An innovative new Robot Plasma Cutting system (RPC) has been developed by Norfolk-based Kingsland Engineering (part of the Haco Group) for a customer in the construction industry in Northumberland.
The RPC, which was seen under demonstration by Machinery Market at a HACO facility in Belgium last month, is unique in that it can process multiple profile and tube types, as well as undertake sheet-metal cutting — a capability that has never before been integrated to such an extent into one machine.
It also needs no mechanical pusher/gripper set-up whatsoever, allowing for flexible and just-in-time (JIT) production flows.
Bernard De Muynck, Kingsland Engineering director (pictured), said: “The system took two years to develop from inception by HACO-Kingsland (www.kingsland.com
) and was designed to provide ultimate efficiency in the production of structural steel.”
It can process I, T, H and L beam profiles, as well as flat bar and tubes within size limits. Profiles, tubes and bars with lengths from 2.0 to 18.3m and a section of 920mm wide x 420mm high can be accommodated and cut.
In terms of sheet metal processing, sheet sizes up to a maximum of 1.5 x 3m can be cut by the machine.
A 360A Kjellberg plasma source provides the heartbeat of the RPC system, which is driven by a Windows control with colour touch-screen and networking capabilities and can cut mild steel up to 50mm thick.
Special part and program management software supports easy programming and JIT processing. Supported part source file formats include DSTV, STP (STEP) and IGES from any CAD system.
The machine has integrated safety systems with fences, doors, light guards and cameras; zone protection is optional. Other configurations and features are also optional, subject to a technical feasibility check.
Mr De Muynck concluded: “The future of structural-steel processing has changed. Flexible and JIT production — with full part traceability and marking of the parts for more-efficient processing — is now totally integrated into one machine with the Kingsland RPC system.”