Laser cutter at TW Metals is ‘game changer’

TW Metals, a supplier of high-performance metals with a global turnover of £710m, has invested in a new 10 kW Trumpf TruLaser 3060 Fiber for one of its UK facilities. The company describes the large 6 m bed laser cutter, which is the first of its type in the UK, as a “game changer” as it has eliminated the time/cost issues associated with using subcontract resources and is now fulfilling next-day delivery demands.

The market segment occupied by the speciality distribution business unit of TW Metals has particular focus on materials for critical and hazardous environments, often in sectors such as nuclear, petrochemical, oil and gas, medical and automotive (a separate business unit serves the aerospace industry).

Mike Street, vice president Europe – speciality distribution, says: “The provision of machined or first-stage components is becoming an increasingly common request. We had a plasma cutter at our Longbridge site for this purpose, but knew a laser cutter would be ideal for our corrosion-resistant and heat-resistant nickel alloys, which extend from thin-gauge sheet up to 30 mm thick.”

David Ellis, head of operations – Europe, takes up the story: “We looked at nine machines, ultimately shortlisting two, one of which was the 10 kW Trumpf TruLaser 3060 Fiber. During demonstrations of the two machines, the TruLaser stood out. Certain nickel alloys are notoriously difficult to cut, but in the trials, Trumpf simply programmed the parts on the day we arrived and cut them beautifully, without any subsequent tweaking of parameters. Also, the price of the Trumpf package was more competitive.”

Adds Street: “Although the TruLaser is not yet fully utilised we’re filling it much faster than we anticipated. We have a budget for the machine and we’ve managed to exceed that every month so far.”

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