Employees at the TRUMPF factory in Hettingen celebrate a special milestone on December 17, 2014 as their 1,000th TruPunch 1000 rolls off the assembly line.Click image to enlargeThe TRUMPF factory in Hettingen, Germany, recently produced its thousandths TruPunch 1000 punchining machine. Completed in December 2014, the machine was delivered to a customer in the US.

TruPunch 1000Click image to enlarge The new owner of this special machine is Watlow, a producer of thermal solutions including electric heaters, temperature sensors, power controllers, temperature controllers and supporting software. A family-owned company that is now in its third generation, Watlow has nine manufacturing facilities and three technology centers located around the world. The state-of-theart punching machine supplied by TRUMPF will replace an older TRUMPF model in use at the company, thereby improving Watlow’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Here in Hannibal, Missouri, the TruPunch 1000 will produce sheet metal parts for our electric heating elements,” says Curt St. Clair, senior engineer at Watlow. As far as he’s concerned, the benefits of punching are obvious. “Many of our parts feature simple holes and square or rectangular contours, and in such cases punching has clear advantages. The high productivity of the TruPunch 1000 for these kinds of parts takes the heat off our laser machine, which is also made by TRUMPF. That makes us much more flexible and increases our production capacity.”

Watlow has been using TRUMPF machines since 1995, despite some initial skepticism. “I found TRUMPF’s idea of using linear tool magazines instead of a turret system a little strange at first,” says St. Clair. “We thought it would be too slow. But after careful consideration, we quickly realized the benefits: By allowing the tool head to rotate, the TRUMPF system is more agile than revolver systems, with a design that is more stable and has fewer moving parts. We here at Watlow greatly appreciate the distinctive way that the TRUMPF engineers address such technical challenges. I guess it’s because we take a similar approach ourselves: We too are a very innovative company that’s always looking to find better solutions for our customers.”

The Tru-Punch 1000 is an entry level machine that covers a wide range of applications, from the production of simple perforated sheet metal parts to the creation of complex shaped and labeled work pieces involving multiple forming processes. A flexible tool system features a linear magazine designed to hold up to 18 tools. The machine’s 360° tool rotation means the punching head can rotate any tool to whatever angle is required, regardless of the tool's shape, size or position in the magazine.

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