Shepparton engineering firm Jmar, a specialist in component manufacturing, repairs and maintenance, has expanded into the world of sheetmetal and cutting with the addition of a Yawei fiber laser.
Jmar founders Mark and Janice Hooper originally invested in a fiber laser with a view to obtaining more local cutting work within the Goulburn Valley area.
“Our original laser proved a huge success in securing us heavier and more voluminous work, and expanding our customer base – particularly those companies that had previously sent work to Melbourne or Sydney,” Mark says.
A 25-year industry veteran, Jmar’s workload includes a considerable amount of ‘reverse engineering’; fabricating components and parts that customers may have previously bought from overseas suppliers. In many cases, these suppliers are now defunct or uncontactable due to COVID-19.
In addition to component manufacturing, the company supplies the agricultural industry with a unique product called the Christopher Dairy Bails, a retrofit product suitable for herringbone dairies that allows the farmer to feed in the bail at milking time.
Jmar has also heavily invested in 3D modelling. The ability to provide customers with an accurate representation of concept designs prior to full-scale production has proven a great sales tool.
“We ended up becoming a contract cutter, and it was this that prompted us to invest in an additional Yawei fiber laser,” Mark says.
“We were struggling to keep up with the work and we couldn’t afford to let our customers down. This second machine ensured we could always offer consistency of supply and maintain our lead times.”
The Yawei HLF, with its 4kW capacity, Precitec auto focus cutting head and Siemers CNC controller, gave Jmar a step up in terms of cutting speed, material capacity and quality of cut.
“This improvement in our laser-cut parts feeding into our 7-axis Yawei pressbrake makes the quality of the finished product far superior, particularly with stainless steel,” he says.
Purchased from Applied Machinery, the Yawei’s additional capacity and high-quality cut has allowed Jmar to fabricate a more diverse range of sheetmetal products never before possible.
One of these is a custom, all stainless-steel evaporative air conditioner that is being manufactured for a local commercial kitchen builder.
“We’re seeing work that we would never have seen before and quoting on jobs that we have previously not been able to quote on,” Mark says.
“The new Yawei fiber laser is really transforming and expanding our business.”
Applied Machinery has provided Jmar with ongoing service and technical support since purchase, something Mark says has been a crucial help.
“Like our previous dealings with Applied, the service was just outstanding with the purchase of the Yawei. Every call to (service manager) Matt Keogh and (service engineer) Mark Bury was answered quickly, every technical question was responded to; I couldn’t have asked for a better association with a machinery supplier,” Mark says.
“Given our regional location, the quality and speed of service is absolutely critical to us and something we value greatly. It’s so refreshing to know that Applied really has got our back.”
Though the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on global supply chains, it’s created renewed interest in local manufacturing. According to Mark Hooper, the quality that local manufacturers can produce can’t be matched overseas.
“The fact that we’ve had to rebuild so many overseas-sourced parts confirms that,” he says.
“This new fiber laser not only allows us to produce the highest quality products in a faster time, but also provides us with the opportunity to add to the diversity of products Jmar produces.
“I see a very positive outlook not just for us, but for all Australian manufacturers over the next few years.”
For more information on the Yawei HLF, contact Applied Machinery on 03 9706 8066 or visit www.appliedmachinery.com.au.