Farra Engineering's sheet metal division manager, Mark Stewart, holds a small laser-cut part. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Dunedin company Farra Engineering has taken delivery of new
specialist $1 million sheet metal-working machine, the first
of its kind in the country.
The Japanese-made Amada LC2012 combines the work of three
separate workshop machines and can cut down component making
and handling from one hour per item to as little as 15
minutes, Farra's sheet metal division manager, Mark Stewart,
Although laser cutting is relatively common now, the Amada
can hole-punch the sheet metal, fold it and tap holes and
also laser cut, where required.
The Amada can handle making parts from 5mm by 10mm up to the
largest sheet, 3m by 1.2m, Mr Stewart said.
While the machine, with quicker handling times, would cut
down the unit cost for mass-produced items, its speed might
also make one-off and small-run items commercially viable.
Farra chief executive John Whitaker said about 90% of the
Amada's workload would be making components for other
It was able to cut most metals, plastics and some wood
He said Farra was trading well.
The $1 million Amada price-tag was an expression of
confidence and he expected work would build up to a second
The type of product included parts for Dunedin's Escea gas
fires, research and development parts for Fisher & Paykel
and numerous other companies in the city.
The Amada, which had moved from hydraulic-driven to
electro-servo motor, was expected to be fully commissioned
within about a fortnight.
Once the machine was programmed, it required only one
operator and could put completed items on a separate conveyor
and resume work.