Tysica upgrades processing equipment to take advantage of technology advancements and to realise cost savings

One day while on holiday together, Colin Dallas and Steven Moody started talking about opening their own laser cutting shop. At the time it seemed like a really crazy idea, but they both decided that it was worth a try. Colin had been running Tysica Steel and needed to expand, and Steven was working for FAF Engineering where he was in charge of the laser cutting machines. Colin saw the potential in the laser cutting field and Steven felt that he wanted to advance in his area.

That was back in January 2000. By August the same year Tysica Steel & Laser was established and the company had made its first capital purchase, a Bystronic Bysprint 3015 three kilowatt laser.

“The company cut a wide variety of components for clients manufacturing various products, ranging from office furniture and building supplies, through to motor components and electronics,” said Colin Dallas.

“From the beginning we decided that the company would be a jobbing shop, and 16 years later we still hold that philosophy. We believe that we should stick to what we know and also not try and compete with our customers.”


The new Bystronic Bysprint 4020 6kw fiber laser was installed in December 2015 at Tysica Steel & Laser. The machine was supplied by First Cut

History shows that the company added a further two Bystronic laser cutters and some press brakes to the inventory, and as the company grew two moves to bigger facilities were necessitated.

This culminated in 2008 when the company moved into its custom built facility in Leader Avenue, Roodepoort, Gauteng.

“Today that crazy idea has borne fruit and the company now has 2400m² under roof for the processing section of the business and a further 750m² of office space.”

“At the time of the move it was very frustrating because we built in a relatively new industrial area. Where we had been located before, in the older industrial area of Roodepoort, we always had plenty of power supply. This new area had not been accommodated for companies like ours that need extra power to run equipment.”

“We also had to take into account that we were moving three lasers and could not delay deliveries. Our planning had to be spot on. With the help of the Bystronic trained First Cut technicians we accomplished the task without a delay in production.”

New equipment
Tysica Steel & Laser has just completed another phase in its history.

“Continuous improvement halts once a company stops applying consistent energy to the change process. Keeping lean team members involved in problem-solving efforts keeps them in shape so they can continue to recognise problem areas and opportunities for continuous improvement that add value to the organisation.”

“This typically means doing things better, more efficiently, and more economically than anyone else. Continually challenging the way things have been done in the past and viewing them from a new perspective ultimately leads to innovation and a strong competitive edge.”

“Fabricating metal parts today using the same approaches and technology from 10 years ago is a time-intensive exercise. New technology introduces efficiencies to the fabricating process and shops need to embrace it if they are to maximise profitability and stay ahead of the competition.”


Steven Moody and Colin Dallas in front of the new 6 metre 220 ton Adira press brake supplied by Forest Engineering

“We had reached a point where our existing CO2 lasers were reaching their sell-by-date. High-speed fiber lasers have had a significant impact on the fabrication industry, and the introduction of one into our shop would enable us to manufacture things faster, more economically, and with even higher quality.”

“With this in mind we decided to purchase a Bystronic Bysprint 4020 6kw fiber laser.”

“The decision to purchase the fiber laser was based on pretty obvious features that the cutting technology demonstrates. This includes:

• Fiber lasers in the 6-kW power range are up to 400 percent faster in cutting thin sheet, and also faster across a large majority of metal thicknesses when compared to the industry-standard 4-kW class of CO2 lasers.
• Fiber laser technology requires 1.5 times less electrical energy to produce the same wattage, and overall consumes about 50 percent less in hourly operating costs. Because the fiber laser uses highly efficient laser diodes to initiate the lasing process instead of high voltage or radio frequency, the electrical input requirements and consumptions are far less compared to CO2 technology. In addition, the fiber does not require the use of gas turbines because there are no lasing gases, unlike the CO2, which utilises lasing gases and turbines.
• Maintenance tasks that would normally consume several hours per month, such as beam alignments on a CO2 laser, are not required in the routine maintenance of a fiber laser.
• Costs such as mirrors, lasing gases, and beam delivery bellows disappear because fiber lasers don’t have these elements.
• The combination of faster cutting speeds and reduced maintenance time increases machine availability and capacity when compared to a similarly powered CO2 machine.”

“The Bystronic Bysprint 4020 6kw fiber laser was installed in December 2015. The higher power increases the machine’s cutting speed in thin to medium sheet metal thicknesses. For example, the 6-kW fiber laser cuts 3mm stainless steel up to 70 percent faster than a 4-kW fiber laser and three times faster than a 6-kW CO2 laser.”

“The machine now allows us to accept bigger enquiries with larger runs because we can process the orders faster, something we have been struggling with.”


The new Bystronic Bysprint 4020 6kw fiber laser comes with automatic loading and unloading

“The 6-kW version is equipped with Cut Control to monitor the cutting process. When a cutting tear occurs, Cut Control automatically stops the laser and the cut is repeated, reducing the risk of miscuts.”

“We have also upgraded the software to BySoft 7. This gives us many new features to use in the CAD/CAM sphere. Coupled with the new technology in the machine, we are now able to nest more components per sheet with the tighter lines it achieves, and as a result we are achieving about 80% less scrap.”

Only stretcher leveler material
“The introduction of stretcher levelers into South Africa has been a huge help to the laser cutting industry. The stretcher leveler removes all the stresses in the material and removes all waves leaving you with perfectly flat and stress free material. Additionally we can now nest parts closer together and there is absolutely no deviation on the material being cut. This has drastically reduced the scrap factor on all material up to and including 12mm.”

“This is why we decided to use only stretcher leveler material. There are many benefits attached to this for our clients in their downstream processes.”

New press brakes
“We have also upgraded our press brake department, and last year we purchased two Adira press brakes from Forest Engineering. The one is a 6 metre 220 ton and the other is a 3 metre 120 ton.

“With this new equipment, besides realising cost savings on power, we are also now able to do all our processing inhouse whereas before we were shopping out to other service centres, and we no longer have to work 24 hours a day six days a week.”

For further details contact Tysica Steel & Laser on TEL: 011 474 7976 or visit www.tysica.co.za