New TruPunch 1000 at Candela performs 50% faster than previous turret punch presses
Thanks to its investment in the latest TruPunch 1000 CNC punching machine from TRUMPF, Birmingham-based lighting manufacturer Candela Light is enjoying a 50% increase in production speed (and hence throughput) over its two previous turret punch presses. The machine was purchased alongside a TRUMPF TruBend 3066 CNC press brake and the latest TRUMPF TruTops Boost software that allows the company to generate programs at the touch of a button.
For over 30 years Candela Light has played a key role in numerous major decorative lighting schemes in both the private and public sector. The company, which is one of the few truly independent lighting manufacturers in the UK, supports projects from early proposals and lighting designs, right through to commissioning and production. Having experienced strong growth in the past 12 months (Candela now employs 28 people), the company decided to reinvest some of its profits back into the business. Of particular focus was Candela’s turret punch presses, which were ageing and had become a little unreliable.
"We knew that technology had moved on, so we decided to assess the main players in the market to see about buying a replacement," explains the company’s Managing Director, Nigel Astley. "At first, we thought about replacing the turret punches with a fibre laser profiling centre, but the TRUMPF representative explained that we would be much better off with a TruPunch machine based on the type of parts we process. As a result, we invested in the TruPunch 1000."
The TruPunch 1000 offers ideal entry into professional punch processing and has all of the capabilities expected of a TRUMPF punching machine. In addition to pure punching, the forming of threads, making of extrusions and bending of flanges are also possible, thus offering cost-efficient, complete processing in a single clamping.
"Unlike our previous turret punches, which only had a couple of auto-index stations, all tools on the TruPunch 1000 – including TRUMPF’s unique MultiTools – can be rotated through 360°," explains Mr Astley. "Furthermore, the machine is 50% faster than our previous capability and we no longer have to remove parts from a skeleton frame and perform deburring."
In terms of eliminating secondary operations, the TRUMPF machine at Candela was ordered with almost all of the extra functions available, including MultiTool, MultiShear, MultiBend, Tapping (with breakage control for tapper), Marking/Rapid Beading, Engraving, Deburring and Roller Technology.
Since its installation in June 2016, the machine has been set to work producing the metalwork for Candela’s extensive range of contemporary and heritage lighting products, lanterns, columns and brackets. Although the TruPunch 1000 can process sheets up to 6.4 mm thick, Candela typically processes aluminium up to 4 mm and copper and brass up to 1.2 mm. The company also manufactures parts from stainless steel. Candela makes to order, rather than for stock, and batch sizes can range from 20 to 300-off.
Having identified the TruPunch 1000 as the answer to its requirements, Candela also asked TRUMPF to provide a replacement press brake and new manufacturing software. "We wanted a single supplier so that we would only require one training programme and one service contract," says Mr Astley. "With this in mind, we invested in a new TRUMPF TruBend 3066 CNC press brake and TruTops Boost software."
Mr Astley says that the downstroking functionality of the TruBend 3066, as opposed to the upstroking configuration of the company’s previous press brake, means Candela can use the machine’s bigger throat to accommodate larger parts. "Furthermore, the 3D visualisation technology offered by the TruBend machine means we can use unskilled labour," he adds.
Candela is also taking advantage of TruTops Boost, a recently-introduced software solution that merges into a single system all the steps needed to generate sheet metal manufacturing programs at the touch of a button. The enhanced automation offered by TruTops Boost means that creating NC programs for laser profiling, punching and bending has never been easier or quicker, since the calculations are carried out automatically. The software also includes full 3D CAD design functionality.
"We’ve had three members of staff go on the TRUMPF training course and they have picked things up fairly quickly considering we have never used TRUMPF technology before," says Mr Astley. "Of course, we will continue to learn as we move forwards, but we’ve hit the ground running, which is important for a busy, growing company such as ours."
The new TRUMPF technologies at Candela Light are helping meet increasing demand for the company’s range of street, architectural, LED and heritage lighting. Recent landmark projects include exterior LED lighting for the £50 million Park Regis Hotel development in Birmingham, the Edgbaston Canal tunnel LED lighting refurbishment project and the supply of heritage lanterns to the Edgbaston Priory Club (a leading leisure club).