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KMF boosts automation capacity

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KMF (Precision Sheet Metal) is reaping the benefits of its investment in Trumpf automation by integrating two new machines into existing tower storage and automation systems.

Newcastle-under-Lyme based KMF has long been an advocate of automation and its success in recent years is partly down to the investment in sheet storage systems from Trumpf.

These towers currently feed four Trumpf machines, the first supplying a Trumpf TruMatic 6000 combination machine and a TruPunch 5000 punching machine, while the second provided raw sheet material to two TC 5000 punching machines.

As part of the company's ongoing capital investment programme a second combination machine was ordered along with a TruPunch 5000 machine to replace one of the existing older models.

Of course, KMF needed these tools to be fully automated so called on Trumpf to project manage and coordinate the integration of the new devices into the existing automation.

"The cost of adding additional automation would have been prohibitive," says KMF Managing Director Gareth Higgins, "So the option of being able to utilise our existing automation was a major cost saving and also reduced the amount of time required to complete the installation of the new machines."

In addition to feeding raw material from the tower to the Tru Punch 5000, the device is also integrated with a SheetMaster for automated loading and unloading of sheets, a GripMaster to unload the grid/sheet skeleton from the machine table and a ToolMaster for tool storage and automatic tool exchange.

The process was only possible due to the modular design of the Trumpf systems to allow greater expansion as production demands change.

The second installation was that of a Trumpf TruMatic 7000 combination machine, which was merged with the second Tower storage system that now feeds raw material to three devices in a single manufacturing cell.

"Making use of the existing automation in this way has allowed us to fully utilise our floorspace and maximise the benefits of automation on the production process," says Gareth Higgins.

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