Smaller batch sizes, smaller dimensions – and ever more production steps: these are the wishes with which most customers approach Klöckner & Co Deutschland GmbH. To meet these requirements, the steel trader relies, among other things, on the Kastomiwin automatic double mitre band saw. According to the manufacturer, the machine impresses with its high dimensional accuracy at all mitre angles and significantly expands the range of services offered by Klöckner & Co Germany.
Steel trading in Germany is in a state of flux – and has been for some time: on the one hand, competition is becoming increasingly fierce as a result of globalization and thus an increasing number of competitors from abroad. On the other hand, customers’ wishes are becoming more complex and individual. Materials in their raw state and in large quantities are required less and less – instead, the demand for small batch sizes and processed products is growing. Anyone who wants to be successful in the industry must therefore gradually develop from a pure supplier to a versatile manufacturing service provider.
Klöckner & Co Deutschland GmbH recognized the signs of the times early on. Klöckner is one of the largest producer-independent steel traders in Europe and operates 15 locations with a total of 1,000 employees in Germany alone. The largest of these is located in Landsberg in Saxony-Anhalt, just a few kilometres from Halle and Leipzig.
Founded in 1992, the branch has grown considerably since then and is now the most important warehouse for the entire region. The company keeps around 18,000 tons of material in stock here. Around 400 to 450 tonnes are delivered and shipped per day – the equivalent of 20 to 30 truckloads. 75 employees in operations and sales serve a delivery area that extends from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania through Berlin and Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt to Thuringia.
Extensive machinery for production
In order to meet the increasingly high demands of its customers and to satisfy the growing demand for processed material, Klöckner & Co Germany relies on an extensive range of machinery: a total of nine saws, a laser beam system and a foiling system are available to the steel trader in Landsberg. For further processing steps, the company has additional capacities at other locations, such as Velten in Brandenburg.
“We are a full-range supplier and supply steel as well as stainless steel and aluminium in a wide range of dimensions, geometries and grades,” describes Stefan Kumpf, operations manager at the Landsberg branch. “Our high level of expertise and flexibility in processing makes us a sought-after partner for our customers.”
When cutting steel profiles, pipes and solid materials up to twelve metres long, mitre cuts are increasingly required. These are cuts where the material is not cut “straight” at an angle of 90 degrees, but with a certain bevel, the so-called mitre angle. Only special saws are suitable for this special task – and Klöckner & Co Germany relies on a Kastomiwin F 4.6, among others.
“However, this is not just any Kastomiwin,” Kumpf reveals, “but the very first model ever produced of this series.” The machine, which is optimised for mitre cuts, is based on the successful Kastowin bandsaw series, which is suitable for series and production sawing of solid materials, tubes and profiles.
New saw model, proven supplier
How did it come about? Of course, there is a history to this: “Kasto has been one of our most important suppliers for many years when it comes to sawing and storage technology,” reports Kumpf. Among others, a production circular saw of the type Kastovariospeed, several automatic bandsaws of the Kastotec series as well as the compact high-performance bandsaw Kastowin pro are already in use in Landsberg.
“Kasto then presented the Kastomiwin to us for the first time at a trade fair. The innovative concept and the many positive experiences we had already had with Kasto convinced us to make the purchase.” In 2018, the first Kastomiwin made its way from Achern in Baden to Saxony-Anhalt, and two further models were delivered to other Klöckner & Co Germany sites shortly afterwards.
The Kastomiwin F 4.6 is an automatic double mitre band saw designed for all cutting to length and mitre cutting tasks in the steel trade and workshop. Its cutting range is up to 460 x 360 millimetres, mitre angles can be freely set between -45 and +60 degrees. The saw also features a frequency-controlled, infinitely adjustable belt speed of twelve to 150 meters per minute. A swivelling cutting bar serves as a material support.
The saw feed is effected by a ball screw, the material feed by a rack and pinion drive. A hydraulically operated horizontal vice enables optimum workpiece clamping: Depending on the mitre angle, the complete clamping unit is moved in front of or behind the cutting plane. This means that the material is always clamped in parallel – and this ensures particularly precise sawing results.
Simple operation and intelligent control
The long material to be sawn is fed onto the machine via roller conveyors. The single stroke of the material feed is 3,000 millimetres. Once the material is positioned, the upper part of the saw, including the saw band, rotates automatically until the desired mitre angle is reached.
The sawn sections are transported away and sorted via further roller conveyors and shifting units. Employees can then load them onto pallets manually or by overhead crane and prepare them for shipping.
The integrated Kasto machine control ProControl ensures easy and safe operation: The user only has to enter the desired cutting parameters for the respective job. The saw does the rest by itself – also thanks to the Kastorespond system developed by Kasto, which permanently records the forces on the tool and intelligently converts them into the optimum feed speed.
Klöckner & Co Germany is extremely satisfied with the new mitre saw. “The dimensional accuracy is top-notch, even for angles where we have to work precisely to the decimal place,” praises plant manager Kumpf. “As a result, we are now able to accept orders that we have had to turn down in the past.”
The Kastomiwin was also able to convince the steel trader in terms of performance and reliability. “Of course, there were always minor challenges to be solved, especially in the beginning – it is, after all, the first saw of its kind,” Kumpf recounts. “We benefited greatly from the fact that Kasto has service technicians stationed all over Germany – including in Thuringia, which is not far away. The service technicians were always on site quickly when needed.”
In addition, Klöckner & Co Germany, as a pilot user, had the opportunity to incorporate requirements and experience from practical everyday work into the further development of the saw – a real win-win situation.
For Stefan Kumpf, Kastomiwin has become an indispensable part of his everyday work. “The saw is an important tool for us to meet the diverse needs of our customers and thus to be competitive in the international market in the long term,” he emphasizes. “In addition, with Kasto we have a proven partner at our side on whom we can fully rely.”
For the future, Kumpf estimates that Klöckner & Co Germany will further expand its manufacturing spectrum in order to be able to offer an even broader service portfolio. “If we need additional sawing machines for this, we will definitely rely on Kasto.”