South African manufacturer and distributor of cutting-edge capital equipment and consumables First Cut is aiming to complete the installation of an energy efficient Bystar fibre laser machine for a steel industry customer in November.
“In Switzerland, the Bystronic laser range is currently at the forefront of energy efficient fibre laser technology, in terms of machine capability and sizes available,” says First Cut MD Andrew Poole.
Bystronic will introduce the machine in October at the Euro Blech industry trade fair in Germany, as the updated version of its flagship machine.
The 6 m × 2 m Bystar laser machine, which will be supplied by sheet processing system manufacturer Bystronic laser in October, will be a first in Africa for a machine of this nature in terms of technology and size.
First Cut’s installation also includes a plate and sheet metal job shop machine, which increases productivity at a lower input cost through power-saving methods. “The job shop machine uses a third of the amount of electricity that would have been used by a different machine. “Also, it has three times the cutting speed using half the gas,” says Poole.
Other Energy Efficient Machines
First Cut installed the E430 bandsaw in April for a customer in the steel industry. The E430 is the latest technology in high-speed cutting, notes Poole. The machine is programmed to achieve the highest cutting efficiencies and can cut nine times faster than a normal bandsaw.
The E430 machine has reduced overtime, thereby saving electricity and labour costs, with increased customer satisfaction, as management information is automatically downloaded to control the efficiency and output of the machines.
The company adds that it has also installed four coordinate measuring machine automatic beam-welding machines from Italy to a local customer in the structural steel industry.
The machines, which can weld a plate girder at up to 1 m/min are automatically and simultaneously straightened. Poole points out that the previous manual process could take up to three shifts to weld a plate girder and the beam was required to be straightened with gas.
In 2014, First Cut installed Netherlands-based steel fabrication company Voortman’s V304 plasma plate processor for a customer in the plate processing industry in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, as an upgrade from the manual plasma cutting system. Using the system resulted in significant savings in electricity, gases and scrap, as every material processed, such as mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium, was processed correctly.
First Cut, which celebrates its sixtieth anniversary in 2016, has been supplying capital equipment, as well as saw blades and other cutting equipment and consumables, to a variety of industry sectors for many years, including steel fabrication, construction, automotive and mining, says Poole.
The company notes that challenges which can typically be faced during installation include time allocated for installation and power supply issues. Therefore, First Cut aims to mitigate these challenges by striving to do the best planning possible to give the customer ample time to prepare logistically for these installations.
First Cut has an internationally trained team of technicians that – through the coordination of an efficient call centre and customer support centre – ensures that every installation is treated as a unique project, as not all customer requirements are the same.
“First Cut is committed to continually invest in the ongoing training of our technicians, as every hour of machine downtime is very costly,” states Poole.
Moreover, he adds that when a customer orders a machine, the company establishes a project team to work with the client. The team also conducts regular site visits to ensure that customer expectations and energy requirements are met.
“Fortunately, we have a large number of machines and options to enable the customer to make an informed energy efficient solution,” he highlights.
First Cut has researched and partnered with international companies that offer European conformity-certified machines. These provide safety for operators and can be controlled to achieve the most efficient running costs.
“Reducing the impact on the environment is always a high priority. Therefore, these features are sure to be included in all the machines we install. High-quality fume- and dust-collector systems are also recommended to maintain a safer working area,” says Poole.
The company’s goals for the future include offering a holistic, ‘one-stop solution’ for its customers. The company aims to not only supply products to its customers but also provide a platform to interact with customers, and keep them informed of current market trends and the latest technology, which allows them to have a competitive edge.
“First Cut continually strives to provide the latest technology solutions for customers by working with international partners and principals who develop new, energy efficient machines that will contribute to productivity improvements through automation,” concludes Poole.