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Case Study

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KASTO helps Singaporean steel producer enhance automated sawing operations


Date:2018-09-05


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One of the experts for stainless steel in Asia is the company Sin Ghee Huat: This Singapore-based enterprise possesses a portfolio of more than 4,000 stainless steel products and supplies tailor-made solutions to customers in South-East Asia, Oceania, China and the Near East. Back in the 1980s, the management at the time decided to specialize in stainless steel, recognizing the potential of this market.

Since then, Sin Ghee Huat has grown and now possesses a number of subsidiaries, including in the Chinese city of Suzhou. Despite this, the company processes most of its orders at its headquarters in Singapore: To do this, the stainless steel specialist needs extensive storage capacity and a modern machine pool. “If necessary, we can perform a number of processing steps before we even deliver to the customer – this also includes sawing to the required length,” explains Operating Manager Shawn Lim. “However, this task often demands considerable effort because most stainless steels are very difficult to machine. It is therefore vital for us to have particularly powerful sawing machines that can ensure short cutting times and high productivity even with these materials,” emphasizes Lim.

However, the point came at which the company's existing sawing technology was no longer up to the task. “The number of cuts grew significantly over the years and our machine pool was not configured to cope with this volume,” recalls Lim. “The cutting times were simply too long, with the result that the sawing unit gradually became something of a bottleneck in our production process.” That is why in 2016, the management at Sin Ghee Huat decided to invest in extending its capacity. In its search for a suitable supplier, the choice quickly fell on KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, which is headquartered in Achern in the South of Germany.

“Our experience with KASTO was already very positive because a few years previously, they had delivered and installed an UNIBLOC stacking cradle system for us,” says Lim as he outlines the decision-making process. “We had also already heard a lot about the high quality and reliability of their saws. However, we were doubtful about whether a manufacturer from far-away Germany would be able to provide us with the service we expect from our partners.” It was therefore extremely convenient that the sawing and storage technology specialist was opening a new branch in Singapore at that very time..

“The fact that KASTO would soon be present locally with its own subsidiary was ultimately the clinching purchase argument for us,” explains Lim. Sin Ghee Huat decided on the KASTOwin A 4.6 fully automatic band saw: The machine represents a multi-purpose solution for the serial and production sawing of solid materials, tubes and sections and comes with an extensive standard equipment. It is suitable for machining a range of steels and offers high performance coupled with low material and energy consumption. “Our company places great value on efficiency. Here again, we were completely won over by the KASTOwin with its frequency-controlled drive and compact hydraulic aggregate,” explains Lim.

The saw's cutting range is 460 millimetres. Sin Ghee Huat mainly uses it to cut cylindrical stainless steel materials. The torsionally rigid, vibration-damping upper section enables the saw blade to run particularly quietly and produce accuracy when sawing. The vice and saw feed are equipped with zero-play linear guides, and ball screw spindle drives ensure controlled cutting and material feed movements. This enables the KASTOwin to achieve a cutting accuracy of ±0.1 mm over a 100 mm cutting length at cutting speeds of up to 150 m/min.

The SmartControl machine controller unit contains all the material data, and automatically sets all the necessary parameters. “The saw is therefore very easy to operate. Users can get to grips with the touchscreen-based graphical user interface quickly and easily without the need for a time-consuming familiarization phase,” comments Lim. “As a result, we have been able to greatly reduce idle times.” What is more, the KASTOrespond system, which was developed specially for this range, continuously records the forces at the tool and uses an intelligent algorithm to convert these into feed movements.

Thanks to the new saw, Sin Ghee Huat has boosted the efficiency and productivity of its machining operations. The stainless steel specialist is able to deliver all the ordered cut parts to its customers on time and in high quality. The company is also completely satisfied with the service it has received. “Cooperation with KASTO worked perfectly. Thanks to the new team in Singapore, we can always reach a contact person who can react to questions or problems very quickly whenever we need,” emphasizes Lim. “That's the kind of customer support you dream of.”

Source :automation.com