Yorkshire Laser & Fabrication (YLF), a Wakefield-based subcontractor specialising in fine-limit CNC sheet metalwork, has invested £2.2 million in the latest high-specification AMADA machinery to help increase throughput and quality. New machines installed in the past two years include an AMADA ENSIS 6kW fibre laser with ASLUL-3015 automation tower, an AMADA EML-2515AJ punch/fibre laser combination machine with RMP-NTK automation, and an AMADA HG-1003ATC automatic tool changing press brake. The company also uses a range of AMADA software suites, thus completing its transition to a completely exclusive AMADA shop.
Until recently, YLF, which carries ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations, operated machines by a variety of different suppliers. So why the switch to AMADA? “We’ve used a few AMADA press brakes and punching machines over the years and always found them to be highly reliable,” states Mr Orford. “However, a laser is significantly more expensive than a press brake or punching machine, so we were taking it on faith that the AMADA laser would be more reliable than lasers we’d had in the past from multiple other manufacturers.”
Clearly seeking more uptime from the company’s laser cutting capacity, the AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ 6kW fibre laser with ASLUL-3015 automation tower arrived in January 2020. “The machine has been fantastic; exactly what we hoped for,” declares Mr Orford. “It’s been very robust and the uptime we’ve been getting is excellent.”
“Sales have been really strong this year, to the point where we started to outsource some of our laser cutting,” says Mr Orford. “I didn’t want to install another laser and keep running an old punch. It made more sense to gain the flexibility available from a punch/laser combination machine, so we bought the EML.” The fully electric AMADA EML-2515AJ combination punch/fibre Laser with RMP- NTK automation arrived at YLF in May 2021.
“We have lots of parts with louvres, forms and countersinks, and we can process these much faster than on our previous punching machine, which has now gone. The EML has demolished our cycle times. Batches of parts we were previously punching in 40 hours now take 10-12 hours. And the quality of the finish – from what was a very good machine before in the AMADA Vipros King – is like night and day”, says Mr Orford.
Supplementing the company’s punching and profiling operations is investment in a new AMADA HG-1003ATC automatic tool changing press brake. “We’ve got two AMADA HD press brakes that have been absolutely bulletproof – they are fast, accurate and quick to set up,” says Mr Orford. “However, ultimately, we are loading tools by hand, which is why we wanted to add the HG-1003ATC. As it can do a full tool change in under 90 seconds, the new press brake has absolutely annihilated our cycle times for multiple set-up work. Jobs that needed 4-6 hours to fold previously now take just 2½ hours. AMADA helped us to select the best mix of tools for our requirements.”
Thanks to their automated features, the AMADA HG-ATC, ENSIS and EML-AJ machines run 24 hours a day, five days a week, ensuring the fast turnaround of parts for YLF customers.
Investment pays dividends YLF’s ongoing programme of investment is clearly proving pivotal in keeping the company ahead of its competitors.
“Investment is vital to ensure we can produce parts as well or better than anyone else,” states Mr Orford.
“We have complete confidence in our AMADA machines to meet these requirements, because they already do it day-in, day-out."