Somta Tools takes delivery of two Lasit fibre laser marking systems
Continuing with the journey of investing in new technology to enhance its manufacturing facilities so as to improve the finish and geometry of the tools that the company manufactures and to reduce setup and cycle times, Somta Tools, an OSG Corporation company that is regarded as a global leader in the manufacture of round cutting tools and a company that is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, has purchased two (Open Frame) Miniopen FR Z20 G20 fibre laser marking systems from Lasit, a specialist manufacturer of laser marking systems, based in Torre Annunziata, Italy.
The Lasit (Open Frame) Miniopen FR Z20 G20 is a Z-axis laser marking system, ideal for marking components with a height variation, equipped with a 50 watt fibre laser power source and is ideal for use in an industrial environment. The machines use the latest innovative ytterbium-doped active fibre technology and can be used for laser marking 2D codes, alphanumerical codes, one-dimensional codes, and logos. Other features include the Smart Focus and Smart Preview functions and a barcode reader is optional.
“Since OSG Corporation became a major shareholder in Somta Tools in 2017 they have showed great faith in our manufacturing capabilities by continuing to approve capex funds for new equipment investment,” said Dilon Mathavalla, Engineering Manager at Somta Tools.
“We have been marking our product through various methods for many years and laser marking has been part of our operation for 12 years. The machines have become ‘tired’ now and not as productive as we would like them to be. Technology in laser marking has also advanced in this period. The decision to replace some of our existing laser markers became a necessity rather than a want.”
50% increase in production
“A big benefit in the new machines, over and above the faster and neater line markings, the ability to use a wide range of codes and logos, ease of setups and reliability, is the 50 per cent increase in productivity that they are now providing us. With our older machines we could mark 1 000 units an hour whereas this figure has now increased to 1 500 units an hour,” explained Mathavalla.
“Our factory in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal manufactures 7 000 standard items and a further 6 000 made-to-order items to serve the local market and the export markets in over 70 countries worldwide. The pressure to manufacture a large number of tools every month is enormous and we did not need a downstream process like marking, to create bottlenecks.”
“The two new machines are standalone units and no additional services, such as chillers and coolant tanks, are required to run them. This offers additional benefits in the form of floor space saving as the new machines only take up one-third of the space required for the older machines.”
“The two new machines have the ability to mark all of the tools that Somta manufactures – drills, taps, dies, reamers, milling cutters and our special tooling. Marking takes place after the tool or component has been completed and is done using jigs that carry up to 40 tools at a time. We have eight staff and one supervisor working in this department and they are operating on a two shifts basis.”