FIELD NOTES: GAA-500-90 automatic up-cut circular saw

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supplier: Scotchman Industries

end user: Motis Inc.


When you work in a competitive manufacturing environment, setting your business apart can be a challenge, but it’s one that Motis Inc. has overcome.

Formed in 2015, Motis Inc. is “an entrepreneurial ecosystem” says co-owner Paul Terpstra, who operates the company with partner Bart Huizinga. Motis operates several entities under its umbrella, including a fire fighting tool manufacturing business, a print shop and even a non-profit organization, Fusion Labworks, that offers building workshops for youth with the intent of getting them interested in manufacturing and other STEM related careers.

It is the fire fighting tool, an aluminum extruded hose handling device dubbed the Snagger Tool, that spurred the company to open a 251 sq m (2,700 sq ft) manufacturing shop in Stoney Creek, ON, earlier this year, and to purchase a Scotchman Industries saw, the GAA-500 90 automatic up-cut circular saw, from Ontario distributor Brennan Machinery, London, ON.

“We were outsourcing the manufacturing of this tool, which was invented by Luke Geleynse. We decided to bring the manufacturing inhouse so we could increase the quality and also increase capacity to meet a growing demand,” explains Terpstra.

Indeed, Terpstra says Motis developed a promo video to show how the Snagger Tool works “and it went viral. In just under three days, we had close to 1 million views and now we’re up to about 1.3 million views on Facebook. We couldn’t meet demand so we brought the work inhouse and purchased the Scotchman saw.”

Today, the Snagger Tool is sold in Canada, the US, China and South Korea.

Terpstra says the long aluminum extrusions they use to make the fire fighting tool meant that a saw is the best equipment. The company considered plasma, waterjet, and laser cutting sheet metal instead of extrusions, but it was cost prohibitive “and we’d still have to do post processing.”

The Snagger Tool in action. Image: Motis inc.Material gets cut on the saw and parts are transferred to other processing machinery to face mill both sides and to drill holes. Terpstra estimates Motis is producing 400 to 500 tools a week “and what’s nice about this is that we could increase production as needed by adding a second mill and tumbler inhouse. We’re starting to refine the process as we get more comfortable programming the saw.”

Terpstra adds that the main reason for purchasing the Scotchman Industries saw was the company’s ability to deliver it quickly. Since then he has been impressed with the service.

“They were great to work with. We send a sample piece of extrusion to Scotchman in South Dakota and they cut it and took videos to show how the saw performed. We also liked the fact that the saw is made in North America.”

The GAA-500 90 automatic upcut circular saw is a large capacity saw for cutting non-ferrous materials at 90° up to 152.4 mm (6 in.) square and round. The saw uses a shuttle feed design with an adjustable vertical and horizontal clamp system to fit most profiles. A 7.5 hp motor delivers a cutting speed of 3,000 rpm. The saw is equipped with a pneumatic mist coolant system and a base with two chip extraction ports. Users set cut lengths by moving the hard stop that’s connected to a ball screw and hand crank. The rotary dial allows for fast and easy length adjustments, and part lengths are held to length tolerance of +/- 0.152 mm (.006 in.) per index.

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