For high-volume production, keeping up with demand requires a new approach to cutting metals, including the sawing operations. While the bandsaw has been the go-to machine for many manufacturers, the circular cold saw is gaining a lot of interest due to its speed.
Circular cold saws are becoming more and more popular. According to Hayden Peterson, marketing specialist at Cosen Saws, North America, the reasons for the renewed interest in circular cold saws have to do with efficiency and increased production – often cutting material in one-third the time that it takes a bandsaw.
“Circular cold saws can cut at much faster speeds than bandsaws and are better for smaller material that measures 10 in. in diameter or less,” Peterson says. “On top of that, you can achieve a much quicker ROI.”
For example, if a manufacturer could cut a 20-ft. piece of 2-in.-round stainless in half to a third of the time it takes with a bandsaw, “why not make the investment?” he asks.
Bandsaw vs. Circular Saw
Manufacturers questioning whether or not they need to bring a circular cold saw into the equation have valid concerns. First and foremost, they’re going to find the acquisition cost of circular cold saws to be higher than bandsaws. Given the production advantages and quick ROI, however, the cost concern could be a non-issue.
But, there are other, perhaps even more important considerations. Namely, the size of the material being processed. As Peterson said, consistently running material bigger than 10 in. would be better suited to a bandsaw.
For anything below that, the finish on the cut material is one of the greatest advantages for a circular cold saw. For users that have tight tolerances to maintain and want to avoid secondary work, a circular cold saw provides a finish that a bandsaw cannot match.
Most high-volume shops work with ferrous materials, which circular cold saws can handle without an issue, but what about superalloys? For the more exotic metals that are harder to cut, the slow and steady pace of the bandsaw was once thought to be the only way to go, but given the new circular cold saw blades being manufactured (such as carbide tipped), it’s no longer an open-and-shut case.
Another aspect to consider is space constraints on the shop room floor.
Most circular cold saws, minus the material handling accessories, take up less space than the four or five bandsaws that would be required to match the circular cold saw’s production level.
Overall, the general thinking on the issue of bandsaws versus circular cold saws is for high-quality cuts, smaller capacity materials and to rip through a lot of material in no time. For companies whose work fits that description, the circular cold saw is the best choice. If quality finishes aren’t required and materials are larger, a bandsaw might be the way to go.
“Circular cold saws are more expensive than bandsaws,” Peterson says, “but they can be faster, more precise and more efficient. Plus, they adhere to tighter tolerances and produce a better finish.”
Notable New Line
Last summer, Cosen launched its CC-100 circular cold saw. Designed with the end users in mind, standard features include a 20-ft. material loader, heavy-duty gripper feed carriage, heavy-duty steel linear guideway saw head, and a saw frame and base constructed of FCD-45 and FCD-25 ductile/cast iron. Optional accessories include a bundle loader and a third material vise.
“The saw also has the capability to hold several blade sizes,” Peterson says. “For example, the CC-100 can hold 285-mm, 360-mm and 370-mm blades. Most of these features are standard within the industry and help to give the saw a sturdier frame and absorb vibration as well as provide a more efficient workflow. We also offer optional features and accessories, such as a third vise that can help achieve a shorter remnant piece, bundle loader, mist collector unit and Cosen’s Mechalogix predictive computing software, all of which help to make the saw operators work easier and more efficient.”
Cosen also developed the CC-150 circular cold saw, which has a larger cutting capacity than the CC-100. The CC-100 can cut rounds up to 4.330 in. while the CC-150 can cut rounds up to 6.338 in.
“The CC-150 has a larger motor, heavier gearbox and weight,” Peterson says, “but nothing other than cutting capacities and price separate the two. Both models are offered in non-ferrous versions, as well.”
Early in the development stage of the circular cold saw line, the company conducted a study of the market to determine what customers were looking for, what competitors offered and what the company could bring to the market to enhance end users’ cutting experience. While most brands offer similar features in their add-ons, Cosen differentiates itself through its Mechalogix software and SawLogix mobile app.
Mechalogix is Cosen’s cloud-based predictive computing and monitoring solution that offers an intuitive user experience. Mechalogix monitors the performance of the blade and can accurately forecast breakage and how many cutting hours remain on the blade in use. SawLogix allows users to see exactly what Mechalogix is monitoring and forecasting, including machine health in real time.
“One thing that Cosen has always tried to do is provide technologies and software that help improve the cutting process,” he says. “That’s where our Mechalogix software comes in, helping monitor job status and blade health and providing utilization reports in real time to the saw operator via an online dashboard or our SawLogix app.”