Questions or advertising about so-called “China lasers” repeatedly pop up in my feed on various social networks. Most of them are very inexpensive lasers. There are users who are looking for buying advice or those who no longer know what to do with their “China laser” – be it installation, application or servicing. The fact is that laser machines manufactured in China have improved in quality in recent years. Another fact: in any case, the initial investment in a China laser is lower. But what does the user get for his money? What are the decisive differences – from my point of view – between very inexpensive lasers, often known as “entry-level models”, and a comparatively expensive Trotec laser machine?
As I am so frequently asked, today I would like to shed some light on the arguments in favor of a high-quality laser machine as part of production. So what is important in a laser device for cutting and engraving? A brief summary of the most important pillars:
- The productivity and thus quality of laser engraving and laser cutting
- Running costs: reliability, maintenance and durability
- Ease of use and safety
Trotec laser machines are production devices. They are intended to support users in profitable production. From my perspective, high-quality components and their smart combination make the difference.
A brief example: Laser sources with a ceramic or metal resonator combined with servomotors and steel-reinforced belts enable faster laser engraving of even the smallest fonts across the entire work area. With a glass laser source – usually installed in very inexpensive lasers – it is impossible to achieve a constant engraving result over the entire area of the laser. The diameter of the laser beam increases with the length of the beam path. Purely technically, it’s not possible.
My personal highlight: Speed is productivity. Trotec lasers achieve an engraving speed of 4.3 m/s and an acceleration of 5g. Very inexpensive lasers differ significantly here and often only achieve an engraving speed of 0.5 m/s and accelerations around 0.5 g. Thanks to the Trotec movement system and drive concept, the Trotec lasers also bring speed to the material. So they engrave quickly and with great quality.
There are many very inexpensive lasers on the market – the offer seems attractive at first glance because the initial investment is low. But isn’t it a little short sighted to only look at the initial costs for a part in production? The maintenance effort and associated running costs for Trotec lasers are low. On the one hand, this is due to technical conditions – the Trotec InPack technologyTM ensures a closed system in which the axles are shielded and therefore protected from dust – and on the other hand, due to the service packages. With our TroCare protection package, you can “protect” your laser for up to 10 years and minimize the costs of replacing certain components.
One big “money” factor is replacing the laser sources. The service life of a glass laser source is exhausted after approx. 1,000 hours, RF laser sources deliver equally good results for approx. 5 years.
Our laser engraving machines are specially developed for the needs of our customers. When developing a laser machine, our Trotec developers think of an intuitive workflow and integrate software features that should make calculations easier for the customer, such as the JobTimeCalculator or focusing at the touch of a button.
Trotec laser machines are CE-compliant and meet the requirements of the EC Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Trotec laser plotters correspond to laser class 2, the safety of your users is guaranteed at all times. Trotec’s production is certified according to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.
More about the author: Alexander Jauker
Alexander Jauker is an enthusiastic fan of lasers. He’s been part of the Trotec team for over ten years. His role is Head of Strategic Marketing and Product Management.