The history of Laser Experts began over 20 years ago when Robert Waltmire (President and company founder) began his career as a Field Service Technician with GE Fanuc, a world leader in metal fabrication, machinery sales and service.
During his 15 years at Fanuc servicing hundreds of customers both domestically and internationally, Robert became their “resident expert” on industrial CO2 laser machines. His dedication and expertise lead to his promotion as field service and training manager. Robert’s hands-on style and inquisitive nature caused Robert to be involved in the inner workings of rebuilding turbo blowers, power supplies, vacuum pumps and other key replacement parts. He also realized the value of being the “solutions provider” and “one stop shop” for each of his customers. This personalized approach is one of the basic values which Laser Experts was built on 2005.
Initially, the focus was on laser maintenance and troubleshooting. Robert brought on a team of Field Service Engineers that had extensive experience with Fanuc resonators, Amada, Mazak and other large OEM laser machine manufacturers. Shortly thereafter, the business expanded into full service parts sales and working with third party vendors to provide high quality and lower cost alternatives to OEM supplied parts. At the same time, on-site operator/software programming training was offered which helped minimize downtime and costs for the customer. Around 2007, the company expanded into the rebuilding of key parts that provided an industry leading warranty. The refurbishing process was done at our Chicago based headquarters which also greatly reduced turnaround time and costs for our customers. Whereas, our competitors sent many of these parts overseas for repair or tried to sell a higher cost new turbo blowers and other parts that may not be necessary. The company also created a new process called the “SuperCleanTM” a service which extends the life of optics, blowers and vacuum pumps while at the same time reduces power and focus lens consumption.
This efficient, friendly and personalized approach as well as the continuing efforts to find high quality low cost alternatives has increased our customer base from 20 to around 400. Due to global expansion, we now service customers in Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico and China. In fact, in 2010, we opened a fully operational office in Mexico City, Mexico, staffed with Mexican nationals. This business venture is already showing great promise and significant growth opportunities.
For 2012, we are reviewing the possibility of opening an office in Shanghai, China. As our customer base expands here and abroad, so will Laser Experts. We believe it is important to be as close to our customers as possible. This provides the most efficient and economical way to service our customers and understand their individual business and cultural needs. We are also excited about our new venture into the sales of new and used machines. A new partnership with ERMAKUSA has been developed to begin selling new machines, starting in Mexico. We look forward to providing you with high quality, low cost parts and service as Laser Experts continues to grow.