While Doncaster-based Onesite (Laser) Ltd has grown to become a leader in the supply of laser cut and formed parts, it never set out with the intention of operating as a sub contract laser cutting company. Originally a subsidiary of Onesite Solutions Limited, a service provider to the access engineering industry, Onesite Laser began trading autonomously in April 2010 to address growing customer needs for precision laser cut components.
In order to satisfy these demanding needs and to offer a cost effective solution to a competitive market sector, Onesite Laser had to invest in the right laser processing technology and for them the right partner was TRUMPF. “Somebody explained to me years ago that in business you don’t take an order, you buy risk and by buying risk your customer expects you to give them something that they pay you for. So what we needed was a machine that would ensure we’d get paid. It had to be reliable and constantly give us what we needed day after day after day. With TRUMPF that is what we get,” explains Onesite Laser’s Managing Director, Shaun Simpson.
But Onesite Laser didn’t start out using TRUMPF; it was a journey of trial and error. Being a small business and not wanting to rack up a lot of debt, it initially started down the second hand machine route. With unsatisfactory results, the business knew it would need to invest in new machines and picked TRUMPF for a variety of reasons. There were impressive trials that had been carried out with its machines and TRUMPF also offered a complete package that includes a machine, a laser, automation solutions, software as well as a large, international service network.
However, the biggest reason that swayed Onesite Laser towards TRUMPF was its approach to customer service. “People buy from people and with TRUMPF we felt as though we were dealing with family and peers rather than just dealing with sales people. They never tried to once sell the machine to me, instead they showed me what the machine could do and how it could help meet our needs, and that is why we chose that route in the end,” says Shaun Simpson.
Having outgrown its previous site, Onesite Laser recently moved into a new 10,000 square foot facility. Here it operates two recently purchased TRUMPF laser cutting machines with the intention of installing a third one soon. These TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 fiber machines, with a working range of 3000 x 1500 x 115mm and laser power of 6000 watts, is capable of working mild steel in all sheet thicknesses.
The TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 fiber works with a fully integrated solid-state TRUMPF TruDisk laser. The preference of CO2 or fiber technology is down to the individual company and the specific applications the machines are being used for. Whilst Onesite Laser used to operate cutting machines with CO2 lasers, it has now moved over to fiber laser technology, which certainly proved to be a learning curve.
“Going from a CO2 machine to a fiber was like driving a different car, from an automatic to a manual,” describes Shaun Simpson. “You have to re-educate your operators, your material source, your programming, and if you get any bit wrong, it ends up being disastrous. We learnt the hard way, like many laser cutters, as we expected it to be the same but it wasn’t.” But as Shaun explains, once they all learnt how to drive the fiber machines properly, there hasn’t been a single complaint from the operators.
One of the biggest benefits of the TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 fiber machines is its ability to operate at both higher speeds and with higher electrical efficiency, resulting in lower running costs. “Our electricity bill has halved,” admits Shaun Simpson. “We built the new facility with three CO2 laser machines in mind but with the two fiber machines we’ve not needed to purchase a third yet because the technology is reliable, stable and it’s much quicker than what we expected it was going to be.”
In the new facility, Onesite Laser has also invested in another new machine, the TRUMPF TruMark Station 5000. This marking system, which is suitable for diverse application scenarios, was not originally purchased for commercial gain. “It was bought to try and get my youngest son interested in engineering,” says Shaun Simpson. “We started by making little marketing trinkets like key rings, bottle openers and coasters. But as we used it more, we started to see the value in its use for commercial purposes especially as a lot of customers have seen what this little marker can do. We are developing it more and more for use for things like tags and deep engraving.”
The new facility will also be Industry 4.0. ready as it’s starting to be fitted out with TRUMPF’s TruConnect solutions that will enable networked production. “The screens and the entire cabling are in, we just have to get the software switched on. This will really help show us where we are slowing down, particularly across shift patterns, and help us to improve our processes,” comments Shaun Simpson.
Not only does Onesite Laser’s new facility boast a range of TRUMPF machines together with its forthcoming smart factory solution, it has also been painted in TRUMPF’s signature brand colours of blue and white making it look like a TRUMPF showroom. “As I had to drive down to TRUMPF’s UK headquarters in Luton, I said that I would build a Northern UK TRUMPF showroom,” says Shaun Simpson. “We had to decorate the building anyway, and I liked the blue and white of TRUMPF. It was a thank you to TRUMPF to let them know that I’m happy with what they have done for me and so I’m helping them back.”