Mar 02, 2012
Equipment acquisition to improve processing speedBack
Fabrinox|Trumpf|Africa|Europe|Germany|South Africa|Energy|Energy Consumption|Energy Efficiency|Head Technology|Higher Processing Speed|Laser Technology|Laser-cutting Equipment|Less Energy|Manufacturing Technology|Mild Steel|Sheet-metal Components|Steel|Subassemblies Manufacturer|Thin Stainless Steel|Andre Visser|Cutting Head Technology|Laser|Laser Technology
© Reuse this
The efficiency of the fibre-guided TruDisk 3001 is twice that of the current carbon dioxide beam source machines Fabrinox operates, and when the machine is in full production and all processes are optimised, the output will double the current capacity.
MD André Visser tells Engin-eering News that the company expects to take delivery of a TruLaser 5040 Fiber L47 machine from manufacturing technology provider Trumpf in May this year.
“This machine is part of a bigger expansion programme worth R14-million and will be the second machine to be commissioned this year. The balance of new equipment will follow in early 2013 and includes new processes to broaden the company’s service offering,” says Visser.
The TruLaser 5040 Fiber L47 machine, with a maximum laser power of 3 kW, is being imported from Germany. “This technology was only made available to the market in December 2011 and is very new,” he says.
He notes that a definite advantage of this machine is that it consumes less energy.
In addition to the energy efficiency of the laser’s fibre-guided TruDisk 3001, the machine features an efficient cooler, which adapts the cooling power as needed by means of four compressor stages, reducing energy consumption when lower cooling power is required.
The machine also has an automatic shutdown system that is activated or deactivated by a switch element. It automatically shuts down if a program end or job end is indicated for longer than five minutes, or if there is no axis motion for ten minutes.
Besides saving energy, the automatic shutdown also reduces wear and tear on the machine, says Visser.
The TruLaser 5040 is able to process a range of metals. “The laser cuts thin stainless steel and aluminium as well as nonferrous metals, such as copper and brass, reliably and [with great precision],” he says.
It can also easily cut mild steel up to 20 mm.
Visser notes that the machine’s single cutting head technology, automatic nozzle changer and focus setting are what make it unique.
“With the TruLaser 5040, different material thicknesses can be processed without having to change cutting heads, reducing nonproductive time.”
Further, as the cutting head does not need to be changed, contamination of any kind is prevented from infiltrating the beam delivery system, which has a positive impact on the process reliability of the machine, he states.
In addition, the machine’s automatic nozzle-changer option eliminates the need for operators to exchange nozzles, providing optimal support, especially during automated system operations.
Local Laser Industry
Nevertheless, he notes that, despite challenging market con-ditions, the number of projects requiring the use of laser technology has increased over the past five years.Currently,
Fabrinox is especially active in Africa, with the number of projects having “more than doubled over the past two years”, he says.
Visser believes that one of the reasons for this increase in projects is that companies in Africa are realising that they can rely on South African companies to provide them with the required products. “Also, we are in the same time zone, which simplifies trade between countries,” he explains.
Further, he points out that laser technology is becoming more user friendly.
In addition, Visser expects the automated loading and offloading of material onto laser machines to become more prevalent in future. “These automation technologies are mostly available in Europe at the moment but will be available in South Africa within a few years,” he says.
Meanwhile, Visser highlights rising electricity costs as being Fabrinox’s biggest challenge, adding that the energy efficient TruLaser 5040 will significantly benefit the company.
Further, the lack of skilled operators and programmers is proving to be another significant challenge.
For this reason, Fabrinox runs a training programme for its employees.
“We employ a certain number of young people, not older than 25, who are then given in-house training and sent to Europe to receive training from the machine suppliers,” he explains.
Fabrinox will, this year, focus on increasing its capacity as it diversifies into new markets and on training artisans and operators to provide customers with high-quality products and services.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Metals News
Engineering components distributor Bearing Man Group (BMG) has recently completed the installation of a new steel cable carrier system, of undisclosed value, at a straightening mill of one of the largest steel producers in Africa. “This project in Newcastle,...
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...