Recognised as one of the UK’s leading tube cutting and processing subcontractors, Duright Engineering prides itself on the quality of the products it cuts as well as its ability to meet exacting lead-times.
Operating 24/7, it works its machines hard and as a result machinery replacement is normally based on age and performance, but the latest investment in two BLM LT7 fibre laser tube machines bucked that trend, providing the opportunity to develop the service offered by Duright and drive further efficiencies.
While COVID had a negative impact on many manufacturing companies, Duright saw business grow thanks to its exposure to the medical equipment sector, where it was involved manufacturing parts for beds for the Nightingale hospitals, among many other medical-related projects.
“The period of the pandemic proved to be some of our busiest years and in part drove our decision to invest in our first BLM LT7, as it provided a step-change in technology in terms of how easy and quick it was to set up and improved performance on a lot of the exotic materials that we cut,” says Ross Taylor, managing director, Duright Engineering. “Also the technology and inbuilt control software enhances the ability of our operators.”
Mr Taylor was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the operators adapted to the new technology of the BLM LT7 fibre laser – so much so that within 12 months a second machine was ordered. These machines are also supported by a new nitrogen generating system that is alone delivering savings of between £5,000 and £7,000 per month on liquid nitrogen used for the lasers.
Add to this the efficiencies brought to the business by the new laser tube machines themselves, Duright can offer exceptional service, but also competitive rates. The company has also generated increased capacity that can be filled with new business.
The BLM LT7 Laser Tube features a 3D cutting head equipped with a 3kW fibre laser. Efficiencies are created through innovative design features such as the automatic setting of the tube loader, spindle, steady rest and intermediate supports in preparation for the next job with no interruption to the production cycle.
The automatic tube loader can handle round and square tubes, rectangular profiles, open profiles, or special sections weighing up to 23kg/m and up to 8.5m in length, while tube between 12mm and 152.4mm can be cut.
“At Duright we run an extremely tight production system with every job and every operation, barcoded so everything has an allocated time whether that be set-up or production. Our target is to achieve 80% efficiency on a daily basis, with 80 to 84% being the typical figure. The new BLM LT7 machines are achieving 93% efficiency, even with 10 or 12 changeovers in a 24 hour period.
“The machines are much more streamlined. For us this is a big benefit as we operate 24/6 pushing machines as hard as they can go with no spare time,” says Mr Taylor.
BLM Group has been a supplier to Duright Engineering for many years, a relationship built on trust and quality of the machines, along with the technical support available. As Ross Taylor mentions, machines are worked hard and the LT712 laser tube that the LT7s are superseding has been at Duright for 14 years and still produces parts efficiently to the highest quality, but the LT7 brings added benefits.
“The LT7 cuts so much faster than the old machine, but speed isn’t everything,” Mr Taylor concludes. “The fibre laser technology has come on leaps and bounds and the speed at which we can change from one job to another, with limited operator input is major step forward.
“Add to this, the level of support we can call on from BLM both here in the UK and in Italy is second to none.”