Farmington, CT—Management at TRUMPF Inc. is really attuned to the North American metal cutting market. Last year this $183 million subsidiary of the TRUMPF Group introduced the Trumatic L3050, an instant hit with North American job shoppers because of its cutting speed and material processing flexibility. This year the company introduced a big brother to this unit, the L4050, a 5kW CO2 powered, 80 in. x 160 in. cutter.
The SortMaster enables fully automated production from stored raw material to stacked finished parts and skeleton disposal.
With traverse speeds in excess of 916 ft/min and 2g of acceleration, this unit can cut thin metal at speeds up to 1500 in/min. And it can cut 1-in. thick mild steel at 25 in/min., in the same cutting cycle with a simple change in the cutting head.
More to the point the L4050 also features TRUMPF's new Pierce Control System that continuously monitors and adjusts pierce parameters, in real time, to improve pierce hole quality and reduce pierce time.
Judging by comments ILS heard at the company's recent VIP event, this unit will be as big a hit as last year's introduction, especially in job shop situations. Insight into the market's interest was apparent because TRUMPF was oversubscribed by invitee responses, setting a record for attendance at this yearly event. So much for a down economy, as we heard numerous positive buying comments from both job shop owners and managers from large manufacturing companies.
This year TRUMPF chose to feature automation by introducing the SortMaster, here hooked up to an L3050 laser cutter. This modular system enables fully automated production from stored raw material to stacked finished parts and skeleton disposal. It's not cheap but when you factor in the reduction in manpower, second-shift unattended operation and increased productivity, a reasonable payback seems possible. We learned that two large job shops are considering this unit.
Also shown was the automated Tubematic RC laser cutter, designed for high-speed cutting of thin-wall tubes. The RC denotes a special design for round tubes only. By eliminating secondary operations and dramatically reducing follow-on weld time the Tubematic has economic advantages that make it worth consideration.
We have long believed that laser tube and pipe cutting is an underutilized technology in North America. For years, European companies have experienced and reported on the cost benefits associated with non-contact laser cutting, but for unexplained reasons, this message has been slow in permeating domestic industries. Now that several suppliers are positioned with automated systems we expect tube and pipe cutting to take up some of the slack in the metal cutting market.
Check out TRUMPF at its web site www.us.trumpf.com