Industrial saws take up a lot of space and are weighty – some tipping the scales at 8,000-plus lbs. These massive machines also tip the cost scales, requiring many months or years to see a return on investment.
Are they worth it? Sure, but for many manufacturers with modest budgets, an alternative is in order. When there is a need for an upcut saw with a modest footprint and an equally modest price, a compact and relatively lightweight and highly efficient solution is available.
TigerStop, a company that has made a name for itself with its automated stop technology, recently unveiled the TigerSaw 2000 Compact, an upcut saw with automated features aimed at small to large shops cutting many types of non-ferrous metals up to 26 ft. long.
According to Mike Anderson, saw systems director at TigerStop, the TigerSaw Compact upcut saw is aimed at users seeking a cost-effective cutting solution, but the machine is also for anyone on the hunt for a system that has all the bells and whistles of fully automated saw systems that are two to three times the cost.
“The target market is a user looking for a fully automatic saw system that provides material positioning, optimization, cut list downloading and label printing that can utilize the saw with one or two operators feeding the in-going material and unloading the finished parts,” he says. “The user can have an unlimited number of cut lists sent to the machine, and those lists will be optimized dynamically and on the fly.”
With its long list of capabilities, the TigerSaw 200 Compact clearly isn’t aimed at a narrow audience. Rather, the saw fits the needs of fabrication shops and job shops as well as shops working in aluminum manufacturing, such as fenestration, curtainwall and storefront shops. Mechanical/electrical, plumbing, louvers and HVAC products are also a great match for the saw.
“We really wanted to offer a machine that would fill the gap that we saw in the marketplace,” Anderson says. “Customers looking for a fully automatic upcut saw system who don’t want to break the bank still want great features and functionality. These customers might have a smaller floor plan they can work with, but also want a fast return on investment.”
The compact saw’s predecessor is the TigerSaw 2000, which is also a fully automated saw system for non-ferrous metals. The obvious difference is size; the 2000 has a larger footprint with a material pushing capacity of 2,100 lbs. (with heavy-duty rollers using the HeavyDuty2 pusher) and a maximum working length of 108 ft. In contrast, the compact version is designed for lighter loads with a material pushing capacity of 180 lbs. and a maximum working length of 26 ft.
“The TigerSaw 2000 Compact has a compact footprint with a big impact,” Anderson says. “We like to say big things come in little packages and this feature-rich saw packs a punch. It is a great value in a much smaller footprint than the TigerSaw 2000.”
How small is the footprint? The compact saw has a base length of 67 in. wide and 35.75 in. deep. This, of course, does not include the TigerStop push feeder/positioner and infeed/outfeed tables.
ompatible with a 14-in. or 16-in. blade, the compact saw has a 4.8-hp motor and can easily process solid or hollow material. And the lubrication mist system, which lengthens the life of the blade, also prevents heat buildup, which improves cut quality.
Users will also be impressed by other features, which include a handful of TigerStop technologies that provide value, including Dynamic Optimization software, which offers an easy way to improve yield while saving on scrap.
“You can also use Dynamic Pack Optimization with the TigerSaw 2000 Compact,” Anderson says. “This allows you to process bundles of material and gives you the best yield possible by determining the optimal cutting order from your parts list and number of packs to load. Improved material yield saves money on raw material and reduces scrap waste. It allows operators to perfectly optimize the operation because TigerSaw is doing the math.”
There is also an optional TigerTouch tablet package for users to manage all their cut lists. Any TigerStop product can be enhanced with cutting-edge touchscreen control with TigerTouch.
“Using the TigerTouch touchscreen controller,” Anderson says, “you can download an infinite number of cut lists and display three cut lists at a time for easy switching between work orders. You can also view statistics, such as job status, remnants, remaining parts and yields.”
He adds that TigerStop has extensive experience handling work orders and cut list data. Using cut list downloading software, TigerLink 6, users can download cut lists or part lists from their network and send them to their TigerStop machines using Ethernet cables.
“You no longer have to use messy paper cut lists or keep track of how far along in a cut list you are,” he says.
Managing inventory is a constant struggle. Even with a keen eye for project management, having too much or too little raw material on hand is a real possibility. Throw in the scrap waste issue and it gets even more difficult. Anderson says feedback he’s received from customers is that with the TigerSaw 2000 Compact and all its optimization technology, “customers can now order the exact quantity of material they need for their jobs; they don’t have to over-purchase material. This can save up to 10 percent before the job even starts.”
TigerStop’s simulation tools also aid in predicting yields prior to the first cut. Furthermore, customers can “whittle through waste piles and remnant piles,” which means rather than earning cents on the dollar for recycling scrap, they can actually make good use of it.
The skilled labor gap continues to be an issue for manufacturers. Thanks to the automated measuring capabilities included in the compact saw, operators don’t even have to be proficient in something simple like reading a tape measure.
“Many operators aren’t able to read a tape accurately,” Anderson says. “Anyone, regardless of skill level or manufacturing experience, can be taught to operate this saw in no time flat. It is fully automatic so only one to two operators are needed. Great for small and large shops alike because you can do quite a bit more with fewer operators. It’s tough finding employees, but this saw allows you to reach high production with minimal people.”
Regarding better workflow, customers have responded with positive comments. For example, the optional label printing system allows them to keep track of finished cut parts, which can have a big impact on workflow in the shop.
“Not having to sort through finished parts is a huge timesaver,” Anderson says. “All the parts come off the saw with a custom label so the operator knows exactly where to send them down the line.”