Powder Is Applied to Item During Powder Coating Process

Why Powder Coat? Benefits of Powder Coating Components

There are many ways that components and products made at Custom Laser can be finished to make them ready for our customers, but one of the most common and durable options is powder coating. Available since the ‘60s, powder coating has been highly praised for its benefits for metal items for more than half a century, but has become even more popular in recent years for its eco-friendly benefits.

Is powder coating the right choice for your next project?

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What Is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is what’s known as a dry finishing process that delivers a colorful, durable and consistent finishing coat. Typically, this is done with metal products or components, but can also be applied to other materials like fiberboard and plastic. The Powder Coating Institute notes that powder coating now represents more than 15 percent of the total industrial finishing market today across all markets and applications.

The powder itself is a polymer resin base with additives used to give the powder its color, change the flow rate or curing time and control other factors of the coating process. Using an electrostatic spray deposition process, the powder is applied to the surface of the part or component, creating a charged attraction between the coating and the grounded part. After application, the piece goes through a curing oven which causes a chemical reaction that creates long molecular chains which link the coating with the surface, resulting in the finished item.

Why Choose Powder Coating?

Beyond the ability to create a finished look in a full spectrum of color choices, powder coating is incredibly popular for its durability. A powder coated item has much greater resistance to scratching, chipping and fading, meaning that finished pieces will stay looking sharp and protected for longer than painted items. In addition, powder coating offers greater resistance to the elements, protecting the surface from moisture, UV rays or other environmental factors. This is also why you frequently see powder coating on heavy machinery, grills, outdoor furniture and other components and parts that are exposed to weather conditions and tough work environments.

You may also be surprised to learn that powder coating is also incredibly ecofriendly – more so, even, than paints. Because powder coating is completed in a closed and sealed space, it eliminates the risk or spills or contamination. Powder coating is also recyclable, with unused powder able to be reclaimed for future use. The process from start to finish also produces nearly no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it much easier to be compliant with environmental regulations and standards.

Finally, with a far greater life expectancy for powder coating versus paint coating that may need to be reapplied, the finishing process offers a smaller carbon footprint. This not only helps reduce overall impacts to the environment by eliminating the need to repaint, but also prolongs the life of the finished part, component or product, helping diminish the need for replacement.

When Powder Coating Won’t Work

While powder coating offers many advantages for finished components, there are a few instances when it isn’t the best choice for customers. For example, powder coating is nearly impossible to apply thinly, so if your component has very stringent thickness requirements or tight part clearances, you may need to choose an alternate finish option. In addition, powder coating can be difficult to color match precisely from one batch to another due to the nature of the powdered coating. If you need to color match exactly, you may be better using a paint or other coloring process.

Choose Powder Coating at Custom Laser

At Custom Laser, we offer a full range of finishing options for our custom-cut components and parts, including powder coating. Simply let us know what kind of coloring and specifications you have for your project and our team will work with you to create finished items that meet your exact needs. Find out more about our full range of laser cutting and metal fabrication services today by calling us at 716-434-8600.

More Than A Conference Table

Yes it’s a conference table for Acquest Development but more than that, it’s representative of how we combine in-house expertise with key partnerships (EWS Custom Woodworking and Michael Chadwick, architect/furniture designer) to deliver highly customized pieces for our customers. Design, laser cutting, fabricating, and detailing all working together.

 

 

Machine Finishing Work at Custom Laser Inc.

Machine Finishing – The Final Steps in Quality Component Manufacturing

It’s often thought that laser cutting or waterjet cutting represents the entire manufacturing process for metal components and parts that we design. However, in most cases, these parts require additional handling to complete, typically through a process known as machine finishing.

Through this process, we can prepare parts with a variety of different requirements and ensure they are perfectly finished and ready for use when they reach you. But what option is best? That depends on your needs, so let’s take a closer look at some of the most common machine finishing options.

Costa Machine Used for Deburring and Metal FinishingDeburring

Nearly all parts that we produce go through a deburring process first after emerging from the manufacturing cut. This process is necessary to clean the edges of a cut component, and removes the small irregularities in metal that may arise during the formation process. The small metal burrs on parts are a problem as they can cut hands or lead to an imperfect fit in a tight space, but can also be more of an issue if they come loose in a manufacturing or industrial setting, introducing unwanted debris that could damage components or taint manufactured goods. Deburring removes these imperfections and delivers a perfectly smooth and clean part to you.

Laser Cut Metal Parts After Machine FinishingDirectional Finishing

Finishing is also used to give a decorative or refined look to parts or components. Directional finishing – also known as a brushed finish – leaves parts with a clean, consistent surface finish. This sanding-style finish creates a look that features consistent grit lines all oriented the same way – hence, the directional name. This is a common finish and can be done in differing levels of detail, from a rough finish that gives a part a more clean look or for commercially produced parts that will be used by consumers, such as handles, bathroom plumbing fixtures and other readily seen items.

Pre-Paint Finish

Another common finishing option can prepare a produced component for eventual painting or treatment with another coating material. Metal surfaces are often not easy to paint, and without this process, uneven coating or poor bonding of paint to a surface is common. By using abrasive belts and/or brush heads to lightly wear the surface, this process can leave the part ready for painting or dipping. This intermediary process can also prepare a component for further microinch finishing work.

Edging and Edge Rounding Completed During Metal Machine Finishing

Edging and Edge Rounding

The edge rounding finishing process is used most commonly with components that have a circular shape, with this process helping to create a consistent and smooth radius around an edge. However, rounding can also be used to break the straight lines along the edge of a part, smoothing the corners of the edges far more than is done during the deburring process. This also makes it easier for parts to receive a consistent coating or paint application. Without a sharp edge, there is a reduced risk of uneven application of paint or other materials, which, in turn, helps protect the part from corrosion in the long term.

From Start to Finish, Turn to Custom Laser

Custom Laser’s team can handle all your metal manufacturing and fabrication needs, from initial design and cut through machine finishing. We offer a full range of laser cutting and metal forming services for our customers here in Western New York, as well as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Plus, with laser etching and marking services available in addition to metal finishing, our staff can finalize all components you need to your exact specifications. Find out how we can help with your next parts manufacturing job. Call us today at 716.434.8600.

New Construction Work Beginning at Custom Laser

A New Chapter

Spring of 2020 will mark a new chapter for Custom Laser. Ground breaking is underway for our new 60,000-square-foot facility in Lockport, adjacent to our current facility. This growth will better allow us to expand the scope of services we offer our customers, delivering the efficiency and scale they need, while providing the quickest turnaround times in the industry.

Ground Breaking at Custom Laser Expansion

Clearing the Ground for Custom Laser's Expansion

Laser Welding

Laser Precision: The Benefits of Laser Welding

In the field, TIG and MIG welding – welds using gas and filler material – are commonly used to make repairs and on-site fabrications. This works great and creates a strong bond between metals, but laser welding offers a superior approach.

Laser welding is a more modern and precise approach to welding that provides a superior solution for manufacturing and production applications. Let’s dive deeper into what makes laser welds a better choice.

Laser WeldingPrecision Control

With TIG and MIG welds, work is performed by hand, subject to different conditions, different operators with varying skill levels, and different filler materials. That means no two welds are ever quite the same. Not so with lasers.

Using precision-controlled laser welds, it’s possible to create an exact weld time after time. Laser welds are vastly repeatable, making it possible to rapidly create custom parts or fittings that are consistent, allowing for the quick, scaled fabrication of components you need for your operations.

Superior Strength

Laser welds are also incredibly strong. Using laser welding, a bond can be created with a deeper penetration than MIG or TIG welds – and done in a single pass. That means there’s no need to go over a weld more than once to create a lock-tight bond between materials.

Lasers can create deep welds even in thick materials, as well. As The Fabricator notes, the most powerful laser welding equipment has been used to weld steel plate up to 1.5 inches thick. At Custom Laser, we don’t go that deep – we weld up to 0.225 inches in depth – we’re still able to deliver a durable, strong and precise bond between components of varying thicknesses simply and cleanly.

Complexity Simplified

Another benefit is that laser welding can easily handle complicated joining work, such as welds in small spaces or welds between different types of materials. Since lasers are incredibly precise and computer controlled, welds can be made in fractions of a millimeter of space, allowing for bonds in even narrow or tight positions between components.

Laser welding also allows for the creation of bonds between different metals, making it possible for more diversity and customization in the fabrication process. For example, if you need different metals for different applications on the same finished component, laser welding allows for the bonding of these dissimilar materials to precisely combine them into a completed piece.

Finished Item After Laser WeldingKeeping Cool

In addition, the low heat input involved with laser welding allows for minimal distortion of materials while achieving nonporous and durable welds faster than conventional welding. This also means that the area around the weld will not be impacted as much by the ambient heat of the weld, reducing the potential for warping or shrinking of the finished piece.

This helps make the fabrication of precision parts a simpler process. The limited heat and millimeter-precise targeting of the laser allows for welds that hold tight without introducing outside material or causing any kind of change in the finished surface.

Get Laser Welded Components for Your Project 

Custom Laser offers full-service laser welding options to handle a wide variety of applications. We can tackle small and large requests, and offer rapid fabrication thanks to the speed and accuracy of laser welds. No matter the needs of your project, the team at our Western New York facility can handle your order.

Find out more about our capabilities and learn how we help with your next job by calling Custom Laser at 716.434.8600 today.

Metal Flattening Before and After

Informing Metal Forming: Custom Shaped Materials for Your Projects

Creating a custom metal shape requires a great deal of care and craftsmanship. In the days of blacksmithing, metals were heated and beaten into shape by hand on an anvil – a time-consuming and meticulous process. Metals can also be poured into casts and created into a variety of shapes. However, with the benefit of modern technologies and machinery, there are far more effective ways to handle metal.

One of the most commonly requested services at Custom Laser is for metal forming work, and this can take a number of different shapes – figuratively and literally. Let’s take a deeper dive into metal forming and the capabilities of our equipment.

TruBend Press BrakePress Brake

Perhaps the most versatile piece of equipment for bending and forming metal is the press brake. This massive piece of machinery allows us to take raw materials and metals and bend them into the desired shape, allowing us to create durable and made-to-order designs for a range of applications.

Our fleet of press brakes allows us to handle small, precision bends or massive fabrications. We can accommodate items as large as 14 feet in length and a range of thicknesses, from as thin as 0.006 inches to half an inch, depending on the type of material.

Using the press brake, we can replicate shapes like angle iron, C-channel, and other custom components and bent metal pieces. Plus, our press brakes are all five-axis and fully programmable for excellent accuracy and repeatability.

See the press brake in action below.

Metal Flattening and Stress Relieving

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we also offer metal stress relieving and flattening services. Most commonly, sheet metal is transported in massive rolls – rolls that are, by definition, not flat, as is commonly needed for many industrial applications. Using our Arku Flatmaster leveler, we can perform metal flattening to deliver material that is precision cut and straightened to meet your needs.

Metal Flattening Before and After

When metal is coiled into rolls for transportation, it causes a variety of tension issues in the material. As it is uncoiled at the service centers, material retains a memory that is often revealed during the laser cutting process. Custom Laser is able to run the material through a set of rollers with 400 tons of down pressure for perform metal leveling, flattening and stress relieving, resulting in material that is flat and stress free for use in a variety of metalworking applications.

See the Arku in the video below.

Full-Service Metal Forming at Custom Laser

No matter the size or scope of your project, the equipment and team at Custom Laser is ready to help. We can handle large and small orders and offer a full range of precision cutting, forming and flattening services to meet your exact requirements.

Learn more about our capabilities and find out how we can deliver what you need by calling us today at 716.434.8600.

Eckl's Bar Area

Eckl’s @ Larkin Opens with Flair with Custom Laser’s Help

Downtown Buffalo’s resurgence is continuing to grow, with many businesses relocating to within the city limits, and restaurants, shops and other businesses opening or growing to help meet the needs of the increasing working population. One of the most popular city neighborhoods to benefit from Buffalo’s boom has been Larkinville, where the Larkin Center of Commerce hosts nearly 100 businesses in a blended mixed-use facility, including the newly opened Eckl’s @ Larkin.

Eckl's Bar AreaBuffalo is well known for a number of cuisines, including the beef on weck, a dish that helped put Eckl’s on the map in its original location in Orchard Park. The new Eckl’s @ Larkin, however, serves much more than these famous sandwiches, and features a distinctive menu to sate any appetite, from simple build-your-own burgers and fries to more lavish dishes like premier cuts of steak, fresh seafood and osso buco.

Like the menu, the décor inside the new Larkinville location is an equal blend of casual contemporary and upscale refinement. Custom Laser played a critical role in helping to create this distinctive look, which is rich in copper surfaces, including the hammered copper bar, designed in a large U-shape to accommodate guests in the center of the restaurant. The bar rails, reception station and drink rails throughout the bar area were designed to carry that same copper aesthetic look further while providing convenience and comfort for guests.

Elm-Inspired ScreensOur team also designed laser-cut screens that help to separate the bar and dining spaces, while directing the flow of guests and staff through the restaurant, bar and two dining spaces. Made from steel, these screens were precision cut to feature an elm tree-inspired look, blending a natural aesthetic with a modern material. These panels are finely detailed, and provide much more depth and richness to the dividing panels than a flat wall or pane of glass, while adding a sense of elegance and refinement to the space. The laser-cut steel is also backlit using efficient LED lighting, providing ambient warmth and comfort to the whole dining environment.

Eckl's Dining Area“No stone was left unturned when it came to tying everything together,” noted Buffalo Rising, and it shows as you move into the dining areas. These spaces combine wooden tables and natural wood accents with fine upholstery to convey a club-like environment blended with an industrial feel, creating a truly distinctive experience for diners that seems to combine elements of Buffalo’s past and present into a one-of-a-kind space. The two main dining rooms offer ample room for parties or large groups, and the abundant seating at the bar provides space for patrons stopping in for a quick lunch or a drink at the end of the workday.

We’re proud to have played a role in bringing this new, unique dining and drinking experience to the city of Buffalo. If you haven’t yet, stop in and check out the distinctive Eckl’s @ Larkin for lunch or dinner.

To learn more about our capabilities or if you’re looking for help with creating a new look and feel for your business, call the team at Custom Laser today at 716.434.8600.