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The initial capital outlay often prevents manufacturers who use large equipment to shy away from purchasing top quality machines. However, Mike Cronin, Managing Director of Elquip Solutions, says this can often cost companies more in the long run.

Importance of quality cutting consumtables“Firstly, the life-cycle costs of an inexpensive capital equipment item or consumable could be appreciably higher than those of its more expensive counterpart. One has to question: Will the cheaper machine give the same level of performance and produce the desired product quality? Will the cheaper machine be prone to more downtime and, when it needs repair, is the required aftersales support readily and speedily forthcoming?” he asks.

“If you have capital equipment cutting steel bar, for example, you need to know the cost of each cut that the machine makes. A premium quality machine from a recognised supplier will invariably give the lowest cost-per-cut in the longer term.”

Elquip Solutions has partnered with a number of quality manufacturers to ensure that specialist cutting capital equipment and consumables are easily available to local companies. For example, Elquip supplies Kinkelder blades, designed for the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

“A professional quality circular saw blade might look to the layman like a very simple device – a flat metal disc with sharp teeth on the outer rim. However, there is definitely nothing simple about the design of a Kinkelder circular saw blade,” says Gerrit van Oosterum, Commercial Manager for Kinkelder at Elquip.

“Significant research has been invested in Kinkelder blades, and the manufacture of their blades is almost as much an art as it is a science. Much of the quality of Kinkelder blades lies in the years of development of tooth design and tooth spacing. In addition, there is a vast store of underlying expertise in the metallurgy of every blade.”

van Oosterum explains that the key element in the specification of a saw blade is about the cutting angle, and also the tooth angles that give space to the blade after the cut. The blade must not bind in the cut otherwise excessive heat could be generated which will shorten the life of the blade.

Another factor is the tension of the blade body, which is very important because when a blade is in use, its operating temperature rises, which releases the tension in the blade. If the blade loses too much tension, the blade starts oscillating sideways and cuts inaccurately, a so-called ‘side run out’.

Blade tensioning is a very precise science, which involves striking the body of the blade with a specially designed hammer. By rotating the blade and striking it at specific points on its radius, tension is built up in the blade which imparts rigidity to the disc - even under heat-inducing conditions.

“You need to be able to count on the quality of the blade to render effective cutting over a longer time span. Ultimately, the choice of a premium quality product such as Kinkelder will result in a lower cost-per-cut,” Cronin continues.

The great pride that Kinkelder has in its blades can be seen in the company’s head office in the Netherlands. Examples of gleaming blades have been beautifully framed and hang in the reception area. “Kinkelder sees these blades rather like a rock star’s gold records – every blade a hit,” he concludes.

 

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