Ensis AJ laser-cutting machine combines a high-power fibre laser with variable beam control technology and an autocollimation system.

This gives Yorkshire Laser much greater processing capabilities, faster cutting rates and much-improved bevel edges on thicker sheet metal materials.

The new machine has an auto-load facility, allowing for quick and fully-automated loading and unloading, which enables us to keep working after hours. 

This ‘lights-out’ capability and higher speed operations has led to an increase in capacity, productivity and lower costs for Yorkshire Laser, plus competitive pricing, shorter lead times and enhanced product consistency for our laser cutting service clients.


Interested in how our automated technology and exceptional laser cutting service can give your business the cutting edge? Give us a call on 01924 220236, email or click here to get in touch.