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Cooper and Turner has bought KASTOspeed C9 circular saws to cut components for the wind-energy industry.

Cooper and Turner manufactures industrial bolts, nuts and washers for the rail, tunnelling and construction industries.

It has produced high strength steel fasteners for the Channel Tunnel rail link, the new Wembley Stadium and the Tsing Ma suspension bridge in Hong Kong.

It received a large contract in 2005 to supply thread-rolled tower bolts for wind turbines, which require one end to be turned so that the thread, as it expands, matches the rest of the outside diameter.

Most of Cooper and Turner’s products are hot- or cold-forged from lengths of cut bar or pins, accurate to +/-5mm, but wind-energy fasteners generally have to be cut to a tolerance five-times as tight.

This was difficult to achieve using the company’s three cropping machines, as the shearing action left a rag on the underside of the pin that made subsequent turning difficult.

David Brown, production director at Cooper and Turner, decided on circular sawing and chose a German-built automatic KASTOspeed C9 for its robust construction, speed and accuracy.

Kasto supplied a practical handling device for automatically transferring each cut pin directly into a Danish-built Akea lathe of 48mm diameter capacity, where the OD for the thread is turned.

On the input side of the saw is a five-tonne capacity bundle loader for automatically feeding the raw stock.

On the KASTOspeed C9, Cooper and Turner uses disposable TCT (tungsten carbide tipped) blades of 250 or 285mm diameter to cut steel bar up to a maximum diameter of 64mm.

With a 315mm blade, the saw’s 7.5kW drive motor will cut stock up to 90mm at variable speeds from 20 to 225m/min.

The success of the first production cell prompted the installation one year later of a second identical Kasto saw and linked Akea lathe, as well as a KASTOdisc U7 manually fed circular saw.

The KASTOdisc U7 uses high speed steel blades for cutting stock up to 660mm diameter in small batches from one- to 100-off for smaller production runs of special fasteners.

Cooper and Turner won another wind turbine contract in 2008, this time to supply blade-to-hub studs in large volumes.

The contract made Cooper and Turner order two more KASTOspeed C9s, one for stand-alone use and another for linking to an Akea lathe with 80mm diameter capacity.

As with the first two C9 cells, these KASTOspeed C9s will be run over two shifts.

The centrally located operator panel on the KASTOspeed C9 contains knowledge of the optimum parameters for cutting commonly used steels.

The machine frame is filled with vibration-damping polymer concrete to achieve quiet operation.

Consistent with large volume production, particular care has been taken with swarf management to ensure smooth flow of chips from the point of cutting to the conveyor.

Cooper and Turner claims the circular saws are up to 10 times more productive at cutting steel bar than a bandsaw and are much more accurate than its cropping machines, which have now been sold off.

After the 15 or 25mm trim cut at the start of each bar, every pin cut on the KASTOspeed C9s is of top quality.

The saws run with minimal supervision.

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