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1 .Focus on the core application: laser engraving or laser cutting
It is easy to be allured by how many other applications a machine can perform. A good all-rounder is a compromise machine in almost every aspect. Just because a machine can cut as well as engrave doesn’t mean it can do both functions very well. Machines designed for a specific purpose will always perform the core application better so it should be no surprise that a laser cutter will cut better than a laser engraver and vice versa.
2. Throughput (how many parts produced per hour) is almost always the key to commercial success.
Speed of production is of paramount importance even if right now your business volume is low. Higher throughput will deliver the opportunity to lower your sales price while simultaneously increasing your margin and you can deliver faster too. These three elements are the key to competitiveness, winning and growing your laser engraving business.
3. Consider carefully the true cost of ownership as this has a huge impact on profit erosion.
Nobody intends to buy a laser engraving machine to use for just a year and then throw it away. To most this is a long term investment but the majority of buyers focus primarily on the purchase price. The real cost of a machine should be judged by the cost of ownership over its entire working lifetime, which for a good machine will be approximately 10 years. Commonly, cheap machines cost far more to own by way of replacement parts, excessive maintenance and lower output quality/productivity. The best indicator for a high cost of ownership is a machine built with consumable components so be wary of sales hype such as ‘easy to change’ or ‘cheap to fix’.
4. Buy from a well established, reputable supplier that has knowledge of applications as well as the kit they are selling.