At Steelo, we pride ourselves on consistently delivering high-quality steel products, and one of the ways we achieve this is by utilizing the cutting-edge Voortman V550 machine. This state-of-the-art machine is specifically designed to punch and shear steel plates with exceptional precision and accuracy, ensuring that our clients receive top-notch steel components for their projects.

The Voortman V550 is widely recognized as one of the best machines in the steel fabrication industry, providing us with a reliable and efficient means of processing steel plates. Its advanced technology and a user-friendly interface allow us to optimize our workflow, reduce production time, and maintain the high level of quality our clients have come to expect from us.

However, as with any machinery, the Voortman V550 has certain limitations, particularly when compared to laser-cutting machines.

What is the Voortman v550

The Voortman V550 is a CNC machine used for processing structural steel and plate materials in the steel fabrication industry. The V550 is a beam drilling and cutting machine that can drill, tap, countersink, and cut steel beams, channels, angles, plates, and tubes with high accuracy and speed.

The machine is designed for heavy-duty applications and is equipped with multiple spindles and cutting tools to perform various operations simultaneously. The V550 can be used to drill holes of various diameters and depths, cut profiles and contours, and bevel edges with precision and consistency.

The machine is controlled by a computer numerical control (CNC) system, which allows for easy programming and customization of the cutting and drilling operations. The V550 can process steel materials up to 55 cm in height, and its automatic tool changer system allows for quick and efficient tool changes.

Overall, the Voortman V550 is a versatile and efficient machine that helps steel fabricators to increase productivity, reduce material waste, and improve the quality and accuracy of their products.

Check our Voortman’s demonstration video here:

What is laser cutting steel?

Utilizing high-precision laser technology for steel cutting offers a multitude of advantages for fabricators in the steel industry. The process of laser cutting steel is achieved by employing a powerful laser beam to seamlessly slice through steel materials. By concentrating the laser on the steel’s surface, the material is either melted or vaporized, resulting in an accurate and clean cut.

To initiate steel laser cutting, several essential steps are followed. Initially, the steel sheet is securely positioned on a flat cutting surface using a clamping device. Subsequently, the design and dimensions for the cut are programmed into the laser cutting machine. The laser beam is then meticulously directed onto the steel’s surface, tracing the programmed path to execute precise cuts.

Laser cutting is an exceptionally accurate and efficient technique for cutting steel, enabling the production of complex designs and shapes with remarkably close tolerances. While it is especially suitable for thin metal sheets, the process can also effectively cut materials of thicker dimensions, reaching up to several inches.

Opting for laser-cutting steel presents numerous benefits over traditional cutting methods. The precision and cleanliness of cuts achieved with laser cutting technology can minimize material waste while enhancing the overall quality and exactness of the finished products. Moreover, as a non-contact method, laser cutting eliminates the need for physical contact between the cutting tool and the steel, diminishing the potential for contamination and damage to the material.

In summary, steel laser cutting is a flexible and efficient solution for steel fabricators, enabling them to augment productivity, decrease material waste, and bolster the quality and precision of their products.

Pros and cons


Laser cutting provides a high level of precision and accuracy, allowing for very intricate and precise cuts. Punching and shearing, on the other hand, are limited in their precision and may result in rough edges and burrs.


Punching and shearing can be faster than laser cutting for thicker materials, as it can take longer for the laser to cut through thicker plates. However, laser cutting can be faster for thinner materials and more complex shapes.

Material thickness

Punching and shearing are typically better suited for cutting thicker materials, while laser cutting is better for thinner materials.


Laser cutting can be more expensive than punching and shearing, especially for low-volume production runs. However, laser cutting can be more cost-effective for intricate designs and small parts.


Laser cutting produces a smoother, cleaner cut with less distortion while punching and shearing can cause deformation and warping of the material.


In summary, laser cutting is a more precise, faster, and higher-quality method for cutting thinner materials and intricate designs, while punching and shearing may be more suitable for thicker materials and larger production runs where cost is a concern.

With this in mind, for most structural steel applications, a punch and sheering machine is more suitable. While we see increasing numbers of orders requiring laser cut plates, at Steelo, these are outsourced which results in longer lead times.