Specialized in profiling thinner materials, the sheet metal subcontractor Metalfacture has chosen to install fibre laser technology alongside its existing CO2 laser cutting plant. Another first for the company is the integration of automatic sheet load and unload, allowing it to profit from the economies of unmanned running overnight. The entire cell was supplied in May 2014 by Bystronic UK, Coventry.
Established in 1997, in Wigston (UK), Metalfacture employs 50 staff at its 95,000 sq ft Leicestershire factory and has operated manned shifts around-the-clock for many years, producing such items as shop displays, housings for electronic and security products, and fabrications for the materials handling industry. Over 80 per cent of work involves processing thin mild steel, Zintec, stainless steel and other materials less than 3 mm; a maximum thickness of 10 mm is handled very occasionally.
The company’s commercial director, Ben Jones-Fenleigh commented, “We needed extra laser profiling capacity to keep pace with increasing levels of business and were aware that a fibre laser would be faster than CO2 for the gauges we machine mostly.”