When one of Scotland’s leading subcontract sheet metal specialists, Prestige Fabrications Ltd, sought a new CNC punching machine, the company took a pre-owned TRUMPF machine on loan for three months while the management team continued to progress a pending grant. However, such was the impression made by the refurbished TC2000R that the East Kilbride company decided to acquire the model on a permanent basis. Not only is the machine now used to process precision parts for a host of high profile industries, the extra capital saved by buying a used machine allowed Prestige to acquire a new TRUMPF TruBend Series 5000 CNC press brake.
Established in 1994, Prestige Fabrications is an ISO9001:2008 accredited fabrication shop with an emphasis on supplying precision metalwork for sectors such as oil and gas, power generation, food, laboratory and electronic, to name but a few. Today employing 16 people at its 24,500 sq ft facility, Prestige has made impressive progress of late, in fact doubling in size over the past five years. So what are the driving factors behind the company’s success?
“Unlike many of our competitors we always give our customers exactly what they ask for,” states Managing Director, Scott McKelvie. “We deliver the ordered parts, to specification, within the agreed lead-time. As a company we also implement a planned programme of ongoing investment, which is a popular strategy with our clients.”
Among the latest arrivals at Prestige Fabrications is a TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 CNC laser profiling centre with 3.2 kW resonator. Delighted with the performance of this advanced machine, TRUMPF was subsequently top of list when it came to sourcing a new CNC punch. However, the company was awaiting sign-off on a recent grant application and decided to take a refurbished TC2000R on loan as a stop-gap.
“Although the machine is pre-owned it’s been absolutely brilliant and we’ve had no problems whatsoever,” says Mr McKelvie. “It was originally manufactured in 2000, but the refurbishment means that it’s spot-on. So much so, that it seemed pointless pursuing our requirement for a new machine and we took the decision to acquire the TC2000R.”
With a working range in the XY direction of 1270 x 1270 mm, the second-hand TC2000R offers Prestige features such as: a rotating tool adaptor; automatic repositioning device with presser foot; automatic toolchanger with nine stations; chute for parts up to 200 x 200 mm with sorting into two containers; brush tables; forming and marking capability; tool lubrication; and safety light barrier. It was also supplied with TRUMPF’s graphical programming ToPs 2000 software package.
The specification is proving ideal for Prestige, which on a day-to-day basis processes materials that include mild steel, stainless steel, Zintec and aluminium, generally between 1 and 6 mm thick. Batch sizes vary, but like most subcontractors in this area, runs are getting shorter. Around 10-12 off is typical currently.
Aside from being an invaluable production asset, there has been another significant knock-on benefit from acquiring the second-hand TRUMPF machine.
“Due to the low investment requirement of the pre-owned TC2000R, the decision to buy released extra capital that would otherwise have been spent on a new punch,” says Mr McKelvie. “As a result, we decided to invest in a new TRUMPF TruBend Series 5000 CNC press brake. It’s an 85 tonne model with a 2.5 m bed and adds to our existing bending capacity. All in all, purchasing the pre-owned punching machine turned out to be a fantastic decision.”
All TRUMPF refurbishments are carried out by the company’s accredited partner, Severn Manufacturing, which is fully approved by TRUMPF GmbH. After the machine has been commissioned, a test piece is used to verify the machine’s precision. The procedure is identical to that used for a new machine.
“As a subcontractor you must be prepared to react quickly and be ready for the unexpected,” concludes Mr McKelvie. “Due to our many years of knowledge and experience in this competitive market we are confident that we can always meet client requests and expectations. Central to this ability is our ongoing investment programme, which keeps us at the cutting edge of technology – the results are reflected in our quality, delivery dates and prices.”