Lincoln Precision Engineering (LPE), one of the fastest growing laser cutting companies in the East Midlands, says that the installation of a TRUMPF TruLaser 5030 fibre laser profiling centre with BrightLine fibre technology, has helped deliver the best months’ trading figures in its 26-year history. The record month of July followed the machine’s commissioning in June 2014. What’s more, at the time of writing, August 2014 was on course to beat July, which would set another record.
Based at North Hykeham in Lincolnshire, LPE’s 15,000 ft² facility operates 24 hours a day, focusing on supplying quality components to local and national customers at a competitive price with fast lead-times. The company employs 20 people and generates annual turnover in the region of £2 million. Taking the business to the next level, however, would require a new strategy, a point that was identified in 2013, when the company mooted the idea of acquiring another laser cutting machine.
“We already had a TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 4kW CO2 laser, but we found it was often running 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explains the company’s Managing Director, Trevor Wherrell. “Although it has proved a very reliable machine, we started to worry that we didn’t have back-up if it did go down for any reason. Moreover, we had no more capacity to grow as a business without another laser cutter.”
TRUMPF invited LPE to the EuroBLECH 2013 exhibition in Hanover, Germany, where they could witness the company’s latest fibre laser cutting innovations, as well as the new BrightLine fibre technology. BrightLine fibre is a TRUMPF development that makes solid state lasers more versatile than ever before. Machines offering this breakthrough technology are able to cut materials from mild steel and stainless steel, through to highly reflective materials such as copper and aluminium; from 1mm to 25mm sheet thickness.
“Since the TruLaser 5030 fibre with BrightLine fibre has been installed, we’ve been taking advantage of the full thickness range, although on a daily basis we commonly process between 6-12mm,” says Mr Wherrell.
Typical batch sizes at LPE are 50-200 off, so quick set-up is vital, as facilitated by the automatic nozzle changer on the TruLaser 5030 fibre. Parts are supplied to industries that include agriculture, yellow goods, architecture, automotive, construction, rail and motorsport, as well as the turbine sector.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that offering a TRUMPF-made product presents our Sales Division with more opportunities to pick up business,” says Mr Wherrell. “TRUMPF machines are reliable and high quality – the best laser money can buy in my opinion.”
LPE only has TRUMPF machines on site. As well as the two laser cutters, the company operates two TRUMPF TruBend 3120 six-axis press brakes.
“Using this technology allows us to keep a handle on good quality, rapid delivery and competitive prices,” concludes Mr Wherrell. “As a business, getting this balance right is paramount to success. Although it’s a good market at the moment, it’s no accident that the month following the installation of the TruLaser 5030 fibre we achieved our best ever month in 26 years’ trading. What’s more, it looks like the month after will be even better – and we’ve still got spare capacity to sell on the new machine. Moving forward, we will almost certainly buy another TruLaser fibre laser within the next two years.”