22 June 2010

Laser subcontractor leads the uk in solid state laser cutting

With today’s announcement Cirrus Laser will become the first in the UK and indeed one of the first in the world to invest in the new Trumpf TruLaser 5030 fiber.

This fiber-guided solid state 2D laser cutting machine was recently unveiled at Trumpf’s In-Tech exhibition in Germany and it promises great things. It capitalises fully on all the benefits associated with the Trumpf disc laser and, for Cirrus’ customers, this means continued keen pricing.

In the highly competitive world of subcontract laser cutting, the latest manufacturing technology is king. This is a philosophy that has continued to underpin the growth of Cirrus Laser. It is now one of the leading job shops in the UK and its TruLaser 5030 fiber order follows a succession of new technology investments.

“To remain competitive our prices must be sharp and that means we have to make more quality parts, faster, using the best technology available,” explains MD David Connaway. “Our leasing programme is structured so that we install the latest generation machine almost every 2.5 years and I’m even looking to tighten up on that frequency.”

The Trumpf TruLaser 5030 fiber will be installed at the company’s Burgess Hill factory in late Autumn 2011, coinciding with the end of its lease on a TruLaser 3030. This latest generation machine provides the lowest possible parts cost in thin sheet processing and incorporates proven features to reduce non-productive times significantly. The single head cutting strategy, automatic nozzle changer, highly dynamic movement along all axes and sensor-controlled processes enhance performance and increase component output.

But of course component pricing is sensitive to many factors beyond machine productivity. For some time, solid state had been commanding David Connaway’s attention for its greater energy efficiency.
“With solid state, I instantly eliminate the cost of high purity resonator gases,” David continues. “I also significantly reduce power consumption to the tune of 40% of a comparable TruLaser 5030 5kW CO2 laser. Indeed the 3kW laser on the new TruLaser 5030 fiber gives me exactly the same cutting performance as its 5kW CO2 counterpart.”

This is also an important issue in the longer term. Greater energy efficiency delays the need for Cirrus to invest in its own electricity sub-station to power its capital purchases. Again, competitive pricing is assured.

Space is another important issue. Cirrus Laser owns its 10,000 square feet factory but as David Connaway seeks to get maximum return from this facility, the fact that the TruLaser 5030 fiber will occupy 20% less space than a comparable CO2 model is a clear benefit. Furthermore its beam source can be installed wherever it will provide the greatest production flexibility.

“In essence I could accommodate three models of this new machine in the space needed for just two CO2 machines which means I don’t have to factor in moving premises in order to increase my production,” David adds. “And this machine needs just one service a year so my maintenance costs and downtime are reduced also.”

With such a keen eye for new technology it is unsurprising that Cirrus Laser is also bridging the gap between now and the arrival of the TruLaser 5030 fiber with another investment. In August this year the company will take delivery of a Trumpf Compact Loading System to increase productivity on its TruLaser 3030 flatbed laser cutting machine.

“With our space constraints this provides the best answer for us,” David Connaway concludes. “This will allow us to run the flatbed unattended, around the clock. And eventually it will be transferred onto our new TruLaser 5030 fiber to increase its productivity even more.”

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