In 2003, Eric Carroll and father-in-law, Richard Turner joined forces to create a piece of art that was tough and rugged, yet embodied the majesty and beauty of nature. They started with a saguaro cactus. Carroll and Turner took this first-generation steel saguaro to their first art show. The response was overwhelming and they never looked back. It was then that Desert Steel was born.
Today, Desert Steel offers a wide range of no-maintenance products, including metal landscape sculptures, bird feeders, luminaries, and home décor. Every piece is uniquely inspired by the beauty of nature itself and is artist-born and artist-made.
Desert Steel’s original saguaro prototype was created on a 4×4 cutting table, borrowed from a friend. As the company progressed, they quickly outgrew that table and began outsourcing the cuts. This proved extremely costly and they ultimately invested in their first Hornet Cutting Systems plasma table.
“This purchase was instrumental in the development of our company,” said Carroll.
“We were paying companies thousands (of dollars) a month to cut parts. We became much more profitable once we had a machine in-house,” said Carroll.
Eventually, they purchased a second Hornet machine and continued outsourcing laser cutting.
“They were amazing machines. They ran for years and years,” said Carroll.
When the time came for the need for a third machine, they tried to save money and bought a cheaper machine from China that seemed like a great bargain. Upon arrival, the machine didn’t work. The next three to four months were spent working with engineers in China, even having to hire a Chinese translator to assist in the calls. Once it was up and running, it still didn’t perform properly.
When Hornet Cutting Systems announced the new LTX model, Eric was the first to purchase one. He worked with the Hornet CS engineers to customize and implement.
“The LTX perfectly met our capacity needs, footprint size, and cut speeds. Just push “GO” and it cuts, not having to babysit it. It has been a great ‘plug and play’ machine.”
Carroll advises business owners to spend the extra money. In the end, in trying to save a buck, he says it did not pay off in any way.
“Setup (of the Chinese machine) was a nightmare. Ongoing maintenance issues arise,” said Carroll. “The quality and durability of Hornet machines cannot be beat.”
The Desert Steel team has been pleased with the communication after the sale as well.
“Everyone reaches out during the sales process, but how do they respond and service the machine after the sale?” said Carroll. “That was a big reason why we returned to Hornet again. Their ability to communicate and provide quality service and support.”
He also says it helps in the artistic and design process. Carroll is an artist with many ideas and the Hornet machines accelerated the curve of development and prototyping.
“In prototyping, there are so many subtle changes. Having a fast, efficient machine allows you to go through all the iterations necessary. I have an idea, draw it, and cut it right away.”
They have been so pleased with the Hornet LTX that they are purchasing a second LTX to replace the Chinese machine that continually has issues. This will allow them to increase production levels without adding a second shift. Hornet engineers have visited Desert Steel’s shop to understand their process and use of the machine in order to optimize the second LTX to produce the very best results possible.
To learn more about how Hornet Cutting Systems can streamline your business and boost your bottom line, request a quote or call us at 1-844-209-5552.