Bundle Cutting

Using a bandsaw for speedy bundle cutting — advice about production speed.

Selecting the correct bandsaw for the job and the correct saw blade for the material being cut are critical to production performance.

Many machine shop owners are interested in how best to speed up production in order to cut more material using a bandsaw.

Sometimes, in the quest for faster production it is thought to be time that is the problem.

It actually turns out to be a combination of factors: things that end up being responsible for bottlenecks in the sawing process.

A myopic vision leads to thinking that purchasing a larger bandsaw will solve the problem, or that a bandsaw designed to cut multiple parts or bundles is the solution.

Careful analysis often discloses several ways to improve material through-put instead of, or in addition to, the use of a larger, more versatile saw; a machine that will enable bundle cutting.

Consider the notion that wanting to place more material in the machine will produce more parts in less time. Believing that the more material placed in the saw, the more cut parts will appear at the other end is not always the case.

Think: double the load means double the time it takes to finish.

Bandsaws remove material by separating it into cut parts. The saw removes this material at a rate normally measured in square inches per minute (SIPM). If a particular material — a round, solid bar of mild steel — has a good rate-of-cut at 10 SIPM, and with 50 square inches of surface to be cut, then it will take five minutes to cut that material.

Placing a second bar in the saw doubles the amount of material from 50 to 100 square inches. This will also double the time it takes to complete the cut. Two parts at that SIPM material removal rate now means that five minutes is being added to the time it takes to cut all the material.

Five minutes for one and ten minutes for two.

This is not a time-saving measure and more of an addition to the amount of time it will take to get the job done. Doubling up on material input isn’t the answer to faster production rates.

Sometimes it isn’t as simple as putting more material into the machine at one time because it just isn’t practical. While there are advantages to loading more material, it still depends on the shop layout and loading practice. It might be more of a time-saving devise to make a thorough evaluation of the shop’s system of operation.

Start with material flow into and out of the machine and then look at the loading/unloading procedure. These two steps may reveal an unproductive system.

Improving the way in which the shop operates can help to improve production output that is indirectly related to the actual sawing process.

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