AVS and Laguna Tools: On The Road To Productivity
AVS – Airbagparts.com Inc. is a Fresno, California, automotive aftermarket company that specializes in switch boxes and other components for air ride suspensions, shaved door kits (where the handle is removed for a smooth look, while the door is opened with a geared actuator), LED lights, and sheet metal parts. Its owner, Jeff Jacoby, has equipped the company with a Laguna Tools 5′ x 10′ SmartShop II CNC router with automatic tool changer (ATC) and a Laguna Tools 5′ x 10′ Cutmaster CNC plasma cutter. Jacoby credits the role the two machines play in keeping his company both productive and profitable.
“You get your money back right away when you keep these machines busy,” he begins.
“If you’re creative, you definitely want to get these in your shop. We’ve had the router since 2010. It paid for itself a long time ago. We’ve had the plasma cutter for about a year. It’s paid for itself, too.”
AVS, as they’re commonly called, uses the SmartShop II and its range of CNC tooling to cut a variety of materials. “Our bread and butter is the 1/4-inch and 3/16-inch steel we cut for tank and compressor brackets. But we also regularly work with 1/4-inch ABS, MDF, plastic, wood, polymetal (plastic sheet sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum) and even soft metals such as copper,” explains Jacoby. “Those materials become speaker rings and boxes, LED light lenses, gauge panels, aluminum plaques, and even key chains and parts smaller than a penny. The SmartShop II handles them all with ease. If we don’t have a part we need on the shelf, we can make it in 20 minutes. Our guys just draw it up on VCarve Pro, pop it out on a memory stick, and the machine will do the rest.”
In regards to the Cutmaster CNC plasma cutter, Jacoby says, “We use it to cut sheet metal from an inch down to a 32nd. We just change the tips based on what we need to cut and make both custom, one-off parts on the fly or an inventory of production parts. Before we acquired the plasma cutter we made some parts by hand. That was a slow process and not as precise as we wanted our parts to be. We also used to send parts out to be laser cut. That meant a delay that stretched into weeks. Now we have our parts in a couple of hours.”
Jacoby is generous in his praise for the support the company gives him. “If you’re a first timer to the CNC world, give Laguna Tools a call,” he says. “Their support is phenomenal.” Jacoby, like many Laguna Tools customers, also makes a special point to compliment the training Laguna Tools’ “Router” Bob Alsup provides. “He’s awesome,” says Jacoby.
What’s next for AVS and Laguna Tools? A lot of custom, CNC machined parts and products, of course. But it’s becoming more and more likely that a Laguna Tools CNC laser cutter machine may soon make its way to the AVS production floor. We’ll keep you posted.
• SmartShop® II 5 x 10 ATC CNC Router
• 5 x 10 Cutmaster Plasma Cutter
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