Opie Manufacturing Group produces a range of complex parts for the construction and automotive industries.

Tristan Opie is the third-generation CEO of the family-owned company, based in Emu Plains, New South Wales. In 2010, following a quiet few months of business, Tristan invested in a TRUMPF TruLaser Tube 7000 cutting machine, in a move that he described as “a very risky step at that time”.

“Just a very few customers realised the possibilities opened up by using the laser to work tubes,” he explains. “But I was sure there was a market for this service. The laser has major advantages as it replaces several steps in the workflow process. In addition, our TruLaser Tube 7000 is so fast that we can achieve considerably lower costs per item.”

Opie Group admits that it was a while before the machine turned a profit, but the company’s perseverance was rewarded. Today, no other machine on the shopfloor can compete with the TRUMPF TruLaser Tube 7000 in terms of its utilisation rates.

Two TruLaser Tube 7000s and a TruMatic 6000 punch laser machine augment the equipment at the factory, where automation is key. A TRUMPF LiftMaster loading and unloading unit is used to deliver sheet metal continuously to a TruLaser 5040 laser cutting machine, while a TRUMPF BendMaster oversees handling of materials at a TruBend 5170 bending machine. With this wide range of equipment, the job shop can make up a wide variety of aluminium, stainless steel and mild steel parts in just two ten-hour shifts.

“In Australia, there are many small sheet metal processors with one or two machines,” Tristan explains. “They can produce simple parts at very favourable prices. To set ourselves apart, we have adopted a different path, using high-tech machinery and combining various processes. In this way we can offer even very complex parts from a single source.”

Opie’s dedicated team of 52 employees are divided between operating machines on the shop floor and working in the office to ensure seamless production flow. The team of engineers simulate almost every part in advance using 3D software.

“We work very efficiently; we can deliver the right part to the customer without having to build a physical prototype beforehand,” Tristan adds.

Opie Group invests a lot of effort in ensuring that it can provide the best customer service possible.

“For a company of our size, we have a relatively large sales department,” says Tristan. “But in a country as large as Australia, the customers aren’t all in one spot. We travel to them and convince them in a personal conference.”

Opie Group’s commitment is paying off – the job shop supplies customers across the continent.