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VSMPO Tirus has installed a large water-jet cutting machine from Flow and three Kasto bandsaws to allow it to deliver material cut to size for customers in the aerospace, medical and offshore sectors.

The company said that customers, mainly in the aero engine and airframe manufacturing sectors, benefit from lower costs and more reliable delivery compared with when it was subcontracting out the machining.

The latest plant to be installed include two Kastotec horizontal models and a Kastobloc vertical block and plate saw, which joins a similar model dating back to 2004.

VSMPO Tirus explained that service to its customers, notably Rolls-Royce and Airbus, was paramount, and that other users, including medical and offshore equipment manufacturers, are equally demanding.

The need for top quality and prompt delivery prompts the stockist to source the most reliable equipment for machining the titanium alloys.

When it was formed in 1998, the company acquired a bandsaw for cutting relatively small volumes of bar, billet and ingots, but recognised the potential to bring plate sawing in-house as well.

In this way the company could make extra profit and reduce the price it charged for the service.

Kasto was selected to supply the first block-and-plate bandsaw, a Kastobloc U4 with 3,100 x 600 x 580mm cutting capacity, as it had previously solved the problem of how to cut unannealed titanium billet with internal stresses without the blade jamming.

Advice on blade selection, band speed and infeed rates was provided, based on the experience of other Kasto bandsaw users involved in cutting titanium.

The first 430mm capacity Kastotec AC4 horizontal bandsaw was installed in 2007 to assist the pre-existing model as cutting volumes of bar and billet increased.

It was followed in 2009 by a second Kastobloc U4 and in 2010 by a second Kastotec AC4.

Ian Perks, operations director at VSMPO Tirus, said: ‘The combination of rigid Kasto bandsaws and Lenox tungsten carbide-tipped blades copes well with cutting hard titanium alloys.’

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