East Meets West: How OMTech is Changing the Chinese Laser Stigma
East Meets West
Consumers from all over the world often believe that everything made in China is substandard. But top-tier American brands such as Apple, Dell, Craftsman, Levi Strauss & Co, Ray-Ban, Gillette, Converse, and so many more have major manufacturing plants in the world’s most industrious country — China. And yet, most people would agree these brands make the most sought-after products in the US market and beyond.
All of these top companies have built incredibly successful products in China, using components from all around the globe, just like OMTech Laser. Their products are manufactured in China but are strategized and designed by a US-based Research and Development team. From start to finish, each machine undergoes U.S.-certified supervision, direction, and guidance, provided with product feedback and mechanical enhancements. Technical improvements are integrated into each step of the manufacturing process, rolling innovations into their next-generation models.
In the laser engraving industry, CO2 laser engravers exported from China have been termed "Chinese lasers," attaching a stigma of second-rate performance. These generalities about foreign lasers only show a poor understanding of the laser market as a whole. Many people fail to realize that a vast majority of engraving machine componentry in so-called “American-made,” “Western,” or “Premium laser systems” are actually made abroad. In fact, certain “American-made” companies simply import their machines from China and rewire them stateside. The numerous unique features and professional capabilities of OMTech laser engraving machines show the foreign laser stigma is a biased misjudgment.
Breaking the Stigma
Size and Space:
Starting from the wide range of machines in their catalog, you can be sure to find a match for yourself. All devices are carefully designed to cater to all workpiece sizes by providing adequate working space. They blend portability with superior and optimal functionality.
Particularly, you are sure to get more working space for less money with OMTech’s laser engravers. For example, a quick comparison showed that with $2,500, you get a 16” × 24” working space. However, for similar brands, you would spend between $5,000 to $10,000 for the same workspace or even slightly smaller.
Why is OMTech so much more affordable? They developed an exclusive factory partnership so they can get the parts and machines at much lower price than other companies. Then, they developed a robust logistics system, using proprietary algorithm to optimize shipping routes and to reduce costs. Unlike many laser companies, they pass the savings on to their customers, forgoing the high markups of most competitors. That’s actually a part of their mission statement: to make quality laser machines accessible to all.
Moreover, if you are dealing with just a flat object such as signs and boards, rest assured engraving with their machines is convenient and efficient. Their CO2 laser engravers have workspaces from 8” × 12” up to 40” × 63”, so you’re covered from the smallest to largest workpieces. If you want to engrave circular objects, they seamlessly accommodate rotary attachments for bottles, tubes, etc. In general, their machines are compact with minimal weight (e.g., OMTech’s 40W CO2 laser engraver weighs only 50 lb.) without compromising excellent function.
From handling all types of materials ranging from wood, leather, textile, acrylic, and glass, the possibilities are endless. Typically, one of their machines consumes only 80W of power and can be used with user-favorite, LightBurn, and third-party graphics design software such as CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator effortlessly.
Also, unlike some other brands that cannot cut and engrave simultaneously, you get both functions with OMTech laser engraving machines — all without breaking the bank. Indeed, a laser engraver from OMTech can work wonders.
Furthermore, with their 80W CO2 laser engraver, you can engrave or cut materials up to 1’’ thick. They also have a built-in ventilation system and a removable working bed to create more room for a taller workpiece up to 11” in depth. Also, this machine is compatible with Windows 7,8,10, Linux, XP, Vista, and Mac OS with about 2450dpi. Generally, their other models range from 50W to 150W, cutting through up to 1.5'' thick plywood or acrylic.
On the other hand, many western competitors offer an 80W CO2 laser engraver which can only cut up to ⅜”. Its maximum z-depth of about 7”, a fixed laser bed, and a maximum resolution of 1200dpi will limit your capability and restrict your workpiece sizes. Not only do these “premium laser systems” have less functionality, but they also cost significantly more money.
Trust me, these highlighted functions are not found in some laser engravers that have slick marketing, most especially of this size and laser tube power. Many add-ons and customizations are made available to complement all machines to optimize overall performance. This sends a clear message — that their machines always give maximum utility.
Based on laser tube power classifications, OMTech has distinct Mid-Range and High Power CO2 laser engraver models. These two collections have features that are also found in most western CO2 laser engravers, such as auto-focus and lenses for great precision. Moreover, their RDworks-based Ruida controller is an industry-standard, compatible with LightBurn software, as well as CorelDRAW, Illustrator, and more. This means the main laser control systems are American and European, and there is no Chinese-to-English translation required at any step of the process.
The OMTech support team also makes virtual installation walkthroughs and training videos to help guide beginning users and those switching from other laser brands. Their approachable machine design makes it easy to access adjustable parts for fine-tuning or replacement. Other laser brands require an expert technician to come out for even the simplest repairs.
U.S. Customer Support
Trained and well-qualified support technicians from Anaheim, California, can assist you in real-time. The OMTech support team isn’t just a customer service department scrolling through a pre-written list of troubleshooting instructions. They are experienced American engineers and laser specialists who work on the devices every day, offering convenient solutions, machine fixes and helping raise your laser competency along the way. Whether it's for quick questions, advice, or fixing simple faults, the team will help solve your problem without giving you a headache. They’ve recently opened up their Anaheim Showroom for introductory tutorials and live classes, so you can meet the team and check out their machines in person. You can reserve an appointment with Virtual Tech Support or book a Showroom appointment here. They’re even starting up webinars and online courses with Engraver’s Choice.
Throughout 2020, OMTech’s Anaheim team revamped their factory quality assurance process, bringing it up to American industry standards with the help of a 30-year engraving industry veteran. Each unit goes through a comprehensive 11-point, 83-step inspection process including multiple electrical tests, laser tube wattage exams, optical alignment, control board checks, safety interlock inspections, a crating checklist, and much more. Laser tech specialists implement this painstaking process under supervision of a Georgia Tech engineering graduate. Following inspection, the Anaheim team keeps a close eye on every product moving from the factory to the consumer, who receives the traceable QA sheet along with their order. Only after going through this thorough QA process can an OMTech machine become a reliable and trusted addition to your workspace. This ensures reliable performance and functionality before shipping out to customers.
Safety and Reliability:
All of OMTech’s machines are certified with the appropriate safety administrations. Despite these devices being produced in China, they meet all the expected North American safety standards and are safe without posing any risk or threat to the operator or environment. The certifications include FDA, CE, and ISO-90001 — all the same credentials that “premium laser engravers” have. They also cover each machine with a 2-year warranty and a 1-year warranty on consumable parts.
It’s common knowledge that many products claiming to be “made in the USA” actually source components worldwide. Some of the most popular tech products in existence (smartphones, laptops, 3D printers, drones, etc.) are made in China with American Research and Development — just like OMTech laser engravers.
With a closer look, it’s obvious that OMTech’s imported and US-improved machines are not sub-standard. They offer huge savings without sacrificing capability; the success of the OMTech community proves it. OMTech users across the USA have started flourishing businesses and found great success with these “China laser” machines. Small businesses, start-ups, schools, and laser enthusiasts nationwide have come together in online forums and social media groups to build a network of engravers that share knowledge and solve problems together. So when you buy with OMTech, you’re joining an active community of American users who offer support, advice, and tips.
When it comes to quality machines, it’s not all about where the products are assembled. It’s the extra effort put into design and manufacturing with adequate supervision, quality assurance, and control that matters. Rest assured that OMTech’s machines are developed by Americans for all users. They’re proud to be building some of the most affordable and highly functional lasers on the market.