From the time he was a child, Mike Hobeck was fascinated with speed. He began his time in the fast lane by racing dirt bikes. The dirt bike career was interrupted several times by injuries. Hobeck then moved onto racing jet skis, reasoning that the water was a little safer than the hard ground. His love of racing led him to begin building parts for the numerous motorized vehicles he owned. And his fabricating career has been on a fast track ever since.
Hobeck began his fabricating career by working for several job shops in the Seattle and Spokane areas, followed by a stint with Boeing. He opened his own business in Marysville, WA in 1997 as a weld shop. By 1998, the company grew in size and fabricating services. Today, Metal Werks Incorporated, with its 17 employees, is housed in a 10,000 square-foot facility.
The company’s experienced and motivated team produces, manufactures, and supplies OEM products and solutions to a wide variety of clients throughout the world. Customers served include such industries as: medical, energy, technology, race car parts, fish hatcheries, retail store display/point-of-purchase, food service, and many others.
In 2017, Hobeck began to search for a replacement for an aging used CO2 laser that he had purchased in 2008. He chose the Prima Power Platino 5kW Fiber laser. “We looked at other laser companies,” explains Hobeck. “The biggest reason for choosing Prima was the open cabin design. You open the doors and you can go to any part you want in that 10’ bed, which is really nice. It is a single-sided gantry. We looked at every major laser brand on the market, and we liked the Prima Power the best.”
Platino Fiber Laser
Prima Power believes the Platino Fiber laser cutting machine is the perfect balance of innovation and experience. This product combines state-of-the-art efficient and ecological fiber laser technology, with the proven reliability and flexibility of the Platino platform. They report it is the right choice for sheet metal manufacturers looking for a production tool which is:
• Efficient, granting energy and maintenance savings
• Productive, particularly on thin and medium-gauge sheets
• Flexible, suitable for a wide range of materials, including highly-reflective metals
• Reliable and capable of meeting any production need, with a variety of automation modules
• User-friendly, easy to install, use, and maintain
The Platino Fiber laser can be used to cut a wide range of materials. Fiber lasers are more effective than other laser sources for cutting highly-reflective materials (e.g. aluminum alloys, copper, brass). The Platino Fiber cuts various thicknesses, up to 20 mm of mild steel, with efficiency and quality. Productivity increases particularly with thin and medium-gauge sheet metal.
Other features and benefits include:
• Very low power consumption
• No laser gases
• Minimum maintenance and low consumables
• Floor space saving – compact automatic loading, unloading, and storage
• Easy and fast operating interface – fast setup
• Less energy, less waste of material, no laser gases
• Unique machine design using a synthetic granite frame offering the best thermal stability and vibration damping
• Cantilever design for maximum accessibility to the machine
• Protection cabin with roof, fiber-safe windows and fully-opening sliding doors: total safety, visibility of the work area and accessibility
• Single focusing lens system with automatic nozzle changer
The Platino Fiber laser has been developed to maximize customers’ competitiveness according to their application. A series of option suites is dedicated to the different production needs:
SMART Cut, for fast cutting of thin sheets (up to 5 mm) allows a reduction of the cycle times up to 30%.
MAX Cut, for the fast cutting of medium-thick gauge sheets, makes it possible to reduce processing times up to 40%.
NIGHT Cut, for intensive production, grants a higher piercing and cutting process safety.
Best Purchase Company Has Made
“The Platino Fiber laser has zero maintenance when we compared it to the CO2 model,” continues Hobeck. “It has been a very good machine. Performance wise, we run it an average of 12 -15 hours per day. It is a 100% healthy machine. Our biggest benefit from the Platino Fiber is that it has doubled our cut production in making parts while increasing our quality and is the best purchase we have made at this company. As far as risk/reward, the Platino Fiber was definitely a great purchase.”
“Prima Power customer service is by far the best,” concludes Hobeck. “If we have a problem today, we have a service tech the next day. The same goes for software.”
Article & Photos Courtesy of Prima Power