Lasered Components Ltd, a Braintree-based specialist in laser-profiled sheet-metal parts, has recently installed three TRUMPF TruLaser 5030 fiber machines, with the most recent arriving in March 2018. Replacing machines of a different make, the trio of TRUMPF models are offering 10-20% more speed across all materials, along with higher levels of machine reliability, ease-of-use and product consistency.
With over 20 years’ experience in laser cutting, Lasered Components is owned and managed by father and son team, Kevin and Karl Willett. The company has a growing reputation serving a wide range of industries, including construction, retail, automotive and ducting, both locally and nationwide. As a result, Lasered Components today employs 31 people and has registered some impressive growth in recent years. For instance, the company has just finished its financial year, recording a 27% increase on the previous 12-month period, which in turn was 40% up on the year before.
At the heart of Lasered Components’ operation is its desire for continuous improvement, which is achieved through ambitious, structured investment in plant, processes, premises and people.
“We are always looking at ways to improve our process flows,” explains Karl Willett. “At present we are quoting 3 to 3½ day lead-times on all orders, but to achieve this we need our manufacturing technology to perform. Unfortunately we experienced some reliability issues with our previous laser cutting machines, so decided to research alternatives.”
As a result of trials at TRUMPF’s facilities in both Luton and Germany, along with an appreciation of TRUMPF’s large UK support team, the company opted for TruLaser 5030 fiber machines. Two were installed in 2017, with the third arriving in March 2018.
Lasered Components uses its profiling machines to process mild steel from 0.5mm to 25mm thick, and aluminium and stainless steel from 0.5mm to 20mm, with batch sizes ranging from 1-offs to 200,000 in some instances. There are two weekday shifts in operation at the company, as well as a partial lights-out shift of 2-4 hours where the TRUMPF machines run unmanned.
“Since arriving, the machines have been very well utilised,” says Karl. “We know this because we also invested in TRUMPF TruTops Monitor software, which allows us to record and analyse machine data such as idle states, error messages, stoppages and maintenance periods. We need to maximise machine uptime so that we can say yes to enquiries on tight deadlines – and offer competitive prices.”
As stated the TRUMPF models are 10-20% faster across all materials than the machines they replaced. Moreover, the machines are equipped with the TRUMPF Highspeed Eco capability which can increase sheet throughput by 100%. In addition Highspeed Eco reduces cutting gas consumption by up to 70% resulting in overall part cost savings.
“So far in 2018 we’ve had our three busiest months ever in January, February and March,” states Karl. “There are many reasons behind this success, not least our customer service, component quality, reliable lead-times and competitive pricing. Clearly, installing the TRUMPF machines has aided quality, increased throughput rates and made us more competitive than previously, which is great news for our customers. In many respects, the machines have exceeded our expectations.”
All three TruLaser 5030 fiber machines at Lasered Components were secured with the help of TRUMPF Financial Services, and Karl is more than impressed with the outcome: “TRUMPF Financial Services were easy to deal with and offered more competitive rates than we could find elsewhere,” he says. “In addition, they provided some good flexible options should they be required in the future.”
Looking ahead, Lasered Components continues to seek out improvements and is now planning to increase its digital capability. “Later this year we will visit TRUMPF’s new Smart Factory in Chicago to look at various software options that should further improve the service we offer to our customers,” concludes Karl.
In the TRUMPF Smart Factory, TruConnect networking solutions help optimise production and ensure a flexible, cost-effective process in line with Industry 4.0 strategies.
Image: TRUMPF MD Annette Doyle, Karl Willett from Lasered Components and Martin Cuthbert TRUMPF sales engineer.