General sub-contractor and long-term user of the Pullmax punching technology Ripley Engineering has invested in the UK’s first Pullmatic 720 Laser. This combined punching and laser cutting system is manufactured by Swedish based Pullmax, one of world leaders in punching technology. It is Ripley’s seventh Pullmatic punching machine.
In addition to a punching facility, Ripley Engineering provides laser cutting, bending and powder coating facilities to a wide range of customers including those in the vending, commercial catering, defence and medical industries, to name just a few. The company has a long history in investing in the latest and most up-to-date technology. Such is Ripley’s confidence in the Pullmax built equipment that the company notably invested in the Pullmatic 104, 126 and 5000 punches at the individual launches of the machines!
This latest machine from Pullmax integrates hydraulic punching technology with laser technology. It is a multi-tasking system capable of handling sheets up to 1500 x 3000 mm wide, in materials up to 8 mm in thickness. It is equally at home producing prototypes and one-off specials as well being capable of long production runs. In addition, the Pullmatic 720 Laser can be used for forming and bending operations up to 75mm.
A single punch head enables full auto-indexing of all tools up to 360°. Parts can be rotated in any direction and positioned on the work piece and it is also possible to utilise each tool on any area of the sheet. The 20 station rotating tool magazine can hold tools up to a maximum diameter of 90mm. Tool changes take 10 seconds per station.
The combination of laser cutting, punching, bending, forming and tapping will provide Ripley with endless possibilities. Complex contouring can be achieved even on single parts, without the need for specially shaped tools, whilst maintaining edge quality. The Fanuc C2000E laser system has high beam quality and maximum power to make the Pullmatic 720 Laser suitable for typical laser applications in mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium. The machine provides the same cutting performance as a 3kW laser.
Nick Westcott-White, Ripley’s managing director comments: “We took the decision to invest in a combination punch/laser machine in order to keep ahead of the competition. We also felt such a machine would provide us with the flexibility of laser cutting but with the additional benefits of traditional punching methods. Laser cutting alone can often be expensive however this option will allow us, for example, to punch internal diameters whilst the external edges can be laser cut. In other words, downstream operations on separate machines will be eliminated thus reducing manufacturing times and cost per part.”
Mr Westcott-White continues: “We looked at a number of other machines on the market but Pullmax has a proven track record and we have had a strong working relationship with the company for many years. The Pullmatic stand-alone punching systems have achieved a market-leading performance throughout the years and Pullmax has provided Ripley Engineering with excellent service and back-up.
“We can naturally use our existing tooling and software packages, which is a further advantage and we certainly feel that our operators, who are already familiar with the Pullmatic systems, will be able to easily navigate the laser side of the machine.”
“The Pullmatic 720 Laser will enable the company to secure additional business and ensure Ripley Engineering remains competitive, profitable and dedicated to providing its customers with the service they demand and have come to expect throughout our long history,” concludes Mr Westcott-White.
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