Sometimes it’s obvious whether a portable or a stationary beveling tool is best for your situation – you aren’t going to invest in a large stationary system for intermittent short-term jobs, and if you are operating a large scale repetitive industrial process then a stationary beveling tool will certainly be a better choice for you.

However, what if that choice is not straightforward? Maybe you have an intermediate scale and relatively repetitive beveling jobs, and you are thinking about investing in a larger stationary system. Conversely, you may have a large stationary system that does not meet your needs and you may be interesting in trading it in on a more flexible portable system.

Here are a few factors to consider as you make your decision.

Cost – Stationary systems cost more than portable beveling tools. Will a stationary tool pay itself off through decreased labor costs or the ability to expand your beveling capabilities and increase your business?

Percent of Utility – From a pure workflow standpoint, what percentage of the time do you use your beveling tools? The more often they are used, the more likely that a stationary beveling tool will fit your needs.

Size and Range of Work Pieces – Portable systems are the ultimate in flexibility. Stationary systems are somewhat flexible, but you must match up the capabilities of any stationary system to your expected range of beveled parts.

Perhaps you need both to expand your business…a portable beveling tool can handle more flexible and experimental jobs or one-off prototypes and be a useful complement to a stationary beveling tool.

Job Sizes – Stationary beveling tools are great for high-quantity jobs. The overall higher capacity of these tools produces greater throughput, and may also bring corresponding savings in labor costs.

Available Workspace – A more cramped workspace may require the flexibility and minimal storage of a portable beveling tool. (Of course, you could also consider expanding your facility to make room for a stationary tool.)

Precision and Repeatability –Portable beveling tools in the hands of a skilled employee can produce excellent high-precision work, but over time the repeatability and precision of a stationary tool is difficult to beat. When properly maintained, stationary tools can produce incredible repeatability – and they are not susceptible to fatigue and other human factors of portable beveling operations.

Start by assessing your work pieces – current ones as well as those related to markets you want to add in the future. Beveling tools are investments, and you want to make the most of your investment by adding to your shop floor capabilities in a cost-effective fashion.

Next, select the tool or tools that meet all of the technical aspects – precision, bevel requirements, work piece sizes, etc. – and determine the cost of purchasing and operating the tool. For stationary bevelers, consider the installation costs as well.

Finally, compare all of your costs with the cost savings on existing jobs and increased income from new jobs, and calculate a payoff period for when you expect to recoup your beveling tool investment. You will have to decide for yourself what is an acceptably low payoff period.

If you would like help with assessing portable vs. stationary beveling tools in your shop environment, contact Saar-Hartmetall at (859) 331-8770 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Saar-Hartmetall would be happy to help you with an economic and technical assessment and set you up with the finest Gerima beveling tool to help you meet your technical and financial goals.