Starrett invests in laser welding technology

Starrett, a manufacturer of saws, tools and measuring instruments, has invested $1 million in German technology with the purchase of a new manufacturing line to produce bi-metal steel with laser welding. With the acquisition of this new equipment, the expectation is that the bi-metal steel production capacity will increase by around 25%. This increased production capacity will boost exports of finished saw blades, meeting demand from Europe and the rest of the world.

According to industrial director Cláudio Luis Guarnieri “the new line will start operating in September”.

Starrett also has another process to produce steel: the Bimetal Unique line. This patented process is used in the manufacturing of saw blades that have advanced technology for cutting metals and other materials. In studies developed in Starrett laboratories, a saw blade produced with Bimetal Unique steel shows 22% superior durability and a 20% faster cutting time.

Last year, Starrett invested $1 million in new machinery for this patented line. In addition to generating new business, the upgrade of the machines aligns with Starrett’s vision and values of investing resources and technology in research and development.

“When investments are made, besides increasing industry sales, it also means updated technology, consequently improving the quality of our tools for the consumer,” says Guarnieri. “Offering a product with high performance is the main goal of industry.”
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How to select saw blades for material type

Choosing the best saw blade depends on compatibility. Users need to match the blade itself, its size and tooth design to the material that requires cutting. Here, Saws UK outlines a number of principles that can help simplify selection.

Carbon steel bandsaws blades are reliable in general purpose applications. These blades are available in many tooth sizes and densities, providing an excellent match for many different materials, including steel, stainless steel, mild steel and non-ferrous metals such as zinc, brass and bronze.

Bi-metal bandsaw blades offer superior strength and resilience. During manufacture, the blade of spring steel incorporates a hardened edging of high-speed cobalt steel that provides an effective, long-term cutting performance when processing all types of structural metal.

For the sawing of high-volume batches, the strong and resilient ground-tooth bandsaw blade is an effective choice. This blade type can withstand the intense heat produced when sawing continuously at high speed in materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminium and copper.

If needing a versatile bandsaw blade that can cut a wide range of diverse materials, the carbide grit edge bandsaw blade is a good pick. This blade is highly reliable, producing a fine cut finish with minimal resistance even when sawing abrasive materials that include hardened steel, cast iron, titanium and nickel-based alloys.

HSS-DMo5 circular saw blades are manufactured from a high-speed steel alloy incorporating tungsten, molybdenum and vanadium. Of particular note, these blade are steam-treated to ensure they have an extra fine surface that significantly reduces friction when cutting mild steel, stainless steel and structural steel.

TCT circular saw blades are exceptionally long-lasting. They can also withstand the extreme heat produced while operating at high speed in materials that include titanium, zirconium, nickel and cobalt.
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Steel stockholder automates sawing centres

German storage and sawing equipment manufacturer Kasto has upgraded a pair of sawing cells at the Dornbirn centre of Austrian steel stockholder and distribution company EHG Stahlzentrum. The company has integrated and automated all parts of the systems, from raw material supply to the handling of containers and pallets of finished goods.

Efficiency in the processing of orders and in logistics is part of the success of EHG’s business model. The company handles about 620,000 orders every year, primarily in small batches of less than 10 items.

Christian Rüf, head of logistics systems and processes, says: “It poses quite a challenge. We’re often under enormous time pressure, as in some cases we only have one to two hours to complete an order.”

To alleviate the problem, EHG utilises advanced storage and processing technology. The Dornbirn site has eight automatic high-bay storage systems, 40 stand-alone automatic bandsaws and circular sawing machines, and two sawing centres integrated with high-bay storage so that they receive material automatically. It is these systems that have been upgraded with robotic handling and sorting.

“Our high-bay storage systems are all from Kasto,” says Rüf. “They include four UniCompact honeycomb systems for the storage of bars, tubes and profiles, as well as another for holding sheet metal. In addition, 27 Kasto automatic saws are in operation in Dornbirn, ranging from production circular saws to heavy-duty block and plate bandsaws.”

In the two automated Kasto sawing centres, all process steps now take place without any operator intervention, from feeding the raw material from the store to sorting and stacking the cut pieces. The ability to change over to a new material quickly allows the efficient processing of small batch sizes.
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CNC machine expands fabrication capabilities

ECS Engineering Services, a supplier of fabrications to the water, nuclear and construction sectors, has enhanced its in-house manufacturing capabilities with the addition of a new Ficep Vanguard CNC system. The machine will increase productivity and capacity, while shortening lead times for customer projects. Notably, the Vanguard offers a three-spindle, direct-drive drilling and sawing line for drilling, scribing, tapping, countersinking and milling of rolled steel sections. The company is moving towards smarter workshops and its investment in software and machinery will play a huge role in that evolution, says ECS.
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200 apprenticeships up for grabs

In-Comm Training, which operates three technical academies in Aldridge, Telford and Shrewsbury, has seen a massive surge in the number of companies investing in vocational learning and currently has 201 vacancies available – the most at any time in its 40-year history. This means there are lots of ready-made career opportunities for students receiving their A-level and GCSE grades.

To help ease the pathway to an apprenticeship, In-Comm has introduced a dedicated hotline (01922 457686, option 3) to guide young pupils/students and their families through the different choices and how vocational learning can now lead all the way to a degree without the £100,000 debt associated with going to university. The various pathways include product design, mechatronics, toolmaking, machining, quality and production.
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