3D Cutting: Automated cutting machines for 3D structural steel jobs
Apart from standard flatbed machines, MicroStep offers an exceptional variety of equipment for 3D Cutting of rotary objects and structural steel sections of various shapes. The rotary objects include differently sized circular, square and rectangular hollow sections, conical pipes, tori-spherical or elliptical domes and elbows.
Standard configuration of a MicroStep machine in sheet and pipe cutting execution consists of a cutting table for sheets and an extracted channel for pipe positioning that is placed along the longitudinal side of table. The pipes are clamped in a rotary pipe cutting device located at the one end of the channel.
The cutting process involves a combination of movements: the gantry with tool stations – straight or bevel – and the pipe cutting device are synchronized for a precise positioning of the pipe towards the cutting tool.
In addition, special adapters for clamping of polygonal profiles or elbows can be attached to the pipe cutting device. For cutting of domes, a dome cutting area can be located behind or in front of the cutting table. A single cutting tool is used to process all different shapes of material.
For applications in the structural steel industry MicroStep has developed a product line of specialized machines for cutting of structural steel sections as well as single-purpose machines for automated cutting and drilling of flanged parts.
These machines can be supplied in various executions depending on types and sizes of processed material or the requirements for automation of material input and/or part output, and alternatively connected to a production line in the customer´s facility.
For cutting of hollow structures of circular and rectangular cross-sections we supply cutting machines PipeCut and CPCut. Both systems are of a modular execution, which means that they are configured for particular requirements of customer’s production. PipeCut machines can have a working length of 3 m, 6 m or 12 m and can process pipes with diameter ranges of Ø 50 mm up to Ø 800 mm. The maximum wall thickness is 50 mm for plasma cutting and up to 100 mm for oxyfuel.
CPCut machines can also process large-sized pipes with diameters of up to Ø 3,000 mm.
For cutting of open sections, such as I, H, U or L profiles, MicroStep introduced a concept with a 3D kinematic system that is positioning the cutting torch above the surface of a steady profile – this machine line is supplied under the name ProfileCut . During the cutting process, the cut profile is motionless while a specialized 3D cutting head with tilting ability of 120° moves around the profile both in the longitudinal and transverse directions. Furthermore, the abilities of ProfileCut can be enhanced by adding a drilling/tapping/countersinking tool station with automatic tool exchange for drilling of up to Ø 40 mm or by various marking tool stations. The precision of cutting and positioning of the tool above the actual profile is achieved by an advanced system of 3D scanning of a profile shape with laser line scanner, followed by the automatic adjustment of the cutting program as well as adjustment of machine movements according to the true shape of the material.
In addition to 3D Cutting of open profiles, ProfileCut machines can be equipped with other cutting zones, e.g. for processing of hollow profiles (cutting by means of a pipe positioner like on a PipeCut machine) or a cutting table for sheet cutting like on a standard flat-bed machine – all by using the same gantry and tool stations. This concept makes the ProfileCut one of the most versatile cutting solutions for steel constructions on the market.
For requirements of automation of the cutting process with automatic loading and unloading of material – whether sheets, hollow sections or open profiles – MicroStep offers enhanced versions of its machines with input and output conveyors in which the material is inserted into the working area on a roller track by special gripper arms.
Such automated lines equipped with automatic measurement of the thickness and dimensions of material offer further possibilities of automation in interconnection with information systems or production management applications like MicroStep´s MPM.
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