Sutton-based Designplan Lighting Ltd, a leading designer and manufacturer of lighting solutions for demanding environments, has invested in a new TruPunch 3000 from Luton-based Trumpf Ltd (www.trumpf.com
This has led not only to a significant increase in productivity, but also to a reduction in the amount of manual labour required, fewer secondary operations and lower noise levels.
The ISO 9001-accredited company was formed in 1963 with an idea for a great product — an extra strong light fitting engineered to withstand the severest environmental conditions (including those found in transport, social housing and custodial settings).
It now employs 120 people and has an £18 million turnover. It was acquired by the Swedish Fagerhult Group in 2011 and moved to a purpose-built factory three years later.
Production engineering manager Rob Aldred said: “I joined the company seven years ago, when its turnover was around £11 million; since then, this figure has increased by 64%. Investment gave us more aspiration to grow and more scope to diversify.”
From the start, Mr Aldred’s role has been to reduce lead times, and a big part of his remit is to review Designplan’s manufacturing processes on a continuous basis.
Attention recently shifted to the company’s punching operations.
“We had two older turret punches that began causing problems, particularly in terms of reliability.
“In addition, as we started adopting more bespoke work, the number of tool changes prevented us achieving the levels of throughput required.
“We wanted a machine that could increase productivity and reduce our second-operation work.
“We looked at all the major players, and Trumpf came out on top — not just for flexibility, speed and efficiency, but for our entire wish-list.”