Breaking turnover target

14 Nov 2018

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Set up in April with a single Trumpf machine, Staffs Laser is on course to turn over £800,000 in its first year of trading.

The company chose a TruLaser 2030 fiber to launch the business into the Midlands subcontract sheet profiling market and is well ahead of its original first year turnover target of £560,000.

Staffs Laser is the brainchild of Eddie Hopkins, who has been working in the laser cutting arena for the past 15 years.

“At my previous employment we had CO2 laser cutting machines, which are fine but cannot match the speed of fibre on thinner sheet,” he explains. “My old bosses were reluctant to invest in the latest fibre technology, so I decided to leave and start my own business.”

Working out of premises near Stone, ideally located between Stafford and Stoke, Mr Hopkins knew he would have to invest from the outset:

“I knew Trumpf machines well and consider them to be the market leader,” he says. “In addition, they provide really good service, which I knew would be key to a new start-up business like mine.”

With limited budget, Mr Hopkins enquired about Trumpf’s entry-level machine, the TruLaser 2030 fiber, which is designed to provide an easy introduction to highly productive laser cutting. Importantly, machine operation is intuitive so that users can get started immediately and continuously benefit from system performance. The TruLaser 2030 fiber can cut a range of materials, from mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium, all the way through to copper and brass, with the renowned 'fibre' edge quality. Bed size is 3m x 1.5m.

“We cut mild steel up to 20mm, stainless steel up to 16mm and aluminium up to 12mm,” explains Mr Hopkins. “We also process copper, brass, galvanised steel and zintec. For thinner sheet we cut with filtered compressed air.”

Staffs Laser has already created a strong client base in sectors such as construction, yellow goods and street furniture, supporting its laser cutting abilities with folding, welding and general fabrication services. In addition, the company can offer value-added resources that include design and reverse engineering.

“Such has been the ramp up in demand that the Trumpf TruLaser 2030 is already running 12 hours a day during the week, and 6-7 hours on Saturday – in fact, we are struggling to keep up and will soon have to consider running overnight,” explains Mr Hopkins.

In August 2018, the company achieved a record monthly revenue of £80,000, which is nearly double the £45,000 that was originally budgeted.

“There is no doubt of the influence that fibre technology has had on our business performance,” states Mr Hopkins. “Features such as single-head cutting are a massive plus in terms of maximising uptime.”

High productivity is another factor helping Staffs Laser to make an impact in the marketplace.

“We are already getting a reputation for our speed of turnaround,” says Mr Hopkins. “This is matched with A1 cut quality and good prices – we have low overheads as there are only seven of us here at the moment. Moving forward, our aim is to continue taking market share through a strategy of 100% customer satisfaction and ongoing investment in the latest manufacturing technologies.”


Picture: The team at Staffs Laser - Eddie Hopkins is third from the right