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Metalex opens new branch in Birmingham
Metalex opens new branch in Birmingham
Metalex opens new branch in Birmingham
Metalex opens new branch in Birmingham

Metalex opens new branch in Birmingham

Added to MTDCNC by Kasto on 30 September 2015

A KASTO automatic bandsaw designed for highly productive cutting of metals using a tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade has been installed at the latest branch to be opened by leading steel and non-ferrous metals stockholder, Metalex. Located on the Gravelly Industrial Park in Birmingham, the new centre became fully operational at the start of this year (2015).

Its purpose is to provide a more responsive service to customers from north Wales across the Midlands to East Anglia, as well as in the north of England. These areas are less accessible from the company's headquarters in Ferndown, Dorset and other branches in Horsham, West Sussex and Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

The KASTOtec AC4 is one of two bandsaws currently installed at the Birmingham site. Its purchase was triggered by increasing work for a customer in the North that orders 150,000 high grade alloy steel parts per year. They are short, ranging from 7 mm to 12 mm in length, and are cut from 60 mm to 110 mm in diameter stock.

Metalex was started in 1993 by Paul Nicola, Managing Director, who commented, ‘Cutting tough steels is around three times faster with a TCT blade than when using a bimetal type.

‘Speed as well as accuracy of cut is important, as it allows us to make a reasonable profit and at the same time hold down the prices we charge customers and expedite deliveries.

‘We also use TCT blades to saw stainless steel, aluminium, copper and brass on the KASTOtec up to the machine's maximum 430 mm cutting range and it is equally efficient at processing those materials.’

The principal reason for the high cutting performance of KASTOtec ‘carbide specification’ bandsaws is the combination of measures the German manufacturer has taken to minimise vibration, which is the main enemy when striving to make fast, accurate cuts and maximise blade life.

The high quality, one-piece construction of KASTOtec bandsaws includes a saw head containing polymer concrete, which has a dampening effect during operation. On entering and exiting a cut, when blade support is lower due to the smaller area of contact with the material, feed parameters are backed off to control vibration.

The machine in Birmingham has been fitted with the KASTO Performance Cutting (KPC) package, a factory-fitted option that improves productivity further. Key additions include improvements to blade guidance either side of the cutting area and other measures to dampen vibrations.

One such measure involves spring-loaded tensioner guides mounted at the returning side of the blade, inside the top of the saw head guarding. They have the effect of suppressing vibration on the side opposite the cutting action. Other features are rigid guidance of the blade either side of the point of cutting, efficient cooling of the blade and guides, and responsive measurement of the cutting force using a sensor at the back of the blade.

KASTOtec machines have twin column guides and linear slideways to prevent stick-slip. Cut length indexing accuracy of ± 0.1 mm is achieved by ballscrew actuation of the feed vice stroke. Rapid approach and retraction speeds reduce non-productive and cycle times further.

The EasyControl unit has an integral database for materials and orders. Intelligence built into the control selects optimal feeds and speeds according to the type of material and its cross sectional shape and area. After entering the order data, activating the function button '0 position' instructs a laser to detect the bar end and feed the material forward to the first cut length position, avoiding a trim cut and saving valuable production time.

Metalex started buying KASTO saws over 10 years ago and has four other models across its branches, including a high speed KASTOtec AM5 in Horsham dedicated to cutting aluminium using band speeds up to 1,500 m/min.

Mr Nicola concluded, ‘We pride ourselves on delivering a level of service and product quality that are way above our competition.

‘The only way to achieve this is to be near our customers, buy top quality materials and the best bandsawing and circular sawing machines on the market to cut it.

‘The opening of our Birmingham branch and purchase of saws like the KASTOtec are proof that we are prepared to invest to maintain our market-leading position.’


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