£500,000 investment UK supplier of specialist metal components doubles laser capacity

Editor: Alexander Stark

UK — HV Wooding, which employs 90 staff at its manufacturing facility in Hythe, has invested more than £ 500,000 into the installation of the Trumpf Tru Laser 3030 as it looks to take advantage of significant “electrification” opportunities.

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HV Wooding has doubled its laser capacity with the new machine.
HV Wooding has doubled its laser capacity with the new machine.
(Source: Trumpf)

The supplier of specialist metal components HV Wooding, has doubled its laser capacity with the addition of a Trumpf Tru Laser 3030. The machine will immediately be used to produce thin gauge laminations and busbars for use in electric cars, lorries, buses and commercial vehicles, not to mention offering customers the ability to cut below 0.5 mm thickness and to a better than 50 microns tolerance.

Installed last month, the Trumpf 3030 features 3 kW laser power, simultaneous axis speeds 170 M/min, axis acceleration of 14 m/s2 and a fast pallet change time of only 18.5 seconds. “Our existing laser was working 24 hours per day, so we needed an additional option to help us satisfy current demand and to give us capacity to target new opportunities,” explained Paul Allen, Sales Director at HV Wooding. He added that customers changed designs of rotors and stators to increase performance and this investment would give his company the ideal solution to offer quick turnaround prototypes without the cost of wire cutting.

Laser Operator Chris Pennell with Simon Stewart (Technical Manager)
Laser Operator Chris Pennell with Simon Stewart (Technical Manager)
(Source: Trumpf)

The maximum sheet thicknesses the company can cut on the new machine is 20 mm for mild steel, 15 mm for stainless steel/aluminium and 6 mm for copper and brass. This enhances the current equipment that allows them to cut up to 8 mm copper and brass. Over £ 200,000 of orders have already been placed, with the potential to add another £ 800,000 between now and the end of 2022.

HV Wooding has enjoyed a strong ten months, with turnover up £ 600,000 since the UK emerged from lockdown. The company, which also offers wire erosion and presswork services, has created 16 new jobs to help cope with the increase in demand and is hoping to tap into the increasing desire for local sourcing from clients in the automotive, aerospace and power generation sector. It is also part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, working with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the University of Sheffield to develop an improved insulation solution that will enhance the quality of the busbars it is producing.

Supported by Innovate UK, the project focuses on investigating and developing alternative coating methods that will improve the performance and integrity of the critical components, which carry high-current power between different parts of an electrical system.

In addition to the new laser, the manufacturer has also added a new Bruderer BSTA 25H press, a Trimos height gauge and the Inspect Vision inspection system.

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