Five-axis laser is UK first

23 Apr 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Dudley-based 2D and 3D laser-cutting specialist GF Laser has placed an order for a Trumpf 5-axis CNC laser-profiling machine that is the first of its kind in the UK.

Due to be installed in August 2019, the machine will be set to work on the 5-axis profiling and trimming of pressings, extrusions and spinnings – or any component containing a form – for sectors such as automotive, yellow goods, construction, architecture and art.

Simon Tregillus, Director of GF Laser, was among the customers invited to the recent Trumpf INTECH 2019 event at the company’s headquarters in Ditzingen Germany, after which the order for Trumpf TruLaser Cell 5030 was placed.

“With this order we are investing in the latest fibre technology,” he states. “The TruLaser Cell 5030 will replace our original Trumpf TLC CUT 5 machine and run alongside our existing TruLaser Cell 7040, which will be retained.”

GF Laser’s TLC CUT 5 was purchased in 2006 and, although still performing well, the introduction of the latest TruLaser Cell 5030 will move the company into another league regarding speed and energy efficiency.

Trumpf’s TruLaser Cell 5030 is ideally suited to small and medium lot sizes, and for applications where components are frequently changed. The machine comes with an energy-efficient, low-maintenance TruDisk solid-state laser, as well as other functions from the TruLaser Cell product groups that allows it to offer machine-hour rates that are circa 20% lower.

Materials processed on the Trumpf TruLaser Cell 5030 will include mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium. The machine will also allow GF Laser to process reflective materials such as copper and brass in five axes, a task not previously possible using the company’s CO2-based TruLaser Cell 7040.

GF Laser, which is ISO 9001:2015 accredited, has grown its turnover from £2 million to £3.5 million in the past three years, and today employs 25 people.

“With the incredible cutting speeds of modern laser cutters, growing numbers of customers are turning to this technology instead of investing in a press tool, which creates more business for GF Laser,” says Mr Tregillus. “The arrival of the TruLaser 5030 Cell will allow us to accelerate the processing of existing work, thus creating more capacity. I saw the machine working first hand at the INTECH event and could see the efforts TRUMPF have made to maximise cutting performance and minimise operator involvement. This is important to a company such as ours, which runs three shifts over 24 hours.”