Seeking to diversify its customer base, a fabrication company implements advanced fiber laser technology
Located in Greenville, MI, FabX Industries is the parent company of Aquest Machining, Elite Precision Machining & Tooling, and LaserTec Sheet Metal Fab. Together, these companies provide machining and fabrication services to several industries—including fenestration, automotive, marine, furniture, and recreational vehicle.
While Aquest Machining specializes in the cutting and machining of aluminum extrusions of various grades, sizes, and profiles for the fenestration industry, Elite Tooling offers more precise machinery and CNC solutions—serving robotics, medical, and aerospace customers.
About two years ago, company leaders decided to branch out and serve customers that were outsourcing their laser cutting. “We saw an opportunity on the laser side when we found out our machining customers were outsourcing their laser cutting,” says Gopi Ganta, President of FabX Industries. “That’s when we decided to start LaserTec.”
Starting a new company that specialized in laser cutting required FabX to begin the search for laser-cutting equipment. During the research process, FabX was drawn to Mazak. “We were looking for a quality machine from a company that offered the value and support we needed,” says Ganta. “We knew we were going to add more machines down the road and wanted to find a company that could provide as we grew.” FabX ultimately decided to purchase the OPTIPLEX NEXUS 3015 FIBER 6kW.
“Ease of use stood out to us,” says Ganta. “We wanted a machine that was easy for our operators to use, as none of them had previous experience operating these machines.” In addition, with Mazak offering hands-on training to customers, leaders at FabX were confident that they would be ready to go when their new machine arrived.
Equipped with a high-powered fiber optics laser, the dream of starting LaserTec became a reality for FabX in 2019—with the newly formed company providing high-quality and cost-effective sheet metal fabrication services to customers.
However, as demand increased, FabX was soon looking to purchase another laser. While they had done their research the first time, the company wanted to be sure that Mazak was the best choice for them. After considering all of their options, FabX once again chose Mazak. “The second time, we knew for sure that we were going to stay with Mazak,” says Ganta. “We were impressed with the value and flexibility Mazak laser machines offered.”
Advancing with Automation
In addition to purchasing another OPTIPLEX NEXUS 3015 FIBER, the company also added Mazak’s LASER FLEX automation system to their operations. LASER FLEX systems utilize independent load/unload functions to accelerate sheet-to-sheet cutting productivity. Sheets are loaded utilizing a suction cup based system and unloaded by a clamshell fork system. Towers can be added for load/unload capacity while cart systems and conveyors allow workpiece separation as production continues. Mazak’s LASER FLEX automation can also be designed to incorporate systems to separate parts and automatically load them onto pallets in production environments.
The addition of an automation system with the laser-cutting machines has been beneficial to FabX. The ability to implement lights out operations has been especially valuable. Mazak’s machines and automation have given them the ability to load material on the machines before leaving for the day and simply unload finished parts in the morning. “Just like every other fabricator, we’ve been very busy this past year with sales almost doubling, shares Ganta. "If we didn’t have two [Mazak] machines and automation, we would have been in trouble.”
Article published in the July/August issue of Shop Floor Lasers.