Thompsons Group UK, a leading manufacturer of tipper bodies, has taken delivery of a Trumpf 8600-80 bending machine at its Blackburn facility. The machine, which is the largest Trumpf TruBend in the UK (www.trumpf.com
), is being used to form tipper side panels from 4mm-thick Hardox abrasion-resistant steel.
Thompsons, which also has sites in Croydon, Dover and Edinburgh, says that it builds and sells more tipper bodies than all of its competitors combined and has expanded five-fold since 2000.
It began in East London 45 years ago and has manufactured over 30,000 tipper bodies, of which around half are still in operation today.
Company director Neil Griffin said (www.thompsonsuk.com
): “With order volumes rising, there is a constant need to keep pace with production and invest in our future.
“We recently installed a robotic welding cell, which shifted the bottleneck to bending.
"Even though our existing press brake has a capacity of 400 tonnes, we needed more to help us process 4mm-thick Hardox.”
Mr Griffin and his team investigated three potential suppliers before opting for the Trumpf bending machine.
“We went to the Trumpf factory and saw the full range of machines available.
“Once they assessed our application, the Trumpf team recommended the TruBend 8600-80, which we knew immediately was the right one.
“At the same time, we purchased a Trumpf TruLaser 3030 laser cutting machine.”
Thompsons manufactures around 25 Hardox tipper bodies each week, which means 50 sides to bend, plus floors and tailgates.
“Having the higher-tonnage machine makes light work of the Hardox panels.
“In addition, the machine is more accurate than our existing press brake.
“As a company, we are always looking to improve and innovate, so machines such as the Trumpf TruBend 8600-80 serve to future-proof our business.”