The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Environmental Emissions Research Facility (EERF) recently tested a unique (and large format) piece of equipment that uses a laser to cut sheet metal for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and job shops alike.
The machine, manufactured by Trumpf Inc., traveled from Connecticut via a flat-bed trailer and was positioned in EERF using a crane.
“The machine we were testing is one of a number of lines of laser machines that we market to businesses that process sheet metal,” said Trumpf Project Manager David Krahl. “When you get into the business of sheet metal, you realize how many things in this world are made out of sheet metal. It’s really incredible.”
The Trumpf team conducted research and development for this particular device and needed to verify its performance for clients in both cold and hot weather conditions. Despite the geographic distance from Connecticut to Bryan’s Riverside Campus (where the EERF is located), the facility was a perfect fit.
“TTI fit the bill the best for our needs,” said Krahl. “They had one of the biggest chambers, which was one of the biggest selling points, and were affordable. We visited in February and came to the conclusion this would be the perfect place to test our machine.”
During testing, the machine was pushed to the limits and, despite being stressed in the high humidity and temperature combinations, performed as planned.
“The reason for all of this testing is because we’re selling into markets we’ve never been in before such as India or China that do not have the environmental set-ups that we have in the United States,” said Trumpf Project Manager Steve Ennis. “So it needs to be ready for all kinds of climates. During our month-long testing, we tested in a range from −5 to 50°C and low and high humidity testing to push the capabilities of our specifications.”