Lane Precision Products is a Harrisburg, Oregon based metal and plastic fabricator. In the beginning of the two-year-old company’s existence, most of its work consisted of tube bending, along with some welding and cutting. But that changed dramatically when the decision was made to add a Laguna Tools SmartShop® II CNC router to its arsenal. The company’s owner Jon Booher picks up the story of how the SmartShop® CNC machine shifted and expanded the company’s market for manufacturing.
“The SmartShop® II router made us a lot more diversified,” begins Booher. “We did a lot of aluminum cutting with the SmartShop® CNC machine. Much more than we anticipated. A lot of plastic, too. We cut just about anything we can get underneath that gantry. We do a lot of things we didn’t think we could, like carving. The machine is a lot more capable than we first thought it was. Laguna actually undersold the machine to us.”
“We pretty much treat it like a vertical milling machine,” continues Booher. “We’ve learned how to engrave with it. We engrave radiuses, flat bar, round tube, pretty much anything you can name. We’ve also fixtured aluminum tubing to the machine and have done some really crazy notches.”
The SmartShop® CNC’s robust construction and signature cut quality also win high praise from Booher. “We’re really impressed with the edge quality it gives us,” he says. “It’s better than a laser. So we go straight to TIG welding instead of doing a bunch of edge preparation. It saves us lots of time. We’re also surprised with the tool life we get. We’ve cut several thousand pieces with the same end mill. Stuff like 5052 and 6063 are no problem at all. In a pinch we’ve even cut steel with it. We didn’t think it was possible. But the rigidity of the machine and what it can do with steel has really surprised us. We keep pushing the boundaries of the router and have yet to run into any limitations.”
“We had some reservations when we first considered a Laguna machine,” confesses Booher. “They’re not an established name in our industry. But we haven’t had a hiccup with it since we took delivery.” Booher also speaks enthusiastically about his plans to add another Laguna CNC router to the company in the near future. “We want one for aluminum and one for plastic,” he says. “Then we’ll just run them around the clock.”
“The SmartShop® is so versatile. It gives us the capabilities of a million-dollar laser at a much lower cost. That lets us push the boundaries of what we can do, and opens up new markets for us. We haven’t even begun to tap wood carving,” concludes Booher.
Lane Precision Products
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