What you will
With its combination of a TruLaser 3030, a LiftMaster Compact, and a TruStore 3030, M-U-T Metallumformtechnik is able to react rapidly to customer wishes — regardless which sheet metal grade is required.
In Holger Lendner’s opinion, an amply stocked sheet metal storeroom is the basis for satisfied customers. “We accept any kind of order and try to be fast and flexible at all times,” explains this partner in the firm. The company, M-U-T Metallumformtechnik GmbH, holds at least 300 tons of many different sheet qualities in stock to ensure quick turnaround for every customer inquiry.
That is hardly a simple task, because the firm’s range of activities is wide. This job shop, employing 85, primarily produces small and medium-volume runs for industrial customers in Europe’s German-speaking regions. In addition to its activities as a subcontractor, M-U-T also manufactures its own range of products — including sound absorbers for heating plants, flue gas equipment, and an outdoor stove. There is hardly any limitation to the choice of materials, either. In addition to construction steel and stainless steel, the company also processes aluminum — and brass and copper.
A decision made for the future
At the beginning of 2012, their claim of being able to supply both swiftly and flexibly posed two simultaneous challenges to the job shop located in the Bavarian town of Spiegelau. It was becoming difficult to keep track of all the materials in stock and, additionally, the storeroom taking up too much space. Furthermore, the company had to refuse orders, especially for items made of thicker sheets, because there was no machinery available for processing steel with gauges exceeding eight millimeters.
Ludwig Schopf and his partner Holger Lendner were quick to realize one fact. They were going to have to make an investment if they wanted to continue supplying promptly and flexibly. They looked around for automated, high-rise storage systems. The problem was that they were unable to reconcile the purchase with their cost-benefit calculations, since most automated storage systems were too expensive for their particular applications. “Without the direct link to a machine, a storage system like that simply eats up money and is idle capital,” sums up Lendner.
Two birds with one stone
At the TRUMPF in-house exhibition Intech, he and Ludwig Schopf then found a solution that would solve their storage problem and expand production capacity at the same time: a TruLaser 3030 with a LiftMaster Compact, connected to a TruStore 3030 compact storage system. “This combination is a single-source solution that suits our needs precisely and is truly cost-effective for our degree of capacity utilization,” explains Holger Lendner. The two of them quickly decided to buy this compact solution, which has enabled M-U-T to increase productivity significantly and at the same time save plenty of space. The compact TruStore occupies just 40 percent of the floor space the old system needed — and stores the same volume.
Cutting safely through thick sheet
“We are much more flexible with the new machine, especially when processing sheet up to 25 millimeters thick,” explains Schopf. The installation, with its 5-kilowatt laser, is the first 2D laser cutting machine in use at M-U-T and has turned out to be a genuine all-rounder in two-shift operations. If everything goes according to plan, it will soon be working in three shifts.
The chances for this look good. M-U-T can now accept orders for thick sheet products — thanks to the CoolLine feature, as well. “CoolLine keeps temperatures down when cutting thicker sheet metal with very tight contours. We can achieve a very high level of process reliability with the 5-kilowatt laser, even when cutting thicker materials,” states Lendner. Automation has also resulted in shorter set-up times. The LiftMaster Compact moves sheets from the TruStore, which holds 150 tons of material and has 51 storage compartments, straight to the TruLaser 3030. On completion of the cutting process, it returns any remaining sheet metal to storage. “The entire process is accelerated by these shorter set-up times and the speed of the machine. This lets us dispatch finished parts to our customers one day after receiving an order,” explains Lendner.
With this consistent, customer-oriented approach, M-U-T intends to retain both its mainstays in the future, too — doing job shop work and developing its own products. The key to success at M-U-T is continuing to be ready to invest and pursue healthful growth. “You must always keep up with the state of the art and at the same time think carefully about which investments really make sense. Technologies that might be of interest to us in the future include solid-state lasers, laser welding and a laser tube cutting machine.”
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first established in summer 2013.