Laser Technology

By Lauren Duensing, contributing editor

Metal Sheet
This stainless steel dual tangent inlet is one of the parts Enginaire can cut on its Fibermak Hawk.
Cracking complex problems

Budget-friendly, high-performance laser encourages fabricator’s creativity


n 1992, author, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil published “The Age of Intelligent Machines,” which discussed the roots of artificial intelligence and predicted 21st-century machines with superior intelligence and prodigious speed and memory. The same year, a laser-cutting machine was manufactured, a piece of equipment Enginaire Clean Air Systems would later acquire and use for 11 years.

“Since 1972, we have been a manufacturer of proprietary air filtration products used in heavy-duty, extremely dusty applications,” says Enginaire President Bill Decker. “We are also a complete metal fabricator working in mild steel, aluminum and stainless steel. We make sanitary fabrications for the dairy and food processing industries.”

Next level
Twenty years of service is a long time for any machine, and although Enginaire’s laser is still cutting parts, it’s showing its age—slowing down and becoming more difficult to repair. Decker wanted to upgrade to a faster model, and he turned to equipment distributor Mac-Tech, based in Milwaukee, for advice. “We’ve worked with Mac-Tech for over a decade, and they are my first call when I need a new machine. They always give me options and try to find what I need.”
The Fibermak Hawk

The Fibermak Hawk features manual clamps for the plate, manual adjustable focus lens and precise height control.

Enginaire manufactures and designs air intake systems and accessories for diesel and gas engines. The company’s patented centrifugal pre-cleaner has become standard in many off-road equipment, lawn care and concrete industries, and Enginaire has built on the innovations in this product, rethinking how customers want ease of maintenance, ease of access and intelligent controls.
Fibermak Hawk Machines
The Fibermak Hawk handles three times as much capacity and is about four times faster than the old laser.

Lasers have allowed us to make difficult parts with great precision.

Bill Decker, Enginaire
“Lasers have allowed us to make difficult parts with great precision,” Decker says. “They have inspired us to think outside the box and come up with unique designs in both our products as well as our tools. We make designs that no one else in the industry does, like a double-tangent air filter canister. Because of the laser, the odd-shaped parts cut easily to fit together for welding.”
Efficient technology
Working with Mac-Tech, Enginaire selected the Fibermak Hawk from Ermaksan, which combines German technology and Turkish manufacturing in all its machines. Mac-Tech has been a distributor for Ermak USA, Ermaksan’s U.S. divison, for more than 17 years.

Comparing the Fibermak Hawk to Enginaire’s previous laser is similar to comparing an iPhone to a first-generation music player. “It has a large capacity and is much faster speed than our first laser that we purchased used from Mac-Tech in 2010,” says Decker, who was familiar with Ermaksan machines, having acquired a press brake in 2018. He says the Fibermak Hawk handles three times as much capacity and is about four times faster than the old laser.

According to Mac-Tech, “Fiber laser cutters are highly efficient. You may get more speed with a laser cutter above 2,000 watts, and a higher-powered machine can slice through thicker materials, but with higher wattage comes higher costs. Most shops can do well with 2,000 watts or less, depending on the materials worked on, saving money while still getting the performance required from the machine.”

NC graphic display
The Fibermak Hawk features an NC graphic display.
The Fibermak Hawk can handle 6 mm mild steel in its 500-watt version and 10 mm mild steel with a 1,000-watt resonator. It features manual clamps for the plate, manual adjustable focus lens, precise height control, and touchscreen control with optional external keyboard. The axis speed can be controlled with the speed adjustment potentiometer on the control panel. Equipment purchased through Mac-Tech also includes support and training.

“The Ermaksan laser has been operator friendly, and it has been easy for our operators to transition from the old laser to the new,” says Decker. “Mac-Tech did a good job of training our people.”

After installation, the Fibermak Hawk’s main job was to cut impellers for Enginaire’s air pre-cleaners. That’s still the bulk of its work, but the company has found that the laser’s capabilities allow it to design and manufacturer components that it couldn’t do before, such as double tangent filter body components.

“Our future looks bright,” Decker concludes. “We are continually growing our customer base largely due to our forward-looking ideas and state-of-the-art products.”

Enginaire Clean Air Systems
Jainesville, Wisconsin, 800/359-1704,
Ermak USA Inc.
Des Plaines, Illinois, 630/512-7604,
Milwaukee, 414/486-9700,