Expert innovation

An expert provider of bespoke automation and laser systems, Tec Systems is expanding its portfolio with a standard range of high quality, cost-effective laser systems

Proud to offer a turnkey service, from design to automation production, Midlands based firm Tec Systems has developed a solid reputation thanks to its successful undertaking of technically complex projects in a diverse range of markets. Indeed, business sectors that benefit from the 20-strong company’s expertise in delivering exceptional quality solutions include aerospace, automotive, electronics, food, plastics and pharmaceutical.

Focused on both form and function, whether this is creating small stand-alone cells or full turnkey systems, a core competitive edge for the company is its commitment to technological advancement Tec Systems Issue 129 band its swift integration of new technologies and engineering innovations into projects. This way of working means Tec Systems can deliver up-to-date advice and cutting edge solutions to customers that require anything from lasers, robotics, servo systems and bespoke mechanisms to intelligent vision systems. Additionally, the company also offers clients a comprehensive service and spares package, which includes extended warranty, repair and test service, PLC software support and programme modifications, robot programming and support, spare parts manufacturing and training.

Tec Systems has enjoyed strong growth thanks to the wealth of knowledge retained by its expert personnel, many of whom have been working together in the same industry for 30 years. By drawing this knowledge under one 12,000 square foot site, the company has enjoyed positive growth over the last seven years and particularly strong market growth in sectors such as automotive and aerospace.

In fact, a recent project for the company involved the provision of six individual leak testing machines, each of which was designed to suit specific engine components, for a high profile automotive supplier. Having previously provided a number of automation machines for the supplier’s UK factory, the major firm had no hesitation when it came to contacting Tec Systems again.

To verify the quality of high performance engines, it is necessary to perform accurate leak testing of components and assemblies such as the pressure decay method, which is a tried-and-tested way of identifying faults in sealing or component integrity. Using this method, air is injected into the test object that has been sealed to allow a build-up of pressure; this pressure is then monitored for a set period of time to check for any decay of pressure that will indicate a leak. For this project, high-level testing of the casting integrity was required.

With an established track record in automated leak testing, the company assessed the requirements of the customer before providing the six machines, each of which has a fabricated metal base frame that provides a rigid support structure for mounting of the various machine elements. Due to the design and manufacture of such intricate tooling which is a vital part of the leak testing process, the knowledge that Tec Systems provided to this project was integral to the project’s success. In addition to the delivery of a number of leak testing stations, the company also provided an assembly machine and a robotic laser marking system to identify the components going through the production line for this project.Tec Systems Issue 129 c

Indeed, while bespoke automated solutions are at the core of Tec System’s operations, the company made the strategic decision to launch a range of standard laser cells for the processing of metals, plastics, fabrics, composites and ceramics/glass. Known as the Hyperion range, these standard laser cells suit a broad spectrum of production requirements and can also be modified to suit each customer’s unique requirements.

A recent addition to the Hyperion range is a multi-axis laser welding system; consisting of a six-axis robot integrated with a two station tilt-and-turn manipulator, the aforementioned system allows for eight axes of motion. This allows for increased efficiency in the movements of the robot to cope with square or round corners without the requirement of rapid movement of the robot axes; the system also has a laser head for welding at the end of the robot arm. Capable of specifying the robot and fibre laser source suitable for the application under consideration, Tec Systems can also flexibly work with the preferences of the customer in terms of a certain robot supplier or laser source supplier.

Meanwhile, 2015 saw the launch of a new model in the Hyperion range of CNC laser machines. Aimed at the laser processing of flat sheet metal alloys, the Hyperion 3GF laser cutting system offers a number of benefits when it comes to speed and efficiency in comparison to other systems on the market. Intended to provide an advanced alternative to traditional laser cutting machines that use CO2 laser sources, the Hyperion 3GF system offers a high power solid state laser that achieves several advantages over rival traditional machines. For example, using a solid state laser, the power of the laser beam is delivered to the workpiece via a flexible fibre optic, thus avoiding the need for multiple mirrors and beam guides that are used on the CO2 laser system.

As new laser technology continues to enter the market, Tec Systems capitalises on these innovative developments with its long-term knowledge of the industry. With an ever-increasing product portfolio and a strong team in place ready to deliver flexible solutions to customers, the company looks set for another successful year as it seeks to maintain its top spot for bespoke solutions in the automotive and aerospace sectors, while also developing a strong foothold in the standard laser equipment market.

Tec Systems
Products: Automation and laser systems