Something’s brewing at Sinop
The Czech specialist in beverage dispensing equipment, Sinop is determined to play in the premier league. The secret to their success is keeping most of their production in-house, including laser welding.
There’s no shortage of ambition in the Czech Republic. The government recently announced its goal to become one of the world’s 20 most competitive OECD nations by 2020. The idea is that most of this ambitious target should be shouldered by the country’s punchy industrial sector. That will require companies that are capable of rising to the challenge — and Sinop is a good example. The company’s management team is confident that they are already in a good position. “We focus on excellence in every single area,” says Vaclav Kriz, the company’s head of production, emphatically. His confidence is well-founded — the superbly equipped production hall alone is enough to make that clear. Spread over 8,000 square meters, it features one cutting-edge machine tool after the next. The plant is positively bustling with activity — not just now, but during all three shifts — so there are obviously plenty of orders coming in.
Two key pillars
Sinop primarily specializes in industrial cooling technologies, producing refrigeration units, tapped beverage cooling equipment and beverage dispensing equipment for companies in the food industry. “We mostly cater to the European premium segment in this market,” says Kriz. “The food sector is highly sophisticated and discerning, and
Thanks to the broad range of applications we offer, we can support companies that expect the same quality standards for their components as we do.
our customers expect the very best quality.” That’s why Sinop began investing in cutting-edge technologies shortly after it was founded in 1995. The company is determined not to be dependent on suppliers, especially when it comes to critical components. So it produces almost everything in-house, which means it can rectify any faults itself in case of doubt. It didn’t take long for other companies to hear about Sinop’s extraordinary array of modern machinery, and by the turn of the century, more and more people were knocking on the door and asking Sinop if they could handle their jobs, too, ultimately leading to a second, lucrative field of business. “We now support numerous partners in our role as a job shop,” Kriz explains. “Thanks to the broad range of applications we offer, we can support companies that expect the same quality standards for their components as we do.”
Getting into laser welding
It was largely due to its work with these cooperation partners, that Sinop added a laser system in 2011, purchasing a TruLaser 5030 fiber 2D machine. Right from the start, the sheet metal workers had more in mind than just laser cutting, and the TruDisk came ready equipped with two outputs. “We wanted to keep the option open of using the laser for welding in the future,” says Kriz. And it wasn’t long before they added a TruLaser Robot 5020 laser welding cell. Now the TruDisk laser serves both, the TruLaser 5030 fiber and the TruLaser Robot 5020, providing an economical way of getting into laser welding. The machine operators built up key experience with the new technology without having to make a huge investment. “But in the end, the demand for laser welding took off so quickly, that we decided to invest in a second TruLaser Robot 5020 just one year later,” Kriz recalls.
For some products, the laser welding system has become an integral part of the production process. One example is the top-selling Soda Stream, a water carbonation product for the bar and restaurant trade. The piping system used in a Soda Stream requires high-quality weld seams to prevent germs taking hold on protruding edges. “You can only do that with a laser,” says Kriz emphatically. But welding is just one of the many sheet metalworking processes used in the Soda Stream manufacturing chain: a TruPunch 5000 punches and deburrs the drip tray, the TruBend 7036 bends the housing into shape and the TruLaser 5030 fiber cuts the individual components of the dispensing tap. Most Sinop products feature the same high levels of in-house production — but that also has a flip side.
“There came a point where the production management team was finding it harder and harder to keep track of everything,” says Kriz. To avoid falling victim to their own success, Kriz and his team started using the TruTops Fab production control software in 2012. This was an important milestone, because it finally enabled them to monitor production in real time and to improve the coordination of the various manufacturing processes. TRUMPF’s Czech subsidiary provided support throughout the integration process, and they still work closely with the company today: “TRUMPF is still helping us to optimize our processes,” says Kriz. “Everyone who works here benefits hugely from their support.” So from the machines on the shop floor to the people who operate them, Sinop is ready for the challenge of making the Czech Republic one of the world’s 20 most competitive OECD nations.
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first published in spring 2016.