27 August 2019

Family-run firm installs entry-level TRUMPF Trulaser

Cambridge Rapid Components, a fast-growing precision sheet-metal subcontractor serving the furnace, scientific, laboratory and security industries, has installed an entry-level TRUMPF TruLaser 1030 fibre laser cutting machine to eliminate outsourcing costs and gain greater control over its production processes.

After its formation some 32 years ago, family-run Cambridge Rapid Components has grown to employ 14 staff, with more soon to follow. Core business in recent years has focused on the supply of stainless steel barriers to the furnace sector. This contract requires the processing of high-temperature 310 and 330 grade stainless steel.

Most of the sheet work handled by Cambridge Rapid Components is between 0.9 and 3 mm thick, but occasionally up to 5 mm. Until recently, the company was relying on its in-house TRUMPF TruPunch 1000 and outsourced laser-cutting suppliers. However, following a business review, this strategy has changed.

Cambridge Rapid Components has just completed a re-launch, an activity which included new capital investment and new premises. Relocation has increased the available floor space for the company, creating room for the new TRUMPF TruLaser 1030 fibre, which is just the second such model in the UK.

“We wanted to bring the speed and finish of laser cutting in-house as we knew this technology was ideal for the high-value items we supply, particularly the high-tolerance, high-complexity thermal barriers, as well as other parts for the laboratory and biomedical sectors,” explains Esther Cornell, Director at Cambridge Rapid Components. “We have the biomedical capital of the world on our doorstep, so this investment will help capture even more market share.”

On a typical basis, the company accommodates batch sizes extending from 1 to 100-off, and the new machine is already working hard. “It’s fantastic what we can do with the TruLaser 1030,” says Esther. “We’re getting whole sets of parts off the machine and can now undertake full product builds, which makes a big difference to our business. 

The machine at Cambridge Rapid Components has been complemented by TRUMPF’s advanced TruTops Boost software for the 2D/3D design and programming of laser, punching and bending machines.

With component complexity increasing in the UK market, TRUMPF TruTops Boost merges into a single system with all the steps needed to generate sheet-metal manufacturing programs at the touch of a button. The enhanced automation offered by TruTops Boost means that creating NC programs for laser profiling, punching and bending has never been easier or quicker, since the calculations are carried out automatically. The software also includes full 3D CAD design functionality.

Together, the TRUMPF TruLaser 1030 fiber and TruTops Boost software will help Cambridge Rapid Components achieve a number of notable gains. “For a start, we no longer need to outsource our laser cutting, which amounts to a significant monthly saving,” says Esther. “Also, due to the improved surface finish of laser cutting, we reduce the secondary deburring requirements sometimes needed when punching stainless steel. Perhaps most importantly of all, having extra capacity means we can grow our business and further support our commitment to on-time deliveries.”

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