Danieli Laser Cut s.r.l., a family-run business, located in Castelgoberto, in the province of Vicenza, has grown over the years to turn into one of the most far-sighted examples of laser job shops in Italy for processing sheet metal and tubes. "Sheet metal" and "tube" are two distinct divisions as far as the internal logistics are concerned even though one is the natural complement of the other. The need to provide the best layout and the most rational production flow made it necessary to organise the work in well-dedicated areas.
Danieli Laser Cut was among the first Italian companies to install a lasertube cutting system and since 1996 its role has evolved from being a pure "OEM supplier" to become a partner, working closely and alongside the customer, thanks to Dino Danieli, a constant promoter of the process. "Work is not only technology, but it is also the result of close relations with customers and the service that one is able to guarantee" says Mr. Danieli. "However, it is necessary to invest and keep updated on the technologies so that you can become versatile and respond punctually to the market requirements that are increasingly demanding and changing, trying to perceive the potential requirements ahead of time in order to buy targeted machines and solutions and not make the wrong choices". Both decisions, first to invest in sheet metal cutting and then in tube laser cutting technology follow this direction; but the second investment made in February 2004 was the real added value. Having believed in the potential of lasertube systems before anyone else was fundamental. "Demands are now almost exclusively for the supply of finished and complete products, which means that tube processing cannot disregard sheet metal and vice versa" states Dino. "The two technologies are complementary and interact to create an inseparable union, which led us to choose flat cutting with the first laser system specifically for tube cutting. The choice turned out to be a winner as the Adige LT702D lasertube system distinguished the company because at the time (and we're only talking about five years ago) there were only a few competitors who could process both elements with good quality. Those who, like us, foresaw the possibilities of the lasertube system are a step ahead. The gap of experience gained and the know-how acquired from the beginning certainly make a difference".
Nowadays, there are not many job shops who are convinced and have the right tools to process tube; but those who, like Danieli, invested a long time ago represent the ultimate expression in technological terms of engineering and skills to provide new solutions to their customers, who use tube as an innovative design concept and the most economical component. "Since we have been using the lasertube system - explains Dino - almost all the structures we produce have been conceived, created and made with laser cut tubular components. The advantages are undeniable both in terms of the considerable precision with which the parts are coupled, and the cost reductions. The implementation and production cycle is shorter and more economical compared to a structure made of sheet metal. At that point, we were looking for tube cutter with bigger O.D. capacity in order to widen our range". The market immediately highlighted the importance of being able to process sections even greater than 150 mm that could be cut on the LT702D so that more complex applications could be approached. For example, we are talking about artistic coverings of buildings, where Dino's inspiration and his origin and skill as a surveyor have found a fundamental ally in the new LT8 lasertube installed towards the end of last year.
Today, Danieli Laser Cut's shop offers two flat bed laser cutting systems, one of which has a high production capacity with linear motors, a combined punching and laser cutting machine and two Adige lasertube cutting systems that cover a working range from 12 to 220 mm tube diameter.This means that there are five different laser systems, each one designed for a specific use and job, which further confirms Dino's far-sightedness. "I find it restrictive and wrong to invest in systems and solutions that are the same. This is why I never purchase the same machines as I believe that the purpose of any investment is not only to respond to an effective requirement, but also to give the possibility for the company to grow in different business sectors. However, notwithstanding the difficult economic situation, diversifying allows us to face the crisis without any problem. The LT8 lasertube, for example, has been operating in the company for eight months and I don't think we have ever cut the same profile for two days in a row". Both Adige machines work continuously for nine hours a day and, of course, we try to deviate all the cutting that exceeds the working capacity of the LT702D onto the LT8. In fact, considering the new concepts of the LT8, it has certainly turned out to perform better. At times we are tempted to reroute almost all the work on the LT8, particularly when there are tubes that have numerous holes and cuts. In this case, if we compare the LT8 to a classical lasertube, using the same section, over 40% reduction in the cutting time is guaranteed. Moreover, it is also extremely easy to programme thanks to the new ArTube software. "Notwithstanding this - points out Danieli - I am personally pleased to have both systems. The first lasertube allowed us to gain experience that has served in using the LT8 in the best possible way and to sound out and examine the market to understand the right direction and technology to invest in".
From the applications point of view, one of the first jobs carried out in the tube/sheet metal processing field was the implementation of 500 automatic ticketing machines installed throughout the metro network of Milan. "Each of these units consists of a stainless steel tubular structure and stainless steel panels" says Danieli. "This was a standard product that enclosed all our processing skills: cutting, bending, assembly work, welding and painting. But the furniture sector proved to be the real launching pad. Here the lasertube system allows us to implement processes that had never been possible before and this "authorises" designers, even the most innovative and adventurous, to let go their imagination. Nowadays, I do not think there is any industry that we are not already in, from electronics, electro-mechanical, bycicle and motorcycle, automotive, agricultural and earth moving field, that would be potentially interested in lasertube". Danieli Laser Cut is doing a great job in implementing fume damping structures in electric power stations or supporting structures for photovoltaic panels. Needless to say that there are also examples of simpler applications, but even here Dino still manages to surprise. In fact, he states "recently we processed 18 km of tube for a customer who had to make simple holes on 6m bars".