Established by Henry Barrett in 1866, Barrett Steel Ltd has grown to become the UK’s largest independent steel stockholder.
Today, it comprises four divisions with more than 40 companies operating from 26 strategically located sites that offer services including shot blasting, priming, painting, drilling, laser cutting and sawing.
The Barrett Engineering Steel division has been seeing an increased level of business, prompting the need for a highly efficient sawing solution for two of its sites in the Midlands and North West.
Saws from several leading manufacturers were considered, after which two Amada PC430X/AX pulse cutting automatic bandsaws were purchased from Redditch-based Amada agent Accurate Cutting Services Ltd (www.accurate-cutting.co.uk
When compared to conventional bandsaws, the Amada Pulse delivers significantly faster cutting — by using a mechanism that ‘pulses’ the blade feed pressure.
This has the effect of overcoming any work hardening throughout the cut; it also eliminates vibration harmonics that can create noise and damage the tips of saw teeth.
Other features of these bandsaws include an intuitive Windows-based CNC system with which all functions (including the set-up of the machine) are controlled by an easy-to-use touch screen.
Operators can choose from a comprehensive list of parameters; once set up, the saw delivers optimum cutting performance at the touch of a button.
Blade drive is via an 11kW motor which, coupled with Amada’s pulse cutting, enables the PC430X/AX to maintain high cutting rates when tackling even the toughest of materials — including high-tensile materials such as Inconel and Hastelloy.
The blade is 54mm deep, 6,100mm long and 1.6mm thick.
Moreover, an automatically adjusted, double wire-brush arrangement ensures that the chip area of the blade is kept clean.
Explaining the reasons for buying the two Amada pulse bandsaws, Rob Fern — the manager of Barrett Engineering Steel’s Midlands branch — said: “Barrett Steel has extensive experience in serving a range of sectors, working in close partnership with prominent national and international companies in the oil, gas and engineering industries, as well as construction and rail.
“To ensure that it continues to provide high levels of service, the company is committed to technological innovation, hence our purchase of the two Amada PC430X/AXs, which ‘ticked all of our boxes’; and with their pulse capabilities they provide the speed — especially on large diameters — and accuracy that we require.
“Following a trouble-free installation, our new Amada saws are meeting all our expectations.
“They allow all of our grades to be programmed, and the main consoles clearly display an estimated finish time for each job, allowing operators to plan the efficient cutting of upcoming jobs.
“In addition, the ability to download data related to blade performance is extremely useful for monitoring our KPIs and helps to improve the business.
“We are now using our new Amada machines to saw our carbon and alloy grades of round bar, both black and bright — plus our latest investment in EN30B stock.
“Furthermore, the Amada saw for our Midlands business was bought with an RT conveyor to feed it, so we can run it unattended for up to two whole shifts.”
Accurate Cutting Services’ chairman, Mark Fleeming, said: “Accurate Cutting Services has over 50 years of in-depth sawing experience and now operates from two main sites — in Redditch and Cleckheaton.
“We offer customers an extensive portfolio of premium-quality cost-effective sawing solutions.
“As with all potential customers, we worked closely with Barrett Steel to fully understand the company’s requirements.
“Given its high-volume sawing throughput demands — plus the need for speed, efficiency and accuracy — it was considered that Amada PC430X/AX pulse cutting automatic bandsaws were the optimum solution for the two Barrett Steel sites.
“Both have since reported that, on average, the saws are cutting four-times faster than the company’s existing saws — and maintaining impressive levels of accuracy.”