The first bandsaw from the new KASTOwin range to be purchased in the UK was delivered directly from the launch at KASTO’s Milton Keynes open house to Dyn-Metal, a specialist bronze foundry and machine shop in Acton, north-west London.
Since the machine was installed in August 2014, it has been the mainstay of the firm’s long production runs of automatic sawing-to-length of bronze tube, used principally in bearing production. The material is used in ships’ transmissions, oil and gas rigs, off-road vehicles, cranes, steel mills, mining equipment and machines in general, including machine tools.
The bronze alloys are produced in six centrifugal casting machines at the Acton foundry, one of which is among the largest in the UK, capable of producing two-tonne castings. The phosphor-, lead-, aluminium- and manganese-bronze tubes can be cast up to 1.2 metres in diameter, although larger is possible depending on length and weight. However, most material is below 330 mm, which is why Dyn-Metal chose a KASTOwin A3.3 bandsaw of that capacity.
Managing director Stephen Capper said, “We supply standard bronzes as well as our own special varieties with modified grain structures, which result in bearings lasting up to three times longer than commercial castings of similar composition. Self-lubricating varieties with embedded solid lubricant are included in our range.
“Practically none of our customers hold stock, so ask for quick delivery of material to ensure that their production output is not interrupted. To be successful in this business, you have to be competitive not only on price, but also on order turnaround.
“We needed another horizontal bandsaw to replace an older model of a different make that was causing bottlenecks, as our order intake has returned to pre-recession levels.
“When I saw the new KASTOwin at the supplier’s launch, the machine’s competitive price, small footprint and ability to tackle long automatic runs made up my mind on the day, so I placed the order there and then.”
Dyn-Metal is no stranger to KASTO saws. It has used the German manufacturer’s equipment for more than 30 years, having first bought a powered hacksaw. In the late 90s, a vertical mitre-cutting bandsaw was installed and since 2005, the foundry has used a KASTObloc U5 for cutting bronze plate into wear strips and a KASTOtwin A4 bandsaw for general cutting of up to 400 mm diameter stock.
The foundry uses tungsten carbide tipped blades, rather than bimetal, not because the bronzes are tough to cut but to promote straightness of the sawn surface. This is a prerequisite of a high quality raw casting, as it minimises the amount of subsequent machining, whether it is carried out by Dyn-Metal or its customers. Band speed is generally 105 m/min and downfeed 40 mm/min.
Notable features of KASTOwin bandsaws include ballscrew drives instead of hydraulics to ensure tight control over cutting and material feed, constant monitoring and feedback of the force on the saw band, and constant chip load throughout the cut, irrespective of material cross section, which varies considerably when cutting tube. A touch-screen SmartControl manufactured by KASTO monitors and controls order requirements and sawing parameters.
Mr Capper concluded, “We pride ourselves on buying only the best equipment on the market, irrespective of price.
“Visitors to our company will see an Inductotherm furnace, Lansing Linde lift truck and a machine shop full of Mazaks and DMG Mori machines.
“We think that KASTO bandsaws maintain this tradition. The KASTOwin A3.3 is just the latest example of high technology, top quality equipment from this supplier – and at a competitive price.”