Beam saw drill lines with automatic measuring system and CNC Control are operating efficiently in plants processing structural steel profiles such as angle steel, beams, U-profiles, rectangular pipes, flat steel, etc. You can saw and drill profiles of different lengths. At the beginning the CNC-Control will receive data from the CAD system and a post processor will translate the CAD data into the CNC Control. After this operation the beam line has all necessary information about the position of the steel beam, the saw and the drill units. All further operations are now running automatically.
As the production range differs from one steel construction company to another, there is different used structural steel machinery available for beams from 300 mm up to 2.000 mm. Standard saw-drill lines are suitable for beams up to 1.200 mm size.
You can choose between a circular saw and a band sawing machine in combination with a beam-drill-line. While used machines are mainly equipped with circular saws, new machines are generally applying band sawing machines. That’s due to the increased performance of the new band sawing machines and their bi-metal band saw blades. Also the low acquisition costs contribute to the popularity of band sawing machines. Mitre cuts of about ± 45° are nearly up to standard.
In the past regular HSS dry core drills have been used. Since 1988 they have been replaced by the use of inner coolant drills (oel feed drills). Since approx. 2004 the use of carbide drills or indexable insert drills became possible. In this field one of the leading manufacturers are Kennametal, Gühring, Hartner and Walter. In addition also Nenok solid carbide drills from 8 mm up to 20 mm are used more and more.
You can choose between 4 different measuring systems – roller feed with measuring disc, gripper feed, measuring carriage with driving rod and the positioning of the drill unit. In combination with a handling system, the measuring system provides for a material positioning and simultaneously for a length measuring. The particular measuring system differs according to the machine manufacturer. The measuring system allow an accurate positioning of the material. The positioning has to be in accordance with the necessary tolerances in the structural steelwork. It is advisable to exercise a check-up at regular intervals.
The roller feed with disc measuring system consists of a combination of rugged, driven feed rolls and separately hardened measuring discs. The driven feed rolls are clamping the profile. Through the rotation of the feed rolls the profile is moved in its longitudinal axis. Separate measuring discs identify the actual position of the profile by digital rotary encoders. The identified data are passed down to the CNC-control for monitoring purposes. Drill lines with integrated roller feed and disc measuring feature one particular advantage, namely that they save valuable floor space. Manufacturers such as VOORTMAN, APS and Peddinghaus are using this kind of measuring system.
The gripper feed consists of a measuring arm that is moved sideways on a roller conveyor by means of a gear rod. At the end of this arm there are gripping pliers that clamp the workpiece and move it through the drill line on its specified position. If you are working on a saw/drill line, the gripper feed system features the advantage that there is barely residual length. A certain disadvantage follows from its increased space requirements. Machine manufacturers such as FICEP, Kaltenbach, Behringer-Vernet and VOORTMAN apply this system.
The measuring carriage or the so called stop positioning system consists of a measuring arm that is moved sideways on a roller conveyor by means of a gear rod. At the end of this measuring arm there is a plate which is provided with a sensor. The material is moved by the driven roller conveyors to the plate. Via sensor the control gets to know that the beam reaches the plate. The measuring carriage moves the workpiece through the drill line on its specified position. The measuring carriage features the advantage that there is barely residual length. A certain disadvantage follows from its increased space requirements. Machine manufacturers such as KALTENBACH and WAGNER apply this system.
Many modern machines are equipped with a tool changing systems. This provides for flexible operation of the machine. The tool changer is operated by the CNC-control. Different diameters or types of tools can be changed automatically during the machine is drilling. These systems feature one particular advantage, namely that they can be operated extremely flexible.
The marking unit as an additional option can mill any identification number or character. This enables a better identification of the profiles. The marking process is programmed on the CNC-control. On modern drill lines the profiles are marked by means of needles or end mills. It is important to make sure that the marking can be chosen deep enough, so that you can read the numbers or characters even after the galvanizing process.
Depending on the particular application in a sectional beam drilling line one or up to three drill units are used. Some manufacturers also offer rotary drill units with tool changer.
For the use of HSS inner coolant drills a drill spindle rotational speed up to 800 revolutions/minute and a drive capacity up to 7,5 kw is sufficient. This is very often the case with used drill lines. This option is economic and adequate in many plants.
For the use of KSEM carbide drills from Kennametal or solid carbide drills from nenok tools high drill spindle rotational speed and high drive capacity are necessary. A rotaional speed of more than 2500 revolution/minute in combination with a high torque are a precondition.The drilling speed of solid carbide drills and carbide drills like KSEM insert blades from Kennametal are much faster than regular inner coolant drills due to their high forward feed.Please consider that the price for solid carbide drills is higher than the one for regular inner coolant drills. Therefor solid carbide drills are economic when a high drilling performance is needed.
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