No stranger to laser cutting technology, Tilley Group has operated various CO2 systems in their manufacturing processes since 1994. If laser cutting was regarded as a “disruptive” technology back then, today’s fibre laser cutting systems have turned disruptive into “revolutionary”, given their impact on sheet metal fabrication in recent years. 

Always future focused, choosing action over inertness is something the 99-year-old company is well known for.

“Be it one of our proprietary products or project work, customer value has been our ongoing purpose since 1921. Creating better value in a competitive industry 4.0 environment, we are committed to identifying business needs, investing in technology that will meet them, building organisational capabilities and actively adapting processes and culture so both remain relevant,” says managing director, Rory Bremner.

Investment into a fibre laser system was crucial to meet the company’s future needs. Among the many suppliers they approached, Bystronic provided the best fit with a BySmart 3015 system. Having recently purchased an Xpert series press brake from Bystronic, the overall experience ticked a lot of boxes. Bystronic worked with Tilley to create an “end to end” manufacturing roadmap for the needs of the business today and tomorrow.

“Bystronic stands out for their strong reputation for building reliable, fully integrated manufacturing systems, backed by a wealth of industrial knowledge and experience.” Having a wholly owned subsidiary selling and servicing in the Australasian region, meant easy, clear and reliable communication with the manufacturer.

Tilley Group embraces all facets of the light and fast factory of the future. Working with a supplier who understands digitalised manufacturing in terms of Industry 4.0 promises speed, with directness and flexibility. Bystronic’s BySoft 7 software package makes it easy. Constructing and calculating parts, creating cutting plans and bending programmes simultaneously, while planning and monitoring the entire manufacturing processes wouldn’t be imaginable without powerful software like BySoft 7.

“You maintain an overview, while completing jobs quickly, affordably and reliably,” says Phil Dornan, Tilley Group’s production manager. “Seeing machines communicate with each other is novel in animation, but totally mind blowing when you experience the gains and end results when it is operating in your factory.”

There is also something green about Tilley Group’s new machines. The new fibre laser is significantly more energy efficient than the old CO2 laser. Using the same power input, it generates four times the output. The new Xpert series press brake also contributes to the reduced power consumption due to the “Energy Saver” function.

“We maybe in our 100th year, but every day our barometer feels the industry 4.0 revolution that is transforming so many industry sectors around the world” says Rory. “The Tilley factory of the future is intelligent and embodies the lean principle. We will continuously optimise our production processes, not because it sets us apart from our competitors, but it provides the best value for our customers.”

The next step that is being considered is the implementation of fully-automated, digital solutions for laser cutting and bending: “Our goal is full digitalisation”.

This article is republished from NZ Engineering News

July 2020.