After many years of trying to convince manufacturers and stockholders that it is the cost per cut that counts when buying a sawing machine, not its purchase price, Kasto’s UK managing director, Ernst Wagner, says that the message now appears to be hitting home.
His comments were made in early December 2011, against a background of six-month order intake higher than at any time since Kasto Ltd was formed in 2004. Even the pre-recession boom years of 2005 and 2006 did not match the second half of 2011 for sawing machine sales activity, which was over 60 per cent up on the same period in 2010. Sales included a Variospeed carbide circular saw with automatic cut length sorting to Barrett group member, Taylor Steel.
Over 90 per cent of turnover in bandsawing machines was generated by the German manufacturer’s top-end models in the -tec range. Two of the machines were supplied with KPC (Kasto Performance Cutting) technology, which typically trebles cut piece output provided that coated TCT (tungsten carbide tipped) blades are used. Indeed, feeds and speeds are limited only by current bandsaw blade coatings: KPC is theoretically capable of even greater productivity gains.
Moreover, KASTOtec saws used in standard mode with uncoated TCT or bimetal blades strongly outperform other machines on the market, Mr Wagner asserts, due to better vibration management and reduced blade oscillation capabilities.
It brought him neatly to his favourite subject, namely that high end sawing machines such the KASTOtec range, requiring higher initial capital investment than the industry average, including Kasto’s own mid range -twin, -evo and -verto products, are often less expensive to operate in terms of the overall cost of sawing a unit area of stock.
If all the costs of ownership and operation are taken into account, including operators’ wages, a Kasto machine has been shown to be capable of paying for itself in a shorter time than a cheaper saw. In some cases, a complete shift can be eliminated. Furthermore, enhanced reliability and accuracy underpins faster deliveries and higher levels of customer service, leading to more business and higher market share.
On 23rd and 24th February 2012, Kasto will be holding in-house interactive seminars and demonstrations aimed particularly at oil & gas and aerospace sector materials, in conjunction with bandsaw blade manufacturers, Lenox and Wikus. The former will supply coated blades while the latter, represented by UK agent, Harrison Saws, will provide an uncoated variety. The theme will be ‘Profit by Performance’ and a KASTOtec AC4 will be employed for cost per cut trials on titanium and stainless steel bar. Visitors will be invited to submit their current sawing data for analysis and comparison.
Kasto automated storage and retrieval systems are also enjoying steady business in the UK, with a Kasto Unitower delivered during 2011 to a manufacturer of aircraft wings. However, the number of installations here is well short of other European countries and the US, relative to the size of the UK. It indicates that British industry is still resistant to the message that prompt delivery of material to saws and other production equipment is key to making industry more competitive.
However, Mr Wagner said that the market is continuing to develop. Hanson Springs in Rochdale has placed an order for its second 25 metre high, double KASTOunitower which will hold a total of 1,000 tonnes of steel bar in a 6 metre by 6 metre footprint. Saving of space resulting from vertical storage solutions, which allows more productive use of a building’s floor area for manufacturing equipment or avoids having to move premises altogether, is a compelling argument that is starting to gain traction.