Purex, which can boast over 30 years of supplying fume extraction systems, has adorned its new production facility in Brough near Hull with a new TRUMPF TruLaser 2030 fiber 4kW laser cutter (with BrightLine technology) and two TRUMPF TruBend 3066 bending machines. The major investment came about after the company decided to rethink its previous outsourcing strategy for stainless steel enclosures and bring fabrication in-house.
Although operational since 1985, Purex received a major boost when it was acquired by Andy Easey and Trefor Jones in 2015.
“When we bought the company, there were 41 employees helping to generate a turnover of circa £8 million,” says Andy. “However, in just four years, we’ve grown to 68 people and will almost certainly turn over £12 million in 2019.”
There are many reasons for this impressive growth spurt, not least investment in the sales team and more presence at industry trade shows. However, a big factor is the decision of Purex to invest in its own manufacturing capacity, with the company opening a new fabrication facility at Brough in 2018.
“For the past 12 years Purex had been sourcing all of its stainless steel cabinets from a supplier in Italy,” explains Andy. “However, with the company’s growth in recent times, our supplier struggled to keep pace. We decided to take another route and borrowed £1 million to open our own fabrication plant.”
The next step for Purex was to source some suitable machines, namely a laser cutter and two bending machines.
“I had worked with TRUMPF machines around 20 years ago and always remember their reliability,” states Andy. “We visited the TRUMPF showroom in Luton and decided on the TruLaser 2030 4kW laser cutter. It’s a fantastic piece of kit and only the second of its type in the UK.”
As is often the way, the capability and versatility of the new TRUMPF TruLaser meant it has fulfilled a slightly different role than was originally anticipated.
“Although we are running stainless steel cabinets on the machine, we’ve probably only taken about 25% of the business from Italy,” explains Andy. “The reason is that we’ve found the machine to be excellent for new product development, which has opened up a number of new markets that are now taking up capacity.”
Although many of the products produced by Purex are thin gauge, typically 1.2 mm, the inclusion of TRUMPF BrightLine technology on the TruLaser 2030 makes it possible to change from thin to thick sheet processing on a single machine platform without any loss of quality. In fact, up to 25 mm thick steel, stainless steel and aluminium can be cut with excellent edge quality.
In the full 12 months since installation, Purex has experienced absolutely no issues whatsoever with any of its new TRUMPF machines, and business has never been better.
“We’ve been hitting £2 million turnover for the past two consecutive months, which is very pleasing,” concludes Andy Easey. “We know that factors such as quality and reliability are a big part of our success, which is where the TRUMPF machines can provide essential support. Rapid turnaround is also vital as we offer a short, seven-day lead time on any of our fume extractors.”