Pre-fabricate large workpieces with precision

Anyone seeking to cut billets and plates accurately and reliably to the desired lengths needs the appropriate cutting technology – this also applies to the specialist for structural steel and tool steel, JKZ Bučovice. The Czech steel distributor and processing service provider relies on the KASTObbs block bandsaws. These impressive powerhouses are characterized by their smooth-running operation, provide a high precision level, and easily handle even large dimensions and heavy workpieces.

JKZ Bučovice, a.s. specialises in structural and tool steels – of various geometries, grades and dimensions. The company, founded in the year 2000, is located in Bučovice in the Czech Republic, which is about 40 kilometres east of Brünn and is one of the country`s leading service providers for tool construction. Apart from the many customers in the Czech Republic, JKZ also supplies to countries such as Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, and the Baltic States. 125 employees generate a turnover of about 20 million Euros annually. The company stores approx. 10,000 tonnes of steel permanently on 15,000 square metres of warehouse storage space.

Besides offering a wide variety of materials, a broad range of processing services is also crucial to the success of JKZ. The portfolio comprises various technologies such as flame cutting, plasma cutting, grinding and deep-hole drilling. The machinery totaling 20 three and five-axis machining centers makes it possible to reliably process even large workpieces with dimensions up to 2.5 x 4.5 metres tailored to customer´s requirements. The first station for the majority of the raw materials is the sawmill: An impressive 35 automated bandsaws in all sizes are ready to cut the required steels to the appropriate length efficiently.

A proven supplier for sawing and storage technology

For many years, JKZ has put its trust in the sawing machines from KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG located in Achern in Southern Germany. The oldest models have been in use for nearly 20 years – and still reliably serve their purpose today. Furthermore, the company has relied on a KASTO UNITOP 5.0 overhead storage system since 2015. This automated and compact storage system can handle loads of up to 5,000 tonnes of metal bars. "This system not only allows us to optimise our material flow and provide our customers shorter delivery times and lower error rate, but we were also able to create more space for additional processing machines.", explains Marek Hermann, Sales and Production Director. "That was a major factor for us since the demand for pre-fabricated material continues to increase at the companies to which we supply."

JKZ used the space gained, for instance, for the acquisition of two new fully-automated block bandsaws from the series, KASTObbs A 3x20. These giants are specially designed to create various cross-section dimensional cuts from billets or plates, squared or flat materials. They master cutting heights of up to 420 millimetres and cutting lengths of up to 7,000 millimetres. The payload of the material support table is 56 t, making the KASTObbs an absolute powerhouse capable of handling even large dimensions and heavy workpieces with ease.

Additional capacities for processing large parts

"We have already had an extremely positive experience with two older models from the series", Hermann reports. "The two machines acquired in 2006 and 2007 still perform well today. And since there are only a few competitors like us who are equipped for processing large parts, we decided to expand our capacities further to better meet the high demand." The customer requirements are not without their challenges: Besides the constant availability of materials and short delivery times, a high level of quality and precision of the pre-processed workpieces are also required in tool construction.

Thanks to the additional reinforcement of the machinery, JZK is able to meet these demands with ease. "The KASTObbs saws are extremely robust and reliable and also provide a high degree of precision." declares Hermann, Sales and Production Director. Characteristic for the series is the longitudinal cutting method. The saw head moves on rails with side-mounted, hardened and ground rollers. The workpiece remains secured to the saw table. "Because of this, these machines are extreme space savers compared to other machines", Herman emphasised. The torsion-resistant welded construction of the KASTObbs provides a smooth-running and vibration-free operation. This leads to shorter cutting times and a longer tool life.

Flexible use and easy to operate

The JKZ employees can adjust the electrically controlled cutting feed ideally to the workpiece quality and cross-section of the material to be cut. The sawband speed is also infinitely variable. "The flexibility of the bandsaws makes them suitable for a variety of tasks", Marek Hermann delightedly explains. All display and operating elements of the KASTObbs are located on the integrated control panel. This provides maximum overview, an unobstructed view of the workpiece and a safe control of the cutting process.

Another useful feature of the fully-automated KASTObbs A is the 0/90° sawband rotation. "Because of this, we are capable of cutting workpieces both lengthwise and crosswise". states Hermann. "This enables an unmanned operation from the complete block to the finished cut workpiece". It is, of course, an advantage that the cutting and storage technology originate from the same manufacturer: "All components harmonize seamlessly and are linked together through well-functioning interfaces and with our ERP system", explains the Sales and Production Director. "This provides an efficient material flow from incoming goods through to shipping".

Products and Service equally impressive

JKZ Bučovice is completely satisfied with the collaboration with KASTO. "From the joint planning of the installation and commissioning through to maintenance and repairs: The service from KASTO is extremely competent and is always there to answer our individual questions or wishes", describes Marek Hermann delightedly. "We are pleased to have such a reliable partner who is familiar with the challenges of the steel trade and supports us in mastering them by providing innovative and functional future-oriented solutions."