Bandsaws get the bulk of the attention as the sawing machine of choice throughout the fabrication world, but when it comes to high-production facilities where rapid cuts are vital for keeping up with demand, circular saws, also referred to as cold saws, are another solution.
Today’s top saw manufacturers are putting some of their expertise to work developing complex circular saw solutions that are automated and easy to use. From material handling advancements to safety enhancements, vibration dampening technology to saw blade lubricant innovations – there is plenty to gain from utilizing these fast and accurate saws.
Behringer VMS series
Behringer Saws is no stranger to the cold saw market, having sold 250,000-plus of them worldwide. With the VMS series, the focus is on simple operation with a robust design, culminating in precision cuts. For example, the VMS 370-A is an automatic cold saw that Behringer considers an “all-rounder,” as it is capable of cutting solids, tubes and profiles.
The VMS series, which also includes the larger VMS 400-A, offers automatic operation with hydro-pneumatic feed and pneumatic material clamping. Operators can run the machine easily using a CNC interface. Behringer also produces VMS manual/semi-automatic saws with similar cutting ranges to the automatic saws that can handle a range of materials.
Vibration, being the enemy of sawing metals regardless of the type of saw, is dampened significantly via Behringer’s focus on heavy-duty construction, but at the heart of the VMS series is an Eisele shock-absorbing feature, which Behringer produces in-house. The Eisele technology is a worm gear unit that provides smooth, low-vibration operation that results in quality cuts and better blade life, as well as longer service life of the saw itself.
Yet another saw known for its heavy-duty construction is the DoAll SC-150A – a fully automatic, CNC-controlled circular saw with high production capabilities. The solid construction provides more rigidity, which dampens vibration and leads to exceptionally accurate cuts, higher cutting rates, superior finishes and increased blade life.
DoAll says the SC-150A is “designed for cutting a wide range of metals on a high-production basis,” and that operators simply “dial in the specifications of your parts production and let the SC-150A go to work as your tireless production team member. Enjoy the benefits of fully automated processing and the reduction in cost per unit.”
Standard equipment for the saw includes a programmable logic controller for all machine functions and a metered feed head that is controlled by a servo-driven ballscrew. The SC-150A has a hydraulic sorting discharge chute and a 16-in. automatic loading table for round bar. The adjustable blade guides are carbide-faced. Operators can utilize variable vice pressure control and can also clear chips with a high-pressure chip blower, which is particularly useful in cutting tubes.
Ease of use being increasingly important in manufacturing, HE&M Saws hits a home run with its touchscreen interface on the KTC-150SP carbide circular saw, offering operators many machine settings and cut functions. The unofficial motto at HE&M is that “we’re engineers who happen to make saws,” so it’s no surprise that the hydraulics and servo motor are hard plumbed for more consistent operation.
The KTC-150SP also features an automatic workpiece loader, making it easy to handle and position material, which is a bonus for new operators who need all the help they can get, but can also help to reduce human error in skilled/experienced operators.
Just as in bandsawing, many chips are created as the blade of a circular saw cuts through the material. These chips can create problems, including blade wear and cut quality issues, if they are not cleared. The KTC-150SP includes a chip brush, a built-in coolant system with flood or mist capabilities, and an air gun and belt-type chip conveyer.
Kasto Gripspeed C 10
The German-based company Kasto continues to branch out with new, high-tech material handling systems, but it’s the company’s history going back to 1844 and its production of saws for which it is most recognized. Its solution for production facilities where there is a demand for saws that can handle a massive number of cuts per day includes the Kastogripspeed C 10 circular saw.
The C 10 is a high-performance automatic circular saw that is easy to program and includes gripper feed technology. Even under rough shop conditions, the C 10 is easy to operate, most notably through Kasto’s ProControl software. ProControl is an “ideal control system for optimal order processing,” and is managed via a 10-in. color control screen.
The saw can manage material height of up to 43.31 in., has a material clamping force of 440 to 2,750 lbs., and can also manage a short remnant length of 2.95 in.
Pat Mooney PMI-19
Given the automated features of sawing machines, such as the Pat Mooney PMI-18 DB upcut circular saw, safety features bring value to the cutting solution. The company includes a machine enclosure that is monitored by limit switches. In order for the saw to cycle, the machine cover must be closed. In fact, the design of the machine allows for the blade to be completely enclosed under the worktable, limiting exposure during the cut, allowing for even further safety for the operator.
This saw is designed for cutting aluminum extrusion and other non-ferrous metals. Armed with a 7.5-hp motor, the saw can cut through material very fast and with great accuracy. Adding to its ease of use is the 5.7-in. touchscreen control for easy job setup. Users can input their cut information via the touchscreen, such as cut length and number of pieces, and the machine will monitor each cut for accuracy.
The PMI-18 includes a precise micro-drip blade lubrication system that emits a small amount of lubricant to an airline at the point of discharge for control and economical distribution of the lubricant.
Scotchman GAA-600-90 CNC
Scotchman Industries’ newest addition to its non-ferrous saw line is the GAA-600-90 CNC, which is an automatic upcut circular saw. It is capable of large-capacity cuts with its 24-in.-dia. carbide blade, which can cut at 90 degrees up to 8-in. square or round and 24-in.-by-4-in. rectangular material.
One of the perks of working with an automatic saw is having the ability to jump back and forth between different types of jobs simply by choosing the program on the saw’s interface. Scotchman has included the ability to store 10 programs on the GAA-600-90 CNC, each containing up to 30 different cut lengths and quantities. These can be easily created and adjusted on the machine at any time. Users creating cutting programs away from the saw can use a USB drive inserted into the saw’s USB port to import the information.
Scotchman has included a robust shuttle feed design featuring a 27-in. ballscrew servo motor automatic feeder. For secure holding of material, the saw has three horizontal and three vertical pneumatic clamps to secure the workpiece throughout the cutting process. This assures the highest cut length tolerances (±0.0006 in. per index).