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by Mary Scianna

The Problem: Trying to meet multiple cut orders

The Solution: New NC saw with ability to store up 100 jobs

Like the metalworking industries it serves, the metals supply market has experienced the ups and downs of the economic upheaval of recent years.

In 2010, the industry began its slow climb out of a economic downturn and as businesses started gearing up for more orders, Grand River Metals launched its new 15,000 sq ft metals supply, processing and warehouse business in Brantford, ON.

Grand River Metals is one of seven operations under parent company Misteelco Inc.

Since opening, the metals supply company hasn’t looked back. A steady influx of orders has kept the processing shop and its four saws so busy that, earlier this year, the company invested $35,000 in a new Cosen automatic saw to meet growing demand for multiple cut orders with a focus on production cutting.

Before purchasing the Cosen C320NC automatic saw, Grand River Metals cut its metals on four older, but reliable saws - the Hyd-Mech T25, a fully automatic saw able to cut 24-in. thick material, the Hyd-Mech S20 and H20 models for 20-in. cuts and a fully automatic Behringer for 20-in. cuts.

“These saws have worked well, but when we got the new Cosen, it was like day and night in the way the new saw works when compared to the others,” explains Charlie Gray, plant manager. “In part, it’s because it’s a new machine with new technologies, but it works really well and cuts so fast.”

Gray adds that the Cosen is impressive because it offers the performance of higher priced similar models from other manufacturers. He also researched the saw with some help from long-time supplier Bryan Depencier of Saw Solutions Inc.

“We go back a long way with Bryan and he does a great job of supplying the right saws. So, while price point was one reason we liked the saw, we also liked what others had to say about it. Bryan provided us with names of other customers using the saw and they had good things to say about its performance.” 

Once the decision was made, it wasn’t long before the saw was installed and running. In fact, Gray says Depencier had the saw delivered one month earlier than planned.

“We were so backed up and we knew we couldn’t push our older saws any more, so when the new a came one month early, that was great because we were up and running after about six hours of installation.”

The new saw can now accommodate the demand for production cutting, which continues to grow. Production cut orders come from some of the company’s other branches, which are not equipped for this type of work, and from outside customers.

“We do job lots of thousands of part cut offs, tubes and angles. If someone needs a thousand pieces of two inch long pipes, that’s what this new saw is made for. There’s a lot of work in this business because many of my customers used to have saws in their plants, but when the recession hit, many of them gave up on this side of processing and focused on their other cutting abilities - [lasers, waterjet, plasma] - and now that business is picking up and they don’t have the saw cutting capabilities, they’re coming to us.”

Bryan Depencier, president of Saw Solutions says the saw is designed for high production cutting and is easy to use. It is equipped with a touch screen and the SNC100 control can store up to 100 jobs. He adds that the saw has helped Grand River improve productivity significantly.

“After the introduction of the C320NC, the company went from cutting one to two pieces per cut to, depending on the job, upwards of 20 pieces per cut. It was a dramatic increase in production, and the company eliminated the majority of secondary deburring operations.”

The saw can cut up to 12.6 in (320 mm) round or square and rectangular 15 in high by 12. 6 in. wide (380 mm x 320 mm).

Designed for high production environments, the saw’s structure features oversized precision-ground, large dual columns and a crosslink that connects the two columns for additional strength. It also features a back-tilted saw frame for longer blade life.

An added bonus for Grand River Metal’s Gray is that the blades for the Cosen saw are less expensive than blades for their other saws “and last twice as long. Now a lot of this has to do with the newness of the saw, but the blades are more durable. 

The blade durability is attributed in part to the blade drive, which features a special design for high lateral pressure and an inverter-controlled infinitely variable blade speed. The saw is also equipped with a blade clip device for easy blade changes.

Part of Grand River’s success to date has been its ability to supply a variety of cut materials - tool steels, aluminum, steel and copper - with same day or next day delivery for customers within a 100 km radius of its Brantford, ON, location.

Gray says the addition of the new automatic Cosen has not only helped the company improve cutting capacities, it means the company is in a better position to meet the growing demand for cut parts.

“We get the performance we need from the Cosen but it’s less expensive than other similar saws in the market from other suppliers. It’s just a lot faster, too, from set up and loading to cutting.”



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