ATLAS SOUND AUGMENTS ENNIS MANUFACTURING FACILITY
Automated Trumpf TruLaser now online, new showroom opens,
green initiatives look toward future
ENNIS, TX, June 18, 2008—If you went searching for the true soul of Atlas Sound's manufacturing capabilities, you may indeed discover them metaphorically residing deep in the heart of Texas. On a more pragmatic level, it's easier to find them if you simply drive south out of Dallas down Interstate 45 until you reach the town of Ennis, where a 273,000 square-foot facility occupied by the company has just brought a new automated Trumpf TruLaser online, added a showroom, and continues to be a trendsetter among companies putting green policies into place.
Thousands of items are made at the Ennis facility, ranging from ceiling and in-wall loudspeakers to wall cabinets, rack accessories, and a host of intercom and telecom products. In a manufacturing environment filled with sophisticated machinery including a Salvagnini S4 used to punch and shear sheet metal, the newest piece of equipment is an automated Trumpf TruLaser 2030, which came online earlier this year as part of an ambitious plan to turn out a variety of products more efficiently and with greater speed and quality.
"Sheet metal fabrication has benefited immensely since the introduction of lasers to the practice," Atlas Ennis Facility Manager David Ewing explains. "The laser's strengths for cutting lie in its ability to process a vast range of materials thick or thin. Laser-cut workpieces additionally have cut edges of extremely high quality that have no need for refinishing. Pieces cut on our new Trumpf TruLaser 2030 are immediately ready for assembly. That's a huge advantage in terms of time and labor."
Built in Farmington, Connecticut by Trumpf Inc. North America, the largest manufacturer of fabricating machinery in the US, Atlas Sound's new TruLaser 2030 has a larger working range than other Trumpf Series 2000 catalog offerings. Equipped with an integrated and fully-automated loader/unloader, the new machine is being used at the Ennis facility to effortlessly slice through both mild, or cold rolled steel as well as stainless steel in thicknesses of up to 1/2 inch. Full sheets of steel measuring up to 60 inches wide are routinely stacked into the TruLaser 2030's loader, and because of the machine's comprehensive onboard automation, extended night shifts can now be run unattended.
"We initially bought this machine in order to be able to cut thicker materials, improve our quality, and do some special contour work," Ewing adds. "But we quickly began discovering other possibilities. The flexibility and capacity we have now opens the door to a future where products customized for the end-user can feasibly be built on a mass scale."
Tours of the Ennis facility are common events, and according to Ewing, up until recently they always ended with visitors standing in a warehouse staring at towering stacks of cardboard boxes containing the finished products. This decidedly unglamorous coda to an otherwise enlightening experience was one of the driving forces prompting the construction of a new showroom on the premises where virtually the entire catalog of Atlas components made in Texas can be inspected up close, powered up, and demonstrated.
Members of the independent network of sales professionals representing Atlas are frequent users of the new showroom, relying on its inventory to showcase technologies for customers. A training center additionally incorporated into the floor plan serves to better educate reps and customers alike.
As the Ennis facility continues to evolve and play an ever-expanding role within Atlas operations across the country, its commitment to the environment remains unwavering. "We were green long before it was hip and fashionable," Ewing likes to point out. "Recycling has been going on here for years, with just about everything being reclaimed in our manufacturing and administrative processes from paper and cardboard to steel. The implementation of new ways to save energy and other vital resources will play a huge role in our future. If you don't do everything you can to put back what you take, there will come a day when there is no tomorrow."