A dedicated beam processing line has been purchased. Ficep Orient CNC controlled beam drilling and cutting line introduced.

When TW Tube Laser and Processing was established over four years ago, management did not realise that the demand for its specialised services would increase to the extent that it would have to invest in more equipment to cope with processing orders.

The company was conceived on the idea that there was a gap in the market in South Africa to process-in-one larger sections of material such as large diameter tube or hollow sections. To justify the investment in one of the first of its kind machines to be installed in South Africa management decided to offer the full capabilities of the machine to industry.

TW Tube Laser and Processing have introduced a Ficep Orient CNC controlled beam drilling and cutting line to their services

“The BLM LT 14 is a system that can be used to cut round, square, and rectangular tubes, as well as non-tubular open structural sections (open profiles, H and I beams, angle, channels and special profiles) in diameters from 38mm and up to 355mm with a wall thickness of up to 20mm, and it can handle sections 13 metres in length, both on the in feed and the out feed. Its input source is 4.5 kW Rofin, more than enough power for this type of material processing,” explained Operations Manager Robbie Carelse, who oversees technical, production, sales and logistics at TW Tube Laser and Processing.

“The company’s origins stem from TW Profile Services, an Ekurhuleni, Gauteng-based company whose services include laser cutting, profile cutting, plasma cutting, guillotining, rolling and bending, which has been in operation since 1994. Although TW Profile Services is equipped with the latest technology machines, it was decided to set up a new facility to handle the type of material that we are processing today,” explained Carelse.

While TW Tube Laser and Processing’s initial criteria for a tube laser was the machine’s diameter range to cater for larger part sizes and the heavy engineering market, the company did not neglect a segment of the market that is very vibrant and has huge potential.

“The 6-axis LT 14’s diameter range and capabilities are on the upper scale, making the cost of cutting a smaller range of materials on it very expensive. However, we still wanted full CNC automation, minimal human interface and fast loading and unloading features.”

“So, we also invested in a BLM LT (laser tube) Fiber machine. With a capacity up to Ø152mm and a raw tube available in two lengths – 6 400mm in feed and 4 500mm out feed – the LT Fiber laser cutting system is characterised by the wider range of materials that can be processed, among them high-reflective materials such as copper, brass, aluminium and galvanized iron also become easy to cut and considerable productivity increase is obtained up to 5mm thicknesses of stainless steel and 8mm thickness of mild steel.”

Introduction of a Ficep Orient CNC controlled beam drilling and cutting line “Up until now we have been processing open profiles H and I beams, angle, channels and special profiles on our BLM LT 14 system. The capacity that we require on this machine led to bottlenecks and it was decided to invest in a Ficep Orient CNC controlled beam drilling and cutting line that would focus on our beam processing requirements and leave the BLM LT 14 system to cut round, square, and rectangular tubes. Ultimately it was a capacity problem but it was also a cost and time saving exercise as it is more practical to process beams on a line that is dedicated to that process.”

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“The Ficep Orient beam drilling line, which was supplied by Retecon Machine Tools, is a single rotating spindle that can process both flanges and web, cuts straight and up to 45 degree mitre, drills up to 40mm diameter holes, has a milling function for slots and marking capabilities for part numbers.”

“The Ficep Orient CNC drill line processes material in a conventional fashion as the sections are positioned automatically to the required length dimension along the infeed and outfeed conveyor. The one spindle automatically rotates up to a full 90 degrees in less than one second to accommodate the hole requirements in either flange or the web, while the second spindle is fixed to drill in opposite flange. The system is equipped as standard with a six-position automatic tool changer on the rotating spindle side and four-position automatic tool changer on the fixed spindle to not only facilitate different holes size requirements but such applications as countersinking, milling for slotted holes and tapping.”

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