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 fiber 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 3mm thick, but occasionally up to 5mm. Until recently, the company was relying on its in-house Trumpf TruPunch 1000 (installed 2015) and outsourced laser-cutting suppliers. However, following a business review, this strategy has changed.
Cambridge Rapid Components, which serves both domestic and export markets, has just completed a re-launch, an activity which included new capital investment and new premises. Relocating to nearby Haverhill has increased the available floor space for the company, creating room for the new Trumpf TruLaser 1030 fiber, which is just the second such model in the UK.
Esther Cornell, Director at Cambridge Rapid Components explains: "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. We have the biomedical capital of the world on our doorstep, so this investment will help capture even more market share."
Although the company assessed a number of suitable machines, as an existing Trumpf user, Cambridge Rapid Components enjoys a good relationship with the company's staff and products. As a result, the Trumpf TruLaser 1030 fiber arrived in June 2019.
On a typical basis, the company accommodates batch sizes extending from 1 to 100-off, and the new machine is already working hard.
Esther says: "It's fantastic what we can do with the TruLaser 1030. 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. We're running the laser alongside our existing Trumpf TruPunch 1000, which has been retained for aluminium parts and some engraving work."
Installed in June 2019, the entry-level CNC profiling centre is set to make a significant impact at Cambridge Rapid Components. In essence, the machine provides first-class Trumpf quality with low investment and running costs. The Trumpf TruDisk solid-state laser offers robust design and power that will last for years. TruLaser 1030 fiber machines also stand out with their easy-to-learn operation, as well as numerous intelligent functions, including collision protection.
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.
Ether explains: "We've transferred some jobs to the Trumpf TruLaser 1030 fiber that we previously ran on our TruPunch 1000, a process which has been made considerably easier with TruTops Boost."
Together, the Trumpf TruLaser 1030 fiber and TruTops Boost software will help Cambridge Rapid Components achieve a number of notable gains. Esther says: "For a start, we no longer need to outsource our laser cutting, which amounts to a significant monthly saving. 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."
On-time delivery is described by Esther as one of the company's key differentiators - one of many, in fact. Other factors that separate Cambridge Rapid Components from its competitors include its expertise in stainless steel, and its commitment to employing the next generation of professionals in the manufacturing sector - most of its workforce are under 35 years of age.
Esther says: "Our technology and highly skilled workforce are the key to ongoing success. Despite our youthful appearance, all the employees at Cambridge Rapid Components are experts in their respective fields, from estimating to engineering, from production to quality assurance. The team has all the resources, facilities and experience required to produce high-quality products, delivered on schedule and at competitive prices."
Looking ahead, the company is already making plans to install a Trumpf TruBend press brake. Indeed, when the TruLaser 1030 fiber was installed, Cambridge Rapid Components opted to have the network points for the TruBend fitted in preparation.
Learn more about the Trumpf TruLaser 1030 fiber laser cutting machine and other products at www.uk.trumpf.com.