Light fantastic for Cutting-edge laser Technology

Cutting Technologies in Barnsley.
Cutting Technologies in Barnsley.
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Internationally famous sculptors, architects and hi-tech aerospace companies beat a path to their door.

They’ve rescued the Paralympic Closing Ceremony from impending doom and engraved wooden panels for a prestigious project at Manchester University.

They’ve cut latex material with pinpoint accuracy for fashion designers and knocked out snowmen and reindeer in their thousands for Christmas decorations.

Whether it is a one off job or mass production they’ve tackled it - and they’ve done it all with lasers.

Cutting Technologies knows a thing or two about lasers – more than the manufacturers of the machines they use, in some cases.

And, while the 32 employee company, based on Barnsley’s Zenith Business Park, prides itself on its versatility and the variety of its clients, it remains firmly focused on lasers.

“We have chosen a very different path from other companies that started in lasers and have then gone into welding and fabrication,” says Jane Robinson, who founded the business 10 years ago with fellow directors Martin Cook and Barry Proctor.

“That’s the traditional route; buy a laser and go into fabrication. Fabricators have bought lasers, too – and that’s made the pot more congested – but we aren’t going to do that.

“Our business model is different. We are laser experts. People appreciate that.

“When we started, we had one metal cutting laser. Now we have six different types of laser.

“I think we are the only people in the country with a mix of high and low powered lasers under one roof.

“We can do all sorts of things with different materials. This business is all about doing things differently and doing things that no-one else can do.”

Jane Robinson admits that Cutting Technologies’ decision several years ago to buy a small laser to cut acrylic plastic was “ a real shot in the dark,” but the directors – all of whom have been working with lasers from the start – felt there were synergies between metal cutting lasers and cutting plastic and wood.

The small machine allowed the company to dip its toe into another part of the market and the investment paid off.

In next to no time, Cutting Technologies was investing in a bigger machine to boost its capacity and now it boasts the capability to cut acrylic sheets three metres long by two metres wide.

As lasers have developed they have ceased to be purely cutting machines.

Cutting Technologies’ current range of equipment includes one machine that can create pictures on the surface of a thin sheet of plywood, by firing the laser at different intensities to create an image made up of a matrix of dots.