A thousandth 1000
The TRUMPF factory in Hettingen recently produced its thousandth TruPunch 1000 punching machine. After leaving the Swabian Jura in mid-December of last year, this milestone machine traveled to the U.S., where it will be installed this spring to help yet another customer increase their competitive edge.
As an economical entry-level machine, the TruPunch 1000 represents a cost-effective solution that covers all the applications expected of a TRUMPF punching machine. These range from the production of simple perforated sheet metal parts to the creation of complex shaped and labeled work pieces involving numerous forming processes. The key factor allowing this punching machine to produce such a large variety of components is its flexible tool system. The linear magazine, designed to hold up to 18 tools, can be prepped in advance quickly and comfortably.
Thanks to the machine’s 360° tool rotation – one of the particular benefits offered by TRUMPF punching machines – the punching head can rotate any tool to whatever angle is required; this is regardless of the tool’s shape, size or position in the magazine. Not only does this lower setup times and tool costs, it also makes more efficient use of materials: Thanks to the tool rotation function parts can be nested more closely on the metal sheet. By using MultiTools, which integrate up to ten different punch and die inserts in one tool holder, processing potential is increased further.
These technical specifications are what convinced the buyer to purchase Hettingen’s thousandth TruPunch 1000. Completed on December 17, 2014, the machine was recently delivered to the customer in Missouri, USA. “We’re delighted that our products are so popular, and regard this milestone as a true compliment to our employees’ hard work,” says Steffen Braun, site manager at TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KG in Hettingen.
Milestone machine destined for the USA
The new owner of this special machine is Watlow, an industry-leading producer of thermal solutions including electric heaters, temperature sensors, power controllers, temperature controllers and supporting software. A family-owned company that is now in its third generation, Watlow has nine manufacturing facilities and three technology centers located around the world. The state-of-the-art punching machine supplied by TRUMPF will replace an older TRUMPF model in use at the company, thereby improving Watlow’s productivity and competitiveness.
“Here in Hannibal, Missouri, the TruPunch 1000 will produce sheet metal parts for our electric heating elements,” says Curt St. Clair, senior engineer at Watlow. As far as he’s concerned, the benefits of punching are obvious. “Many of our parts feature simple holes and square or rectangular contours, and in such cases punching has clear advantages. The high productivity of the TruPunch 1000 for these kinds of parts takes the heat off our laser machine, which is also made by TRUMPF. That makes us much more flexible and increases our production capacity.”
Watlow has been using TRUMPF machines since 1995, despite some initial skepticism. “I found TRUMPF’s idea of using linear tool magazines instead of a turret system a little strange at first,” says St. Clair. “We thought it would be too slow. But after careful consideration, we quickly realized the benefits: By allowing the tool head to rotate, the TRUMPF system is more agile than revolver systems, with a design that is more stable and has fewer moving parts. We here at Watlow greatly appreciate the distinctive way that the TRUMPF engineers address such technical challenges. I guess it’s because we take a similar approach ourselves: We too are a very innovative company that’s always looking to find better solutions for our customers.”
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first published in March 2015.