Trotec Laser Celebrates 20 Years of Growth

The company started in Austria in 1997 as a research arm of a company called Trodac.

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Plymouth, Michigan-based laser engraving and cutting equipment maker Trotec Laser announces a celebration of two decades in business.

In a span of 20 years, Trotec Laser has succeeded in growing from a start-up business in Austria to a global manufacturer of laser technology, substrates, and technical support, with a presence in more than 90 countries and more than 500 employees.

According to Trotec USA President Warren Knipple, that number is growing every day as the company celebrates a notable milestone and looks to a bright future of many more years of growth.

First established in 1997 from a research branch of Trodat, Trotec set its sights overseas in 2002, Knipple explains. Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, Trotec USA has added a number of support facilities located throughout the country, including California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, New Jersey and New Hampshire. “As far as our growth here, we’re really proud that we’ve grown 10 times our original size since we were established in Mississippi in 2002,” he says, adding that as the number of U.S. facilities grows, the company has evolved in the myriad of ways it supports customers.

“We’re always trying to evolve to meet our customers’ changing needs,” Knipple says. “One of the things that we’re trying to do right now is to speak to the people who are starting business and those small business owners who might not always have the support that they need for the different areas of their business.” Trotec plans to meet this growing need from its customer base by offering them a bigger picture of laser success.

One piece of that puzzle, he notes, was the introduction of engravable materials beginning in 2015 after acquiring Innovative Laminations Company (ILC). Following the acquisition of Florida-based Engraving Systems Support (ESS) earlier this year, Trotec also announced the launch of a new line of laser and rotary consumables, boasting a wide-selection of more than 400 products for a variety of applications.

“One of the main reasons (we launched the line of substrates) is we wanted to be able to provide something that’s unique in the industry-a single source for all of their engraving needs. We’ve come from being a laser manufacturer to being a company that offers everything customers need to engrave. So, we can offer them the engraving expertise, we can offer them the equipment and technology, and we can offer them the materials,” Knipple says.

It has been a momentous year for Trotec. In addition to the acquisition of ESS in February, the company expanded to a new 25,000-square-foot facility-double the size of the previous space to include a larger office accommodating Trotec’s growing staff, a larger warehouse, and an applications lab. It also hosts an expanded regional service and support center for product demonstrations, materials testing, and training events, such as its upcoming open house on November 2. “We are thrilled about the move and the progress it symbolizes,” Knipple explains. “It signifies our growth as a company and represents new opportunities to provide our customers with top-notch products, technical support and follow-on sales support.”

The big move almost one year ago came on the heels of the opening of its new facility in California and the unveiling of a redesigned website, featuring an expansion of resources and training materials. This focus on education is just one of the many ways Trotec has expanded in its 20-year history in an effort to better serve customers, he notes. The company hosts a number of open house events in its sales and support facilities throughout the year.

“We’ve learned that it’s not just those people who are interested in getting a laser that we can support. We can also do a better job of supporting our existing customers who would like to grow and who want to learn how to do more things with their lasers,” Knipple adds. “So, we’ve been offering more educational open house events.”

The upcoming open house schedule includes an event at the Michigan headquarters, 44747 Helm Court in Plymouth, and at the NoCal location, 23595 Cabbot Blvd., in Hayward, California, both on Thursday, November 2, from 2-6 p.m. The open house events feature a special workshop and product demonstration focusing on Trotec’s registration camera system, JobControl Vision, and are just two of many on the company’s busy schedule of events.

It is through these open house events that Trotec plans to celebrate its 20-year anniversary-by doing what it does best-helping customers grow their business. “With the open houses coming up next month, the focus isn’t really the 20th anniversary as it is toward demonstrations and education,” Knipple concludes, adding that during the past two decades, Trotec has shown an unwavering commitment to helping its customers become more profitable. “We’re really excited about the relationship-building aspect of it and being able to provide customers with more of a 360-degree big picture. We feel like we’re offering a lot more and closing that loop with a more comprehensive solution,” he stresses. “We’re really excited about that and think we’ll be able to better serve our existing customers in addition to helping those prospective customers who want to start a business but don’t quite know how to begin or where to get the support they need.”

Natalie Frels

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