How to calculate the hourly cost of a laser machine?

Knowing the hourly cost of a laser machine is very useful to assess its advantages and decide whether to invest in the purchase. In this article we will see how to calculate the hourly cost of a machine, with a method that can be applied to laser systems as well as other machinery. 

Formula to calculate the hourly cost of the machine

An effective formula to calculate the hourly cost (H.C.) of a laser machine is the following:

(Total H.C.) = (Investment H.C.) + (Electricity or power H.C.) + (Operator’s H.C.) + (Maintenance H.C.) + (Consumables H.C.) + (occupied area H.C.)

See the individual items in detail.

How to calculate the investment hourly cost

The first value to be calculated is the investment hourly cost for laser machine. This can be obtained by dividing the investment cost by the number of years required to depreciate the machine. Then, the result should be divided by the number of operating hours expected.

(Investment H.C.) = (Value of the investment) / (Depreciation period) / (Operating hours expected)

For example, an investment amounting to 200,000.00 EUR, with a depreciation period of three years and an operating time of 3000 hours/year, will give an hourly cost of the investment equal to 22.22 EUR/hour.

All this, without considering the tax advantages and non-reimbursable advantages that are usually applied to laser machines or high-technology machines. Such aspect is mostly important if compared to traditional machines, the purchase of which is not supported by tax incentives

How to calculate the energy hourly cost

To calculate the energy consumption of a laser machine, it is important to consider the difference between maximum power specified on the machine and the effective operativity. In fact, the power indication considers the maximum consumption that can be reached, but this is rarely reached during normal operation. The best solution would be asking an electrician to measure the actual energy consumption of standard processing during a certain period. At this point, you can proceed with calculating the hourly cost of consumption, which will simply be:

(Energy H.C.) = (machine power consumption in kW) * (cost of electricity in [EUR/kW]).

Calculation of labour cost

One of the advantages of laser machines is the reduction of labour costs, since many steps are automated and there is no need for tool change. Therefore, to check the money saving, you should consider the time that the operator actually spends working on the machine. Therefore, the formula to calculate the hourly cost of labour will be:

(operator’s H.C.) = (operator’s cost) * (% of time spent on the machine). 

For example, if an operator has a hourly cost of 20 EUR and spends 25% of his time on the machine, the hourly cost of labour will be equal to 5 EUR.

How to calculate the maintenance hourly cost

In this case, simply divide the estimated maintenance annual cost of the laser machine by the operating hours. Therefore:

(maintenance H.C.) = (maintenance annual cost) / (estimated operating H.C.)

Consumables hourly cost

Laser machines are not subject to wear and tear of the tool since the laser beam replaces the need for mechanical tools. In this case we can consider consumables those materials such as the gas required by the machine, optics and nozzles. The hourly cost of such materials depends on the operativity of the machine, therefore it can be calculated based on the history of other similar machines.

Calculation of hourly cost of the working area

To calculate the hourly cost of a laser machine in detail, the occupied surface can also be considered, with the following simple formula:

(working area H.C.) = (annual cost of the rent of the occupied area) /(estimated operating hours)

This cost is not required for the overall calculation, considering that the rent of the area is usually part of the costs already borne by the company.

Calculation of total hourly cost of the laser machine

Once the so-obtained values are summed, it will be possible to get the total hourly cost of the laser machine. This system can be applied to other machinery, too, and it allows identifying the advantages of purchasing a laser system rather than other cutting and marking systems. In fact, we remind you that compared to the traditional methods, laser machines guarantee:

  • High power and speed performances
  • Higher production efficiency
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • No tool changes
  • Elimination of material waste

Advantages of the OT-LAS laser systems

For more than 30 years OT-LAS has designed and developed laser systems for cutting, marking and decoration of materials. The know-how gained in the sector and the cutting-edge technology guarantee:

  • Better performances in terms of power and high definition of the optical system
  • Proprietary technology entirely Made in Italy
  • Customized configurations based on the requirements
  • Possibility to process large size pieces 
  • Qualified support for any needs

Find out the laser systems for your company on our website or contact us for any further information.