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Perfect entry-level machine for 3D laser cutting

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia- June 2019

Date Published:6/25/2019 11:06:14 AM

Over the last decade, local companies in South East Asia (SEA) increase the pace of innovation to survive and prosper in the face of customer demands for greater performance at a lower price and increased competition.

By: Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio

Mr. Axel Frey (Product Manager of TRUMPF Laser Systemt. GmbH), Mr. Tawiwat Reongpunyaroj (General Manager of TRUMPF Thailand), Mr. Joerg Ellerkmann (Managing Director TRUMPF Asia Pacific), Mr. Markus Lindemann (Head of Laser Technology Asia Pacific)

Recently, TRUMPF launched a perfect introduction to 3D laser cutting at its Thailand Technology Center. Markus Lindemann, Head of Laser Technology Asia Pacific at TRUMPF Pte Ltd explained the advantages of TruLaser Cell 5030 being an excellent value for money, including the company’s business in SEA, as well as challenges and plans.

Perfect entry-level machine for 3D laser cutting

According to Markus, the 5030 is a new 3D laser cutting machine to complete the series of TRUMPF 3D laser machines. “The advantage compared to the TruLaser Cell 7000, the selling price is much lower than this high-end version. If someone is starting a 3D cutting business, this machine is perfect as it is quite easy to operate,” he said.

The TruLaser Cell 5030 is easy to run in components with the help of the teachbox and touchscreen. The TruTops Cell Basic software solution also enables you to make quick adjustments to programs directly at the machine with a visual support. And TruTops Cell for offline programming is of course a standard for all 3D laser machines made by TRUMPF.

Markus explained the investment is reasonable because it doesn’t just mean lower investment costs but also very economical when in operation. “We see the market requirements for entry level machines fit perfectly to the TruLaser Cell 5030. Customers who are looking for 3D cutting but needed to be flexible, this machine is made for them. As it is ideally suited to small and medium lot sizes and for applications where cutting geometries are frequently change e. g. for stamping prototype parts,” he detailed.

When asked what sets Trulaser Cell 5030 apart from its competitors aside from its impressive low hourly costs and low maintenance, Markus explained that the TruLaser Cell 5030 gives you a higher flexibility. “You can do 3D cutting or normal 2D cutting. You can even do a 2D bevel cut, a tube cut and tube bevel cut. You have a lot of different possibilities where no other 3D laser machine or robot system can compete if you consider quality and cost”.

Markus again reiterated that there is no other machine that offers flexibility in cutting and that is what makes this concept quite unique. “Besides the cutting functions, the machine will have in the future also a welding function which gives you another possibility to start a laser business. Therefore it’s a perfect laser machine for a job shop.”

Thailand launch

“We see a lot of potential in the automotive market for Trulaser 5030, and Thailand has the biggest automotive industry in SEA. It has the most potential to sell such machines in the whole region,” Markus declared.

For this reason, TRUMPF has decided to have the launch event for this machine in the country. “We also want to bring companies from other countries to Thailand to see the machine. We have already launched the machine in America, China, Korea and Japan. We perceive Thailand as a hub for 3D laser technology in SEA in the future. Here, we have a local service team, application team and sales colleagues to support the 3D business,” he added.

When asked if TRUMPF will exhibit this machine in tradeshows in SEA, Markus replied that they will not do it, due to the cost and installation time for the machine. ”Customers are always welcome to have a live demonstration of the machine in our technology centre in Thailand.”

He noted that typically they do simulations for customers who want to see how long it takes to cut a part or how much it costs. “We can do programming simulation in Thailand to see how long it takes to cut a certain part and even feedback how much it will be to cut a sample part on the machine. If this is interesting, then we can do a real cutting test on the machine in Thailand that the customer can see real quality of the cutting edges and machine performance.”

Addressing challenges

Although TRUMPF is a globally successful company, it's not without its challenges. Markus revealed that one of the challenges they have in doing business in SEA market is that most of the countries in the region have a big influence from Japan.

“TRUMPF typically comes from European brands. We do have good relationships with Japanese brands but these must be developed further. So what we need to do is basically develop our TruLaser Cells customer base. We expect that also local companies grow fast and establish their quality to become global players, in which we already see in some companies. 3D laser machines is one of the drivers in conserving energy for the last 10 years. With more local R&D in SEA, which we already see in Thailand for example, we have a bigger chance to sell our products, since we can provide local support to develop new manufacturing methods by using latest laser technology” he explained.

Business plans

“We are focusing on two industries, one is of course the automotive industry for 3D cutting and laser welding. The other application is the electronics and semicon business, where we are not yet in at this moment, but we think that there are some interesting applications for TRUMPF laser sources, optics and laser application know how. Similar to TRUMPF success stories with Chinese and Korean companies together with their local machine builders. I think there are also some companies in SEA that we have not discovered yet with our brought variety of laser sources and the local service that we can provide” Markus finally said.

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