We travel all over the country to assist customers, install machines, and do training. It's often difficult being away for weeks at a time, but that is what we signed up for when we decided to run a service business. The "hard yards" is what service is all about. The reason we take this on is because we love what we do, and we really love the appreciation customers show when they have their equipment up and running again, whether it's an industrial customer with a punch, press, laser, plasma, bender or saw, or if it's one of our LaserStar customers.
Below is an interview that Dan did recently at John Ward Jewellers in Sarina Queensland. John is a long time user of a LaserStar welder, the 7000, having owned his LaserStar since 2009. What he has to say is really interesting, and Dan enjoyed his time there learning about John's store, his manufacturing, his experience and his thoughts on owning a LaserStar.
DJES: How long have you been a jeweller, John? Have you always been a jeweller?
I have been a jeweller for 55 years and at 70 still have 10 more to go as I love what do. I started out as a watchmaker.
DJES: How long have you had a Laserstar welder in your shop? What do you think of laser welding technology?
I have had the LaserStar since 2009. The welder embodies the art of bringing quality back to jewellery repair. There are no solder seams or metal discolouration. You get reliable fusion. There is no contamination or clean up. There is no annealing of the metal thus not losing the hardness of the piece.
DJES: What types of things do you use your laser for?
The laser allows you to do things you can't do conventionally. I use it for resizing and post rebuilds, drilling holes, rapid clean-up of castings and porosity. Most jewellers don't know the quality of the metal they are using or anything about metallurgy. Heating a piece with a torch takes the temper out of a piece. Using a laser welder, only the area of repair gets heated. It is such a tiny area, the integrity of the piece is not changed. I make my own metal alloys. No metallurgy knowledge is beig taught in jewellery school. The new jewellers in many cases don't understand how metal is changed by heat or how to retemper a piece. In many cases a piece can't be re-tempered without causing damage. A laser welder eliminates that need.
DJES: Are you happy with your LaserStar welder?
I'm very happy. I would not survive without it. It allows one to do so much more, and very economically. It also allows you to do things that are impossible with conventional methods. Heat treated coloured stones can turn white under a torch, but not a laser welder.
DJES: How many hours per week do you think you save by having a laser welder?
That is hard to answer. I use my LaserStar welder so much that it is just part of the daily process. You don't have to be sitting at it constantly to reap the benefits. It is a tool and it is there and reliable when you need it.
DJES: What do you think the ROI (Return on Investment) was on your machine?
Machines were much more expensive 10 years ago. I paid at least $25,000.00 more for a machine back then than they are selling for now. Even back then the payback time was less than 6 months. It most certainly would be less than that now. I don't know why any jeweller that does repair or manufacturing doesn't have one in the shop.
DJES: What advice would you give other jewellers?
Use the machine, see how effective the machine is against the torch. Think creatively. It won't take long to see how benefical it can be to a workshop. The biggest plus is that there are no seams. It does not anneal the host metal, it does not change the hardness of the host metal. Conventional methods create an inferior softer end product. You use it for so much more than jump rings and retipping.
DJES: Tell me about your experience with DJES.
Brilliant! The phone support is excellent, the response is quick. There was an ease of isolation of the problem.
Well, thank you so much John, it was a pleasure to visit you up in Queensland and have the opportunity to work on your welder. With a few simple replacement parts, John reports it's now working like new. 10 years and still running strong...that's why people buy LaserStar. They are the well-known, reliable, long-lived, quality built machine brand. Contact us today and find out how you can join the family of happy LaserStar users, backed up by quality service and support from DJ Equipment Service Pty Ltd!
#johnwardjewellers #happycustomers #servicebusiness #LaserStar #jewelleryrepair #laserwelder #highqualitylaserwelder
-Consumerism. It's a driving force these days. We see our environment being affected by it's by-products of plastic waste and overflowing landfills, and yet we still hear - "I"ll buy the less expensive (fill in the blank) and if it breaks it's so cheap I can just get another one." Ouch! What are the costs associated with this? Is this truly the smart way to go? Let's do a little analysis.
Customer 1 buys a product for a very low "bargain" price and imports it from another place where these items can be found at this amazing price. He then imports it, pays the customs charges, the duty, the import charges and the item lands in his office, hopefully not damaged in shipment (and have I got another story about that!). Ah, the instructions are not in a language he can read, but he gets it up and running and uses it successfully after a few weeks of trial and error. All good. A year, or maybe two down the road, he finds the machine is not doing the job as well as it used to. It seems to be giving error messages, but they are not in a language he can read so he is unsure of what is going on. He spends a lot of time on Google translate getting gobble-de-gook that makes no sense. Some days the machine doesn't start at all, so he spends time off the bench, researching who can fix this machine. He finally realises he is not going to find anyone. He has work piling up and he is faced with flying someone in from the country where this machine is supplied, or continuing his search for domestic assistance. He finally finds someone in one of his many searches that knows a bit about his type of machine and comes out to have a look, First invoice, travel + time. He gets a recommendation for the parts he needs and he now must find them from the manufacturer. First he has to find someone there who speaks his language, can identify the part number, can get the part out to him...and still the work is piling up. The parts are installed and the machine runs for a time. Invoice 2, travel + time. Additional parts are required for a new problem, or perhaps something related to the previous problem that was not identified because there is no service documentation for the machine. Invoice 3 identifying new problem, potentially quite a bit of service time due to the lack of documentation. Find another person at the company who speaks his language and can identify the parts. The work backs up. He decides to replace the machine rather than pay for more repairs. It's cheap, after all. He begins another search, perhaps for a little better brand, still in the same price range, but how to judge what is better without other users in his area? After more time researching, and more work piling up because now he's back to doing the job the "old way", he finds another machine in the same price range. He has to now dispose of the old machine.....that can be a bit costly as a buyer cannot be found for a broken machine from another country. A few years down the road he finds himself repeating the scenario.........He's now spent the equivalent of what he would have paid for a well known brand, with a reputation for longevity and service available in his country, in his language, and a machine display that he could read. He still has no support that he can call to answer his questions. He cannot see if the display is saying "Change filter" or "Danger over voltage state." He is at risk of again disposing of his machine after just a few years and adding to the growing pollution problems we are experiencing, and having to go through all the research and waiting for the third machine to arrive.
Customer 2 buys the best machine he can afford. It has a knowledgeable service team available, who interacts with the manufacterers own service team. The dealer carries parts and consumables in his country for quick dispatch. The machine display is readable. The machine is ordered, it's delivered to his location, and the dealer arrives. He is taught how to do basic maintenance, how the machine works, and he has training on using the machine. The dealer is available at any time by phone for assistance. Customer 2, having these advantages, uses his machine with more and more skill and confidence over time allowing him and his staff to increase their production with quality new pieces and repairs of old pieces. This works out quite well, paying for the machine quite quickly with extra work brought in, and a growing reputation for the excellence of his work. He knows with confidence that the reputation and reliability of the machine he bought will see him using it for many, many more years to come without having to go through all of the time and aggravation involved in choosing a machine to begin with.
Moral of this long tale? Perhaps the "bargain" isn't so much of a bargain. My mother always taught me that you get what you pay for. Have you paid for a quality piece of gear that is going to last you through, or are you looking to waste a good deal of time and money again and again doing repairs, and researching brands and going through the purchase process over and over again? A good piece of kit will have a reasonable pay back period, but after that period will go on to give you years, and perhaps decades of service. When looking at brands, look beyond the price tag. Look at quality, reputation, service, parts availability. Is the dealer willing to install the equipment and teach you how to use it and maintain it so that it reaches its maximum lifespan, or is it all "proprietary information"? Is maintenance and repair easy? Are parts plug and play? Do they have to "bag out" another brand or dealer, or are they confident enough in their brand to be able to present it's best features without that? Give a thought to the truth that consumption can be more than just disposable. Real consumption can be buying it once and buying it well.
Bye for now - and have a thought as to why some machines just aren't available in the used market!
#longlifenotdisposal #bargainsarenotbargains #serviceisimportant #laserservice #yougetwhatyoupayfor
Good heavens do these years fly by! It's been an exciting year - one of change, settlement, and exciting things on the horizon. We have learned a lot this year, met some new customers and some new technology.
Earlier in the year we brought on a LaserStar 3802 engraver and it is love at first go! How much fun is this machine? We have the 30 watt model and it engraves beautifully and can do cutting up to 1mm. As the "demo girl" I got to learn CAD-2 and Corel Draw for engraving and cutting. Luckily Dan has tons of experience and helped me with cutting order, arrangement, explaining cutting angles and other technical whatnot. He's a great trainer. I was impressed at how easy it all was, and how it has sparked my imagination. I like to create a bit of jewellery now and again, and have been sneaking in to the workshop to try out various ideas.......this is addicting! Coupling it with the iWeld 990, I have afternoons where I just get my creative cap on and have a play. This is a really powerful duo. I can now do some interesting demonstration pieces for this years show in May - AUSTECH 2019 in Melbourne. I'm working on machine plates, tags and other industrial bits and pieces.......and sneaking in a bit more jewellery work inbetween (but don't tell anybody). If you are going to the show, please stop in and see us... and the engraver. It will give me an opportunity to have another play. LOL..
Is it that time of year already? The time when you need to schedule your service person to come out, take up some of your time, interrupt your schedule, and service your perfectly working machine. You may ask yourself if this is really necessary. After all, there have been no problems, no breakdowns and no changes in its behaviour and it's going to cost you time and production.
Well, the short answer, as you know, is yes. The yearly preventative maintenance (or even six monthly depending on your machine and production schedule) is like doing a regular oil change on your car. Leave it and the nasties start creeping into the workings and the next thing you know there is an actual problem. The reason - well, machines create friction, or have fluids or gases or have components that wear out. Oil becomes thick and viscous, water grows things or becomes ionised, no gas is absolutely pure and filters, if they're doing their job protecting the workings of your machine, get full.
Manufacturers have worked out the intervals at which, under normal, average useage, these items reach a point requiring their replacement. These intervals are outlined in the maintenance schedule provided with the equipment. The schedule is designed to be a guideline. If there has been an increased production schedule or other circumstances causing heavier than normal use, maintenance may need to be done sooner. Keep an eye on those tools provided to let you know this, such as gauges, alarms or visible filters. Letting a machine get to the point of no longer functioning due to overly viscous oil, clogged dust filters or old water can cost much more in repairs of damage caused by contamination than a regularly scheduled service.
Additionally, your service person should have a general look over the entire machine. This is the time to prevent problems and so they might alert to you items that will require replacement either immediately to avoid an imminent breakdown, or in the near future. A good example is checking hoses at the preventative maintenance time on older machines as they do have a limited lifespan. An older machine can start springing holes in water or air lines after a while and it's easier to schedule a hose change and to avoid persistent service calls to fix leak upon leak.
The preventative maintenance, whilst seeming a necessary evil and a break in schedule can be a key to machine longevity and production schedules met. Contact us today if you think you might need a maintenance or would like to discuss how often your equipment requires service. We'll be happy to assist.
Here we are at the beginning of the year and we're off to a great start. We are very excited to be exhibiting at the Australian Jewellery Fair on Feb 27 and 28 at Carlton Gardens. We will be in booth E6 and we are bringing the iWeld 990. This machine is compact, has plenty of power and a large working area. It comes in models up to 125J - which is the iWeld Jewellers Edition. It's got some great features and is comfortable to use. It's definitely worth a look!
I've been putting together some decorative pieces for our display case this week. I love how easy it is to weld steel, which is what I've been using for the display, along with some demonstration pieces in sliver and gold. If you are going to the fair, or would like to see the 990 in action, come to the fair and stop in to see us. We would love to meet you and show you some of the features and capabilities of this hot little machine. It's got a lot to offer at a reasonable price!
We're convinced that 2016 is going to be a great year. Maybe that is actually our New Year's resolution. After all, what makes a great year? Is it financial success, personal growth, world peace, the development of a culture of kindness or something else? Perhaps a great year is one that simply begins as being perceived as such. So let's begin by looking for the good stories, the examples of humanity gone right, examples of businesses doing the right thing, examples of hope. Join us! Let's perceive a great year together............and then let us follow the examples we see and make it so.
Cheers! Here's to making 2016 a great New Year.
Dust extractors are essential for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment where ever laser cutters or plasma cutters are operating. Their function is to draw away toxic fumes and dust that are produced as part of the cutting process. Making sure they are functioning correctly is essential to maintaining air quality in the factory and protecting yourself and your employees from potential respiratory illness, and they must also be maintained properly to reduce the risk of fire.
Dust extractors should be inspected and cleaned at regular maintenance intervals to ensure that there is not an excessive build up of dust and slag in the vacuum chamber and filters. The material collected is very fine and may be made up of dissimilar metals if various types of metal are cut in the time frame between cleanings or if the extractor services more than one machine. These dust-like fines can be combustible. Delay in attending to the extractor when required can create a fire hazard.
Some extractor systems are fitted with a vacuum gauge which should be checked regularly. Change the filters before the gauge is in the red line area. If the gauge suddenly red lines it may indicate a clog in the system which should be attended immediately. If the system is in the red line area it's putting strain on the extraction motor and is not doing the job it is intended to do as the system does not have adequate air flow. If there is no gauge on the extractor, a regular inspection of the filters is required - ensure that manufacturer's instructions are followed and appropriate PPE is worn for this job. Similarly, some extraction systems have a baffle chamber to catch heavier material. This chamber needs to be inspected and emptied regularly as per manufacturer's recommendations.
It is also important to note that cutting material that is non-metallic, such as plastic, is not recommended for many extractors and can cause premature failure of the filter membrane. Check your manufacturer's recommendations to ensure that you are only using your equipment for the purpose for which it was intended. Special filtration devices may be required for cutting non-metallic materials.
How can you tell if your extractor is having a problem? You may be able to see dust being vented into the area near the extractor outlet, or you may notice that the extractor fan is covered with dust. If either of these signs is observed, check your gauge, done the appropriate PPE, check the chamber and the filters for leaks or a blown (pierced) filter.
This week at DJES we had another wonderful opportunity to work with our customers doing staff training. One of the more interesting questions that was posed was - is water quality that important when doing laser water changes? The short answer is ABSOLUTELY! Industrial and water cooled YAG lasers for laser welding require deionised water with a specific conductivity which is checked at the time of the water change. What is the difference between distilled, demineralised and deionised water? Keeping it short and simple without a chemistry class, distilled water is boiled. Bacteria and viruses are killed and the steam from the boiling process is condensed and collected. This leaves salts and other non-volatile contaminants behind in the boilig container when the steam is condensed and the water vapour droplets are collected into a clean container. Some volatiles may be collected in this process but are of minimal concern in the amounts collected. Deionised water can go through one of several different processing methods, but are basically passed through charged resin filters which attract and remove ions in the water, and may also attract some, but not all, of the bacteria that may be present in the water. The outcome is basically water that has a low conductivity, that may still contain some bacteria and viruses. Demineralised water is processed to remove minerals, but some ions, bacteria, viruses, volatiles and other contaminants can remain.
The important point is that the water used is very high purity and has low conductivity. Any water process that leaves ions behind will not produce water of the quality required in your laser system as ions are conductive. Manufacturers will always clearly indicate which type of water is to be used in your laser system and if additional water treatments are required.
Some maintenance tips for water changes:
One thing we all make comment on is the quality of products available lately. There are many brands of every possible piece of merchandise out there for major consumption. Gone are the days of one or two choices, and sometimes it seems that gone are the days of assumed quality. Remember when your parents had to replace their washing machine or refrigerator after 25 - 30 years of service? That used to be the norm, and now it's nearly unheard of.
In the fabrication industry there are lots of brands of equipment available with varying levels of quality and service. Here at DJES, we sell only one brand of fabrication equipment - Scotchman. Scotchman has been making ironworkers since the 1960's. They are still made in the USA and they are still high quality products offering a 3 year warranty. We also service Scotchman products, because as we all know, a sale without backup service can be an experience to be remembered!
When you need a reliable piece of equipment for your shop, choose one from a well known company with a solid background and a reputation for reliability. Ask the sales person "Where is your service team, and what is their experience?" Here in Australia we have Scotchman products available from a company that was built providing service by a director that has done industrial service for over 35 years. Buy your Scotchman ironworker, cold cut saw, band saw or Advanced Measuring System from DJES where we offer "Service Excellence with Integrity".
LaserStar is a leader in the laser welding and laser marking industry. Their quality machines, made in the USA, are found in a wide range of industries including jewellery studios, dental laboratories, automotive, injection mold repair, aerospace, medical device manufacturing and many others requiring precision welding or marking. The machines range from compact desktop models to larger models that can incorporate a variety of precision motion devices.
One of the things we are finding is that customers that we contact consistently say that now that they have worked with a LaserStar laser welder that they wouldn't be able to work without one. The laser welding or engraving process becomes an integral part of their business letting them accomplish both routine and difficult repairs and fabrication more quickly and easily. Fabrication ability is expanded. More importantly, they have all said that they have been satisfied with their investment in a LaserStar system.
DJES is proud to be the LaserStar reseller in Australia and New Zealand. We have begun reaching out to customers so you may hear from us soon. If not, please feel free to contact us at any time, whether for more information, sales, parts, service or just to say g'day.
DJ Equipment Service Pty Ltd
1064 Upper Natone Road
Upper Natone, TAS 7321
(03) 6436 2380
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