Marking Lasers Mark the Spot for Trumpf

The company doubles its production facility in Switzerland which specializes in lasers.

July 11, 2013

2 Min Read
Marking Lasers Mark the Spot for Trumpf

Switzerland has been the home of precise machining for countless years. Trumpf has taken advantage of that, and as a result, built a new production building there.

“It’s the most logical step,” says Andreas Conzelmann, general manager for marking systems for Trumpf. “The marking laser business is about a third of our whole business.”

The German-based company expanded its location in Grüsch, Switzerland by 3300 sq m2, or 35,000 sq ft, which doubled the capacity. The company invested $17.8 million in the expansion, which according to Conzelmann is worth the money, because the company’s entire marking laser business is located in the country’s facility.

Trumpf specializes in both sheet metal fabrication machinery and industrial lasers, with locations throughout the world, including North America. It also focuses on electronic applications and hospital equipment, but lasers remain one of the strongest parts of the company’s offerings.

The lasers have a broad market appeal, and cross into multiple industries in addition to medtech. Conzelmann says the lasers have a lot of stainless steel applications, which could make them ideal for marking on surgical equipment. But with new applications for lasers come needed additions, such as a bigger cleanroom capacity for sterilization.

One of the reasons for expansion was the introduction of two new TruMark product lines that will debut during the coming year, with a new emphasis on the miniaturization of lasers and UV wavelengths. One of the lasers, Conzelmann says, is about the size of a shoebox yet is still a complete marking laser.

The miniaturization is vital for micro applications, while the UV wavelengths can be good for marking plastics. However, these two new lasers are only the newest additions, and there are plenty of others that will be manufactured at the Swiss plant.

“We have nearly 20 different laser types, and we can produce all of them on one production line, which gives us a lot of flexibility,” Conzelmann says.

It is a part of the business that was growing strongly even as construction was taking place. When the company broke ground on the new building in March 2012, orders on the lasers has risen by 70% compared to the year before.

Although Trumpf has a lot of production sites all over the world, including in Asia and North America, the Switzerland expansion was vital for the company’s marking laser business. The expansion will most likely lead to additional hiring, with Conzelmann saying that they expect to hire as many as 30 new people.

He adds that they have already hired some additional staff. Although Conzelmann is uncertain, he sees that they may expand the marking laser business to one of the overseas plants sometime in the future.

Reina V. Slutske is the assistant editor for MD+DI.

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