The new Katana “E” series was born from the optimization of the previous belt cutting solution, with the addition of a significant number of interventions to improve its performance and versatility while lowering the value of the investment for the end customer.
The new band sawing machine Katana is a machine capable of remaining compact while performing inclined cuts even on important workpiece dimensions, equipped with solutions that optimize the working condition of the blade by increasing performance, durability and cutting quality, complemented by automation systems – for functionality of the system itself or for feeding and unloading operations of the cut pieces – that make it efficient in any production context, and designed with a modularity concept that sees it functional as a stand-alone machine but perfectly integrable in a complete profile and production line, downstream of the main machine that performs drilling, milling or other machining. All with a view to developing a solution equipped with the best components while containing the size of the investment, thus making Katana accessible to an even wider pool of potential customers.
The structure of the machine base has been completely revised with a view to increasing the support area of the material to be processed as much as possible. This expedient makes it possible to automatically process the feeding and unloading of even large short parts.
Change in structure
Another clearly visible change, again in the structure, concerns the main arc within which the blade rotates, which is inclined by 15° with respect to the vertical axis of the machine. The benefits of this configuration are many, including:
Reduction in the twisting of the blade, resulting in reduced stress and increased blade life
Reduction in the length of the section subjected to torsion, resulting in a much more compact structure without reducing the working range
The structure is a cast iron one-piece, which allows for a more rigid structure that is less sensitive to forces generated by blade tension and vibration, putting Katana in a condition of high dynamic stability.
The new dual-position blade tensioning solution makes the blade more stable during machining: in the case of straight cuts or small angles, the forward position reduces the free length of the blade, making the system more rigid; in the case of inclined cuts, on the other hand, the system returns to the backward position to free the entire blade and allow machining at major angles on large workpieces.
Katana is also equipped with a system built into the cutting unit that can absorb the vertical vibrations to which the blade is subjected, further increasing process reliability and cutting quality while reducing machine noise.
Cutting under control
The entire cutting unit can slide vertically and smoothly thanks to two guides positioned on one side to act as hinges and a single guide on the opposite side that covers the function of a carriage. The structure thus does not deform because it is not constrained on either side, and sliding on the guides themselves is smooth resulting in increased cutting quality.
Movement along the vertical axis is entrusted to electric drives, which replace hydraulic ones, as they allow finer adjustment of the speed ramps of the blade descent, a key action in the case of variations in the thickness of the material being cut.
Correctly adjusting the speed at the different cutting stages is definitely an advantage in terms of productivity but also in terms of process reliability, because the blade advances at a speed proportionate to the amount of material to be cut. To make this adjustment happen automatically, Ficep has developed a mathematical model that recognizes the profile to be machined and on which it reconstructs the most suitable machining strategies.
From hydraulic to electric
Rotation of the cutting unit to perform inclined cuts also relies on electric drives replacing hydraulic ones. In this case, the main motivation is related to the greater precision of the movements that can be managed with electric solutions, which are less sensitive to temperature variations and more consistent in the precision of movement, as well as a significant increase in positioning speed with the consequent reduction in cycle times.
The care given to every aspect of the machine can also be seen by looking at the solutions adopted for material handling: the profile feed system is a motorized track equipped with a gripper that feeds the machine by pushing the material into the work area. Positioning accuracy is ensured by the use of racks with high accuracy class. In the unloading area of the cut part there are motorized roller conveyors that bring the part to the unloading area where automatic unloading benches can be installed. It is also possible to increase the degree of machine automation with the addition of a magnet unloading system that clamps the part and, sliding along an axis, brings it to the unloading area of the machine. This system is often equipped with additional shutter or traversing beam devices for unloading short workpieces.
The machine is operated directly by a CNC numerical control installed on board the machine, but its hardware and software architecture allows it to be quickly and easily incorporated into a line and easily managed through a line controller.