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Firm commissions laser cutting machine

Munashe Matambo Business Reporter
BLADES manufacturing firm, Sawpower Blades Limited, has commissioned a state-of-the-art Bystronic CNC Fibre laser machine, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.

According to Sawpower, the Bystronic CNC Fiber Machine was recently imported from Switzerland at a cost of 220 000 Euros.

The machine uses two types of laser sources, that is, the carbon dioxide laser and the relatively new fibre laser that uses fibre optics for transmitting laser light and at the same time offering improved efficiencies over carbon dioxide laser cutting. Laser cutting is a thermal process for processing sheet metal.

The laser beam is created by the laser source, conducted by mirrors or a transport fibre in the machine cutting head where a lens focuses it at high power on a very small diameter.

CNC laser cutting offers enormous benefits to the manufacturing industry by greatly improving production times and component accuracy, resulting in improved efficiencies and quality of manufactured items. Speaking at the commissioning of the machine last week, Sawpower managing director Ralph Stead, said the commissioning of the machine was testimony to Government’s Zimbabwe is open for business narrative, which has seen several firms injecting fresh investment into operations.

“The laser cutting machine is the first in Zimbabwe and the commissioning confirms the Government of Zimbabwe’s open for business mantra. What we have here is top notch technology on conventional metal processing methods. It’s a fully upgraded machine to meet the latest demands of the market. CNC laser cutting offers enormous benefits to the manufacturing industry by greatly improving production times and component accuracy, resulting in improved efficiencies and quality of manufactured items,” said Mr Stead.

He said this new technology had been made available through the collaboration and assistance of Bystronic Sales AG, a division of Bystronic Laser AG and one of the world’s leading suppliers of CNC laser cutting machines and allied CNC machines.

“This latest, up to date technology, is right here in Zimbabwe. This brings enormous advancement to our manufacturing sector with the ability to produce items of extremely high and consistent accuracy at production times, which are a fraction of those taken in conventional metal manufacturing processes. Material wastage is also reduced substantially, allowing for more efficient use of imported materials,” he said.

Mr Stead applauded First Cut (Pty) Limited of South Africa who are the distributors of Bystronic Laser Machines in Southern Africa and have been instrumental in making the project a reality.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha, who officially commissioned the plant said such an investment would go a long way in developing the economy. He said the company had 45 employees and potential to increase the figure in what would reduce unemployment levels in the country.

“I am challenging you to look at possibilities of exporting the products into the region. Government is in support of companies such as Sawpower and there are incentives being offered on importation of such machinery,” said Minister Bimha.

source: the herald

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