Issues with Productivity

productvsbusy11Premature run-out is a common productivity issue for bandsaw operators and will occur during the busy times. Careful planning will work to eliminate certain issues in production, and there are several factors involved to help resolve and prevent productivity issues from ever having to crop up.

It is never a bad thing to abide by the rules of bandsaw operation. Thinking that daily maintenance checks are a waste of production time may prove costly, and not checking for possible slow-down issues with the machine and blade prior to any cut could end up costing even more.

There are ways to avoid productivity issues without sacrificing time, cost, and quality, and here are a few suggestions:

Avoid the use of an ineffective saw blade that will produce bad cuts. Make sure to properly break in the blade prior to first use in production by reducing the amount of feed pressure and speed. If the bandsaw blade is not properly broken in, the ineffective blade issue will be inevitable.

The speed and feed rate should be set as recommended by the manufacturer and based on the type of materials being cut. It also pays to take materials size into consideration. Reducing speed in the first few cuts will help to hone the blade so that it is properly prepared to cut at normal speed rates.

Work hardening due to excessive heat is easily avoided by using coolant. It is applied evenly to the teeth and material at point of cut using either flood or mist coolant. Either will work to keep both blade and materials cool and lubricated. Insufficient or improperly directed coolant can cause rapid blade wear. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s recommendations when using coolant with a particular bandsaw machine.

Checking materials hardness and dimension is important to help avoid premature blade tooth wear. Steel sometimes work hardens, so slower feed will compensate. A mix of ferrous and non-ferrous materials are often used in the manufacturing of steel. Using the proper blade and tooth pitch in conjunction with the material to be cut will guarantee a smooth, flawless procedure. By choosing the right tooth pitch, premature tooth wear is reduced.

Daily machine maintenance to assure it is in good and proper working condition, and checking to see if the electronics are functioning properly is another avoidance measure. Touch screens with input instruction need to be checked daily as well. Never assume they are functioning normal without first checking. Motherboards tend to fail overnight.

Check for worn guides that may be hitting the blade’s teeth, causing them to break. Guides should be aligned to the travel of the saw head so teeth won’t be impacted as the saw blade runs through the cut.

Successful cuts depend on machine operator attention at all times. Familiarity with the bandsaw and its various functions — the unique features it possesses — along with operator experience is the best possible combination for success. They are particularly important in helping to avoid productivity issues from occurring by assuring cost effective productivity instead.

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