21st September 2020 How it's Made

The Customer

Alpha Manufacturing sister company Bri-Stor Systems are a leading commercial vehicle converter, supplying leading UK brands with their fleet vehicles. This product is fitted to many of the LCV’s that Bri-Stor produce.  

The Product

An LCV rear step with tread plate pattern for extra grip. This part is profiled, punched, welded and powder coated. Alpha produce many variations of these type of steps in high volumes, both for Bri-Stor and other customers.

The Challenge

Previously, the profile and pattern of the tread plate step were produced by two separate processes, firstly by using a CNC Punch machine to create the tread plate pattern and then secondly by Laser Cutting the outside profile.

This sometimes resulted in misalignment issues between the two processes where the laser cut profile didn’t match perfectly with the tread patterned area. This meant that the misaligned part would need to be rejected and scrapped, with the part then reproduced using the same two processes. The issues with this are primarily high material waste and low efficiency due to the re-processing of parts.

The Solution

By investing in a Trump TruMatic 6000 laser/ punch combination machine, Alpha were able to combine the two processes into one. The tread pattern and outside profile can be created simultaneously, dramatically reducing the overall processing time.

The Benefits

Combining these two processes using the Laser/ Punch combination machine brings many benefits to both Alpha and their customer. By removing one process completely, overall production time is significantly reduced, increasing efficiency and ultimately making the part more cost effective.

Accuracy is also improved markedly as the machine is able to auto align the laser profiling to the punched pattern as it processes, eliminating risk of reject parts and waste material. From Alpha’s perspective, this means a much more efficient and effective manufacturing process which frees up resource elsewhere and minimises the risk of re-processing parts. The overall benefit to the customer is more reliable manufacturing with no quality concerns as well as a potentially more cost-effective part.

Commercial vehicle Tread Plate Step