Manufacture of multi-level warehouses for storing and retrieving bar, tube, sheet and other material automatically, and production of an extensive range of sawing machines for cutting material accurately, are the two specialisms of the German firm, KASTO, whose UK subsidiary will be exhibiting at MACH 2014. The group, which has recently entered its sixth generation of family ownership and management, is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year.
Better known for its high performance sawing products, the company has been actively promoting its workshop / dealer range of machines for the past year. The programme comprises smaller bandsaws, circular saws and hacksaws and MACH 2014 will be the first time that all three ranges will have been shown at a national exhibition. Aimed at jobbing shops, they are designed alongside the company's high-end sawing machines and are manufactured at the company's factory in Schalkau/Thueringen.
The saws range from pull-down models priced at a couple of thousand pounds to automatic machines costing ten times more. During 2013, marketed under the slogan 'quality for all budgets' and supported by a new website www.kasto.uk.com, they accounted for 35 per cent of sawing machine sales by value in the UK, up from 20 per cent the previous year.
The three models on display will be the KASTOfunctional U bandsaw with length stop arrangement, the KASTOradial M6 circular pull-down saw, and the KASTOhbs1 power hacksaw.
The KASTOfunctional pivot-type bandsawing machine with hydraulic infeed is available in manual, semi-automatic and fully-automatic versions, with suffixes M, U and A respectively. The semi-automatic machine will be on the stand at MACH.
It is of solid construction with a robust, torsion-free welded base for rigorous use in workshops, capable of cutting material up to 260 mm round / square. Mitre-cutting to the left at up to 45 degrees and to the right at up to 60 degrees can be performed on tube, section and solid material. The mitre angle can be adjusted without having to alter the material position to achieve the correct cut length.
Precise ballscrew drive ensures exact positioning of the stock prior to cutting. The hydraulically actuated, horizontal clamping vice ensures accurate sawing to length without slippage and also allows short rest pieces, minimising material wastage. Cutting speed is infinitely adjustable from 20 to 110 m/min to suit any type of metal, even tough varieties. The BasicControl with swivelling operator’s panel ensures optimum machine operation via function keys. Up to 98 programs can be preselected.
KASTOradial is a family of cold circular saws including four manual, pull-down versions designated M4, M6, M7 and M10 and two semi-automatic models, U7 and U10.
With two cutting speeds for universal use in workshops, the KASTOradial M6 is ideal for straight cuts and mitre cutting on both sides within 45 degrees. A double vice with quick clamping lever provides security for holding bar stock. A 315 mm diameter HSS saw blade, length measuring stop and re-circulating coolant system are standard equipment.
For around half the price of a workshop range bandsaw, the KASTOhbs1 power hacksaw provides an economical alternative facility for cutting. Used widely in workshops, including on ships, the design is popular for jobbing applications on a variety of metals where space is limited, performance is of secondary importance and small volumes of cut pieces are involved.
The KASTOhbs 1 is a hydraulic, semi-automatic model with two cutting speeds in a pushing, arched cutting motion invented by KASTO in 1947. Cutting pressure is infinitely adjustable. Requiring minimal floor space, the machine is designed for light to medium workshop use and is ideal for cutting profiles, beams and solids. Mitre cutting from 0 to 45 degrees extends the machine's versatility.
KASTOtec AC4 KPC
There will be demonstrations of a high-performance, 430 mm-capacity KASTOtec AC4 KPC bandsaw cutting 200 mm diameter, 316 stainless steel in 3.8 minutes minutes using a coated carbide blade running at 70 m/min. The emphasis will be on the measures that have been taken to manage and minimise vibration, which leads to higher band speeds and feeds, increased production output, lower noise levels, better accuracy and surface finish, and longer blade life.
Bandsawing productivity has increased by 300 to 400 per cent with KASTOtec bandsaws that have been factory-fitted with KPC (KASTO Performance Cutting) technology. It takes a holistic view of all aspects of the bandsawing process including blade guidance and monitoring, cutting parameters for the material, machine construction, coolant delivery, the control system and blade selection.
KASTOtec AC-series machines feature a steel / mineral cast composite construction that is six to eight times more vibration-absorbing than cast iron. The machine has a powerful main drive through a rigid, play-free, spur bevel gear delivering 98 per cent of the available power directly to the drive wheels.
High precision cuts are a result of having blade guides as close as possible to the stock on both sides and maintenance-free linear guides for the hydraulic infeed. Together with feedback of cutting force, blade speed and position, they provide consistent feed per tooth, irrespective of the ambient temperature.
Overlaid on this already high specification is the new KPC package, which KASTO has developed to improve cutting productivity still further. The focus has been on minimising vibration during cutting. Key steps taken include new blade guidance on both sides of the cutting area (patent pending) and a novel measure to dampen vibrations using a so-called ‘Trumguide’ system.
Central to the step-change in performance, it is a simple yet effective device. Two spring-loaded tensioner guides are mounted at the returning side of the blade, inside the top of the saw head guarding at either end. These guides have the effect of suppressing vibration on the side opposite to the cutting action.
A KASTOunitower C storage tower for sheet metal will occupy a large area of the stand. The space-saving tower stores 3 metre by 1.5 metre sheets, plates, flat products and other materials such as bar, tube, boxes and semi-finished goods in a compact footprint. It offers many advantages compared to conventional storage on shelves, cantilever arms or on the floor.
The tower is especially suitable for job shops, machine shops and small to medium size sheet metal processing facilities, providing flexible storage to a height of up to 7.2 metres. It has a compact footprint of 3,415 x 4,350 mm and the standard version has a storage location every 47 mm.
The pallets holding the sheet metal glide on almost wear-free, plastic-lined tracks when pushed into or pulled out of a storage location within the steel structure. A lift mechanism travelling at the front of the tower effects horizontal transfer of the material as well as traversing vertically between locations at up to 8 m/min.
Depending on design, pallets can support a maximum load of either 1,200 kg or 3,000 kg. The height of the loading / unloading station is adjustable, allowing direct transfer to a sheet metal processing machine or transport cart. This raises production efficiency, improves safety, saves labour and minimises the risk of damaging the material.
Versions of the KASTOunitower C are available for semi-automatic or fully automatic operation, with appropriate safety measures. The tower is controlled by KASTO's own BasicControl, which is fitted with a user-friendly touch panel.
To coincide with its 170th anniversary, the KASTO group will unveil a revolutionary new product range on 7th May 2014 during an open house to be held at its headquarters and main factory in Achern, southern Germany. The company is saying little about its new product before the launch, but the implications are that it represents a major step forward in bandsawing technology and in the company's manufacturing process.
On 18th, 19th and 20th June, the Milton Keynes subsidiary will hold open days at its showroom and technical centre. The new machine will be on show again, along with many other bandsaws, circular saws and hacksaws from the manufacturer's wide range of products. Automated warehousing of bar, tube, profile and flat material will also be demonstrated.