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On-site N2 generator avoids laser-cut shutdowns

Using nitrogen gas bottles, a sheet metal fabricator had to shut down a laser cutting machine for 30 min/day to change over. Now supply is continuous, using an on-site N2 generator instead.

Leicester, UK-based metal fabricators, Metalfacture, prove that on ongoing Inward investment policy leads to quantifiable success.

Established eight years ago, the company has gone from strength to strength and now undertakes contracts nationwide ranging from fabrication of precision electrical enclosure components to point of purchase displays and vehicle management systems.

Metalfacture’s Investment policy includes new technology and staff training; the company employs a Radan programmer to operate the CAD-CAM systems that are linked to the latest CNC punching, folding and culling machines.

The company also purchased an on-site nitrogen generator from Domnick Hunter four years ago to boost Is laser cutting facility, and has not looked back since. High-pressure nitrogen acts as an assist gas, its inert properties help to prevent exothermic reactions and ensure materials are cut by laser power alone, which minimises defects and improves cut finish.

As demand pushed production up to 24h/day, Metalfacture was using a multiple-cylinder-pack (MCP) of nitrogen nearly every other day.

Changing cylinders over meant the laser cutting machine was shutdown for at least 30 minutes, which over the year, added up to almost two weeks in lost production.

Escalating delivery costs, valuable time taken up of experienced staff and lost production all forced the company to source a method of generating nitrogen on-site.

The Domnick Hunter Maxigas generator operates on the pressure swing adsorption principle to produce a continuous stream of nitrogen gas from compressed air.

James Cooper, managing director of Metalfacture says, “The Maxigas installation provides an on-demand nitrogen supply that does not interrupt production.” He added, “Non-reliance on an outside supplier boosts cash flow and productivity.”

By maintaining its state of the art facilities, Metalfacture will remain competitive and add value for its customers In terms of quality and turnaround times.

For further information or hi-res photographs contact Ben Jones-Fenleigh on 0845 345 0200.

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