MSS Lasers has helped Kenilworth based MPJ Fabrications to optimize the efficiency of its laser cutting machinery at reasonable cost, through its expertise in the technology. MPJ started as a management buy-out of the fabrication workshop of a pump manufacturing company in 2002. With three years of contracts and co-location on the pump manufacturer's site the business prospered. The company used an old Strippit CNC punch press to produce many sheet metal parts, but subcontracted laser cut components. In 2005 it decided to replace the punch press with a laser cutter and was recommended to MSS Lasers in Rugby. Mike Jeffs, Managing Director of MPJ Fabrications says, "MSS Lasers was completely professional. It carried out a site survey, evaluated the type of work we were doing, recommended the most appropriate laser and produced a schedule of works for machine installation. For us, the cost of a new machine was prohibitive, so we needed to find a reliable partner for used machinery." The company started with a pre-owned 2kW LVD Helius machine and then shortly afterwards added a second 3kW Helius.
To achieve further efficiency improvements and to cut manufacturing costs, MPJ decided to trade in both machines for a much larger 4kW LVD Axel with pallet changing system and 11m footprint from MSS Lasers. By now, the company had broadened the range of parts it produced, supplying components for specialist vehicle manufacturers, motor sport and even James Bond films! Mike Jeffs adds, "The pallet changing capability of the Axel made a big difference to our efficiency, maximizing the cutting time and minimizing the handling of sheets and components. Service from MSS Lasers ensured the reliability of this pre-owned machine, enabling us to easily meet customer deadlines which can be as little as 4 hours. The installation was seamless too, as MSS Lasers left us with one of the Helius machines until the Axel was up and running."
Unfortunately for MPJ, it was given notice to quit its existing premises. However, Mike Jeffs had had the foresight to purchase an industrial unit, which he had initially planned to rent out, and the move to this new unit took place in December 2010. MSS Lasers played its part in this too. Mike Jeffs says, "Our new factory was too small for the LVD Axel as we needed to maintain a separate polishing shop, yet we wanted to maintain the pallet changing capability of the LVD. MSS Lasers proposed a pre-owned 4kW Trumpf which has a front loading pallet system and a 7m x 5m footprint. Although space is tight, this has been the perfect solution for us. We find the Trumpf to be a robust and technically advanced machine."
The Trumpf uses nitrogen to purge the bellows and for cutting. Mike Jeffs says, "The quality of the cutting on the Trumpf is excellent. Furthermore, cutting with nitrogen takes out an operation. Previously, we had to clean the oxidized edges of our components so that any welding would stick properly and similarly, for powder coated parts to avoid chipping." Space in the new workshop is at a premium so MPJ took the decision to rent a high pressure nitrogen generation plant from MSS Lasers. Mike Jeffs adds, "The system is absolutely fantastic. Previously we had to use two nitrogen banks, which only lasted two days, and one oxygen bank. Each bank contains 15 bottles, is 1.5m x 1m in size and weighs 1.5 tonnes. These are difficult to manoeuvre and use up valuable space. We also used to be subject to delivery delays when we ran low on nitrogen causing disruption to production. With the nitrogen generator, we let it run overnight, and there is plenty of gas for us to start cutting at 6am and run all day with nitrogen. As well as saving the cost of gas and the potential disruption of running out, we now also use less oxygen, making further savings."
MPJ relies completely on its laser cutting machine as virtually every part it manufactures goes through it. Mike Jeffs says, "The service which we get from MSS Lasers is absolutely vital to us. We believe in relationships built on trust. Not only has MSS Lasers provided us with affordable machinery, but its service is first class and, in the five years we have been working together there has never been a single occasion when it has let us down."
About MSS Lasers
Based in Rugby Warwickshire, MSS Lasers is a privately owned company formed in 2003 by Managing Director Carlos Gonzalez-Lee. His research and experience in laser cutting, and the need for an independent specialist laser company in the UK, provided the springboard for the company's growth. Its core business is servicing and sales of all types of refurbished laser cutting machines. Partnerships across Europe provide a source of second user laser machines which are refurbished and quality checked to a high standard, enabling it to offer the exact machine make and model to suit its customers' requirements. The company is also a pioneer in the supply of high pressure nitrogen generation plants for laser cutting. Not only does this save users the cost of purchasing gas, but it also has environmental and operational benefits by providing nitrogen on demand at the customer's premises.
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