16 December 2010

Any material, any thickness, any time

As the stockholder of a wide range and thicknesses of materials, ADS Laser in Leicester has always advertised its capacity to turnaround sheet metalworking orders quickly. However, with the company’s acquisition of the new TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 L20 – formerly the TruLaser 3030 NEW – it has taken this ability into a different league.

The significant benefit of the TruLaser 3030 L20 laser processing centre is the inclusion of a universal cutting head for the entire range of sheet thickness. And for ADS Laser this means the 5kW laser machine can be used for processing mild steel up to 25mm, stainless up to 20mm and aluminium up to 12mm.

“Obviously downtime during job changeover is greatly reduced,” explained Director, Duncan Keates. “But also, rather than us trying to collate batches of various thicknesses for higher cost efficiency, we can now accommodate any job, thick or thin, at any time. This speedy machine has given us ultimate flexibility and more production time.”

ADS Laser has been a TRUMPF customer for five years and runs the L20’s forerunner, the TruLaser 3.2kW 3030 and two TrumaBend press brakes alongside its new addition. Initially the company was considering the purchase of a second hand TruLaser 3030 to partner its existing model but a visit to TRUMPF Germany soon turned Duncan Keates’ head in the direction of the new L20.

“The energy efficiency of this machine was a big attraction to us initially,” he explained. “At present both machines are on the same ring main so we can’t make a direct comparison on consumption but we’re certain that the ability of L20 to go into standby mode when not laser cutting is enhancing its cost efficiency.”

The machine was installed in April this year and within weeks its cutting capacity had secured a lucrative order for the processing of 10mm aluminium. And as time has gone on other features on the L20 have proved increasingly valuable. The ability to tag parts at the machine for example has reduced downtime and, in the same vein, so too has the way the L20 processes poly coated stainless steel.

Duncan Keates concludes, “Previously, if we wanted to cut poly coat, it would need to be pre-programmed so that the laser first cut the plastic coating and then the stainless steel. With the L20 it’s a vapourising and cutting function that the operator can select so we no longer have to wait for a programmer to be available to undertake this work.”

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