by Tim Wilson
A fastener manufacturer realizes big savings with new cold saw
Work had to be done off-site, with increased lead time and inventory requirements, resulting in lost opportunities.
A saw in-house to decrease inventory and allow for same day delivery
Cook Fasteners Inc. in Mississauga, ON, had a problem. The company couldn’t hold bolts for cutting, and had to send work out. This took up valuable time, even resulting in some lost opportunity. To find a fix, Cook Fasteners approached Scotchman Industries–represented in Canada by William Brennan Co.–and Scotchman’s engineers were able to come up with a low-cost solution.
“Cook Fasteners purchased a US-made CPO 350 VS Cold Saw,” says Gary Masters from William Brennan. “Scotchman designed special holding jaws to allow Cook Fasteners to cut finished stainless bolts to different sizes. The special jaws can be orientated to accommodate a wide range of sizes.”
The move to purchase the Scotchman saw aligns with Cook Fasteners’ long-term growth strategy, which includes a semi-automatic and automatic saw. Founded in 1982 by Dick Cook, the company was first called Bell Fasteners Canada Inc. and changed to Cook Fasteners Inc. in 2003. When Dick retired in 1998, his daughter Paula Cook took the helm. Now, thirty years later, Cook Fasteners has 26 employees and a sales office in Quebec.
“We are a master distributor of stainless steel and non-ferrous fasteners in imperial/inch sizes, as well as metric fasteners in stainless steel and carbon steel,” says Paula Cook. “Our products are used in a wide range of industries such as marine, hydro, pharmaceutical, tool/die, water treatment, food processing, mining, metal fabrication, solar, and electronics.”
In 2009 Cook Fasteners purchased four small machines for an in-house machine shop. The company has since added more that complement and expand its capabilities, such as thread cutting, chamfering, grinding, milling, drilling, slotting and automatic parts washing. The Scotchman CPO350 VS, with its variable speed and two inch solid or four and a half inch tube diameter cutting capability, is a nice fit.
“It is very good for small jobs or those that require a quick turnaround because the set up and tear down time is minimal,” says Cook. “It has special jigs made up to cut very small diameters and short lengths.”
The machine, which is manual, makes perfectly straight cuts because the bolt or screw is clamped on both ends. It can also cut angles–45° and 90° studs.
“We buy high-end blades to ensure longer life,” says Cook. “We have a local supplier who sharpens them every week. We can tell by the sound, and if it cuts slower, when the teeth wear down and the blade needs to be sharpened.”
To ensure longevity, Cook makes sure her company is using a quality coolant. She says that for the more popular diameters Cook Fasteners keeps at least 4 blades of each size in circulation. This ensures that there is no down time.
“A big plus for us is that the saw allows us to keep less inventory,” says Cook. “We can modify semi-finished product that we keep in stock that has multiple possible uses, and keep the balance of the semi-finished product in stock for later modification.”
Bringing the job in-house has reduced cost and sped up turnaround, resulting in new customer opportunities.
“The set up and tear down time is very quick for various jobs, so we are able to offer our customers ‘same day’ delivery most of the time,” says Cook. “We are now able to get jobs and orders that we may not have been able to get before because we’re able to offer parts so quickly.”
Cook Fasteners also has access to Scotchman’s local dealer service, and a three-year warranty for parts and service. Technical support to dealers and end users is provided by William Brennan.
“We stock both machines and parts to support the Canadian market,” says Masters from William Brennan. “All of the ironworkers and cold saws we stock are QPS approved for sale in Canada. With our warehouse we are able to quickly supply Scotchmnan products across Canada that are electrically approved and are sold in Canadian dollars.”
Consequently, there is no hassle or hidden costs associated with electrical approval, freight, brokerage and importation when bringing machines into Canada from the US.
“Offshore competitors cannot and do not offer the engineering and product support that Scotchman does,” says Brennan. “Scotchman has local dealers and representatives to help solve customer problems and provide after sale support.”
Cook Fasteners has other saws in addition to the Scotchman, notably a German-made Behringer Eisele high performance circular metal saw. This is a semi-automatic saw with a 4-3/4 in. (83 mm) round cutting capability. Like the Scotchman, this saw can do angle cutting at 45º and 90º, but is used for larger diameters over 7/8 in. ( 22 mm).
And for another step up, Cook Fasteners has its Hyd-Mech band saw, a workhorse that handles all the big jobs.
“The Hyd-Mech band saw enables us to bundle threaded rods for better economies of scale and faster cutting times,” says Cook.
“This is a fully automatic saw; you can programme the lengths of cuts you want. Tolerance is excellent on the cuts: if you programme the band saw to cut a piece that is 10 in (254 mm) long, it will be 10 in. (254 mm) long with practically no variation on the length.”
It seems Cook Fasteners has its saw requirements well-covered. The Scotchman now allows the company to cut finished product to match part numbers, while reducing inventory and decreasing the lead time for different length bolts, with the Behringer Eisele and the Hyd-Mech bandsaw on deck for bigger jobs. SMT
Tim Wilson is a contributing editor.