has installed a second 6kW Trumpf TruLaser 3030 fiber laser supplied by Luton-based uk.trumpf.com
Trumpf Ltd and the two machines are now working side-by-side at the company’s new 40,000ft2
facility in Eccleshall, Staffordshire.
Established just three years ago, Staffs Laser has rapidly grown into a £4 million turnover company employing 25 people. Company founder Eddie Hopkins said: “We were previously running a TruLaser 3030 fiber and a TruLaser 2030 fiber on single shift, but we are getting busier and busier all the time. One of our specialities is short lead times, regardless of order quantity — there is no minimum. To maintain this USP moving forward we made the decision to part-exchange our 2030 for a second TruLaser 3030 fiber, which has more power and speed, as well as introduce a second shift for laser cutting.”
Mr Hopkins said it would take 51sec to change the beds on its previous TruLaser 2030, but it takes just 17sec on the 3030.
He explained: “Since we perform around 100 pallet changes a day, saving over 30sec each time, it soon adds up to around a couple of hours over two shifts — we can do a lot with that extra 2hr.”
Staffs Laser does not focus on individual sectors, serving manufacturing as a whole. Current buoyant sectors include rail, yellow goods, street furniture and construction. The company processes all material types, including mild steel (up to 25mm thick), stainless steel (25mm), aluminium (25mm), copper (10mm), brass (10mm) and some titanium.
Mr Hopkins continued: “Having the latest laser cutting technology allows us to be extremely competitive within the market. TruLaser 3030 machines are ultra-reliable, which means we can always supply customers with the highest quality products, on time.
“With Trumpf features such as BrightLine (high-quality cut edges in thick materials), CoolLine (constant-temperature cutting in thick materials), Flyline (ultra-productive hole grid production) and TwinLine (common-line cutting), we can cut parts that we previously considered impossible.”Game-changing benefit
The Highspeed Eco function is another game-changing benefit, generating savings in gas consumption of up to 70% during high-speed cutting, without any compromise in quality.
Mr Hopkins added: “Fibre lasers use a shorter wavelength with the laser beam, which allows them to transfer energy into the material at a faster rate and hence cut more quickly. This allows us to be more competitive than other suppliers who use older COM2
Along with investment in new Trumpf laser cutting technology, the company’s move to the new facility in August 2021 has provided a further boost. Staffs Laser previously worked out of four separate units totalling just 9,000ft2
of floor space.
Now under a single, much larger roof, the company has optimised its workflow. The two TruLaser 3030 fibers providing high levels of flexibility. This attribute is important for Staffs Laser as, like many sub-contractors, it typically only has three to four weeks’ notice on incoming work. Agile software is also critical to cope with a large amount of batch sizes in the region of 30-50 off.
Mr Hopkins said: “As well as newly-installed MRP software, we use Trumpf TruTops Boost software for 2D/3D design and programming, which is brilliant. The auto-nesting functionality saves a lot of time in the planning stage. I’ve tried used auto-nesting before in other software suites and found that nesting manually actually turns out to be more efficient and gives better material usage, but this certainly isn’t the case with TruTops Boost.”
Aside from laser cutting, Staffs Laser offers a wide range of secondary processes, including folding, drilling, tapping, rolling, bar bending, welding, vibratory deburring and sandblasting.
He added: “Within our new unit we are also planning to introduce powder coating over the coming months, which will save outsourcing this operation and reduce lead time,. Hopefully we can soon offer a complete bespoke package to our customers.”
Mr Hopkins concluded: “We are taking market share and growing rapidly for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we’re easy to talk to, and always try our best to turn parts around quickly. I can only see further growth moving forward, which might involve investment in more manufacturing technologies, including additional Trumpf machines. We always get very good service and aftercare from Trumpf, which is another reason — on a long list — not to look elsewhere.”