Dettingen, Germany—Tier 1 automotive suppliers must meet, if not exceed, their customers' expectations to stay competitive. Customers demand first-rate quality, a quick turnaround and responsiveness to their application needs. For this reason, Gutbrod decided to make an investment that would increase its throughput to handle more volume, while maintaining the same level of responsiveness and the superior quality of its products.
1. The work envelope of the TLC 1005 is divided into two workstations for simultaneous use.
The company already owns two Trumpf Lasercells (TLC 1005) and knows the benefits of five-axis laser technology. Its decision to add a third was based on the development of dual station operation. Essentially, the work envelope of the TLC 1005 is divided into two workstations for simultaneous use: one for loading and unloading and the other for processing. An operator can safely remove the finished part or load a part for processing, while the laser operates in the other side of the cabin. The machine never stands still. "It works even when parts are loaded," says Edgar Ries, commercial division manager for Gutbrod.
Currently, the company is laser-cutting deep drawn parts, structural parts and shielding plates for customers such as BMW, Audi, VW, Petri and Webasto. Since the addition of the dual station TLC 1005, Gutbrod has seen a significant increase in its throughput, employee efficiency and overall productivity.
Prototype production is an equally important market for the company and machine flexibility is the key. It has to respond quickly, many different parts have to be processed and design changes are inevitable. "The prototyping market demands fast reaction times combined with a high quality from its suppliers for pre-series components," explains Ries. "We are fulfilling this task with dual station operation to the full satisfaction of our customers." The machine's flexibility and speed keeps the company ahead of the competition.
Ries knows his customers' reaction to their new capabilities. It is turnaround time that gives them the advantage and the second workstation provided exactly what they were looking for. As Ries says, "Five-axis laser machines are the future of our business." Now they can do more.
For more information on dual station laser cutting, access the Trumpf website, www.us.trumpf.com.