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..