22.05.2012 Stahlmarkt 05-2012

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von Schaewen AG
Kronprinzenstr. 14
45128 Essen
T. +49 201 8110 – 0
F. +49 201 8110 – 174
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We have completed a general overhaul of one of our largest cutting machines and prepared it for many years of operation to come. Below is a report of “Der Stahlmarkt“.


Since the only thing at Schaewen AG that may rust is the material being stored, during the outage between Christmas 2011 and the New Year’s Day, SATO Schneidsysteme Anton W. Hubert e.K. based in Mönchengladbach performed a general overhaul of one of the largest cutting machines and prepared it for long years of future operation. The SATO 6000 machine enables cutting particularly thick parts of up to 1,400 mm of thickness, 4,000 mm in width and 9,000 mm in length, or those of 60 t of unit weight at maximum. Moreover, the cutting process may be performed within the range from the second to the sixth geometrical plane which proves particularly useful while preparing holes, blanks and slots, this, in turn, leading to considerable savings during mechanical working and hence shortening of the manufacturing process time. In order to be able to make the most of the capabilities offered by the machine in the future as well, it was subjected to general overhaul and configured anew in the scope of communication with the server.

“The previous control system did not allow for communication with our new server as well as the goods management system, hence we decided to conduct a new investment,” explains Thomas Hoymann, the facility’s production manager. At first, the machine was disassembled to reach the bear steel structure, and then the machine’s frame and the remaining units were varnished anew. In the course of the reassembly, new bearings, new rolling wheels, a new shaft and a new round bar for the torch carriage’s transverse guide were installed. Also the carriage was seated on new bearings. Additionally, the individual sets of hoses and a complete energy chain were replaced. The height adjustment mechanism was modernised and adapted to the new control system of CNC 3010 featuring the TOPAZ user interface, which completed the overhaul.

“Our new cutting machine has paved new ways of development so that we can service our customers reliably and punctually also in the future, delivering them blanks which satisfy even the most demanding requirements,” claims Hoymann, not even trying to conceal his satisfaction.

Ameca von Schaewen GmbH runs production using 14 cutting machines (each of them being capable of working simultaneously with 6 torches) to manufacture precision blanks from plates of the thickness from 20 to 1,400 mm, width of up to 7,800 mm and maximum length of 20,000 mm. The maximum unit weight of a piece is ca. 60 tonnes. Two robotic torch cutting systems enable operations in several planes and cross-sections with the blank depth of up to 600 mm. Owing to accurate torch control, it is possible to conduct corner passes and chamfer at a constant angle change on undercutting and slitting without the necessity of additional working. We provide our customers all around the world with 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of blanks per month.

The delivery scheme for precision blanks, besides structural steel (S235J2+N, S355J2+N) and fine-grained steel grades (S690QL, S960QL), also comprises carbon steel (C45, C60) and steel for carburisation (16MnCr5, 20MnCr5) as well as low- and high-alloy steel for quenching and tempering (42CrMo4, 34CrNiMo6). The permanent reserve exceeding 30,000 tonnes of plates and slab ingots of the thickness from 20 to 700 mm ensures short lead times for virtually any dimensions ordered and steel grades required.

Depending on the material quality and thickness, we may apply special tempering. The preliminary or finishing heat treatment, for instance in accordance with the customer’s standard, may also take place at Essen-based facility where we can use three annealing and stress relieving furnaces. This facility is capable of annealing nearly 2,500 tonnes of material per month in total. Moreover, the company also runs its own quenching and tempering plants in Wetter and Hückeswagen. Comprehensive process documentations are also developed in the scope of heat treatment.

“Precision cutting of thick material involves certain difficulties. For example, maintaining constant pressure of the torch flame across the entire thickness is unfeasible. As the material thickness increases, the cutting edge gradually loses its rectangular shape. However, owing to our experience we can assume that – for instance – when the blank’s thickness comes to ca. 1,100 mm, tolerance of 500 mm is required in order to be able to obtain the dimensions requested by customers,” explains production manager Hoymann.

And the customer do appreciate such precision. “We provide one of our customers with a complete product which requires that an outline and a groove are cut out. The grooves are only 20 mm wide, whereas the material in which they should be made is characterised by relative thickness of 440 mm. Our company does not have a single competitor in today’s market capable of completing such an order with the required precision,” claims Hoymann.

Besides the tasks performed by the cutting facility, customers make use of other services rendered by the Schaewen group as well. For instance, material assumed to be processed is subject to forging at SSK von Schaewen Wetter GmbH, and then, as aforementioned, cut and mechanically worked to attain the assembly condition at ameca von Schaewen GmbH in Essen. Properly adjusted heat treatment and straightening, vapour blasting and grounding are also included in the range of services performed by this comprehensive provider. Moreover, this group of companies also performs assembly of the individual components comprising works such as fitting and welding, packing of subunits weighing nearly 45 tonnes for sea transport as well as handling of the shipment directly to the final recipient. This is how the customer can benefit from an added value being the opportunity of dealing with only one competent partner taking care of the entire business and following the motto of “all in one hand”.

After successfully completing the general overhaul of SATO 6000, implementation of another project was commenced in collaboration with the SATO company. Starting from June, a new SATRONIK HD 8000 gas cutting machine featuring four gas torches and the CNC 3010 control system with the TOPAZ user interface is scheduled to replace the one currently in operation.