Global automotive company Calsonic Kansei recently invested in two Synrad ti80 lasers from Laser Lines, helping it to save money and speed up production.
Spanning 62 operations across 16 countries, Calsonic Kansei Corporation is a market-leading automotive parts manufacturer with its headquarters in Japan. Its UK facility in Sunderland is part of the Calsonic Kansei Europe subsidiary and is primarily responsible for the manufacture of interior automotive components, including instrument panels and centre console mouldings.
One of the vital manufacturing processes carried out at the Sunderland Production Engineering Centre is the trimming of vent apertures for high-end vehicles.
As iFA Engineer at the Sunderland plant, Jonathan Glaister, explains: “There are a few different ways to carry out this process, with some companies using water cutting. Our preferred technology was cold punch machines, but we were keen to investigate cleaner, more efficient and cost-effective technologies.”
Having researched the available technologies on the market, the team at the Sunderland facility decided to look further into CO₂ lasers. As Jonathan continues: “Laser technology hasn’t been used for this process in Calsonic Kansei before, so the challenge was for us to test the technology to prove its worth to the rest of the business. This is where the team at Laser Lines proved invaluable.”
After evaluating the very specific requirements of the aperture trimming process, the team at Laser Lines recommended the Synrad ti80 laser. This is a compact laser with excellent beam quality that can be focused to the smallest achievable spot size, delivering the maximum possible power density on a work surface. The result is faster processing speeds, higher resolution and optimized quality.
As Dave Earl, technical sales engineer with our industrial lasers group, explains: “This was very much a two-way, consultative relationship. We made sure we understood completely the challenges faced by the team at Calsonic Kansei so we could recommend exactly the right product to meet their specific business needs.”
“Our contacts at Laser Lines were available for any product trials and tests we wanted to complete,” adds Jonathan. “So comprehensive and successful were the tests, that it enabled us to prove to our colleagues at our Japan HQ that laser technology was definitely most appropriate for this particular application.”
For Calsonic Kansei, one of the main benefits of adopting the two Synrad ti80 lasers has been the cost savings realised.
As Jonathan explains: “We built the machines which house the lasers ourselves, saving us a substantial amount of money. If we hadn’t made the change to using lasers for this process, choosing instead to update our incumbent cold punch machines, it would have cost four times as much.”
“We can’t fault the support we’ve had from Laser Lines from the outset. They’ve always responded quickly to any problems or queries we’ve had and we’ve found them to be a really great company to deal with.”