Architectural & Industrial Metal Finishing: Embracing Laser Innovation in Sheet Metal Holemaking

As discussed in the article “Holemaking in Sheet Metal: Laser Cutting or Punching Machines?” by The Fabricator, the landscape of holemaking in sheet metal has undergone significant changes over the past three decades. In the 1990s, punching machines dominated, but the game changed with the advent of CO2 laser cutting machines.

The 2000s saw the rise of laser cutting technology, offering a compelling alternative for fabricators. Despite this, punching machines maintained competitiveness, especially for tasks involving numerous holes and forms replicable only with a press or press brake.

The 2010s marked another shift with the introduction of fiber laser cutting technology. Solid-state lasers, particularly those with 20 kW power, revolutionized thin sheet metal cutting speeds, surpassing the capabilities of CO2 lasers. With fiber lasers advancing, the industry anticipates accelerated growth in laser sales as fabricating companies adapt to evolving technology. But in this age of innovation, what role does the punching machine play in holemaking?

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