Case Study - Any beamline manufacturer or agent of traditional beamlines or automatic systems must answer these critical questions to ensure the fabricator will be competitive

Case Study - Any beamline manufacturer or agent of traditional beamlines or automatic systems must answer these critical questions to ensure the fabricator will be competitive

Any beamline manufacturer or agent of traditional beamlines or automatic systems must answer these critical questions to ensure the fabricator will be competitive

Fabricators that listen to SMS can and often do make the most money, have the best quality for fabricated steel that goes up the fastest without rework due to the accuracy from the workshop floor when everything was completed on the beamline instead of the fitters bench,  The youngest fitters & apprentices allowing the 2nd year apprentice to do the same amount of work as the most skilled fitter/boilermaker, the fastest schedules and highest tonne per man-hour in fabrication whilst having the best reputation for putting up accurate steel thousands of km’s from their workshop without delays which is what all fabricate want.

Contour marking comparisons to V-scoring and how to profit with 30% capacity increase, 30% schedule improvement, 30% higher margin without increasing footprint or headcount in fabrication workshop.

How fast is the layout CONTOUR marking for layout marking of add-on-parts?

  1. Contour marking is the wrong system as it is 1meter/minute and is too slow.
  2. This is why steel service centres don’t supply layout marking as the machine capacity is reduced considerably when using contour marking tools from Netherlands, Italy, American beamlines manufactures.  I don’t believe these functions are even possible from Korea or Japan.
  3. The fabricator then experiences schedule pressure in having fitter boilermakers waiting for steel to be processed so the slow contour marking capability is the first function that is turned off on the beamline.  Every fabricator in Australia with this capability will agree this is the case.  So when they invested in this capability they were expecting to save 30% of fabrication time from automating the layout marking that in reality did not eventuate as the option is to slow in Australian workshops
  4. This now increases the cost of $750k per 10 fitters first layout marking that the fabricator would sell to their client for $1.5M
    1. So if a purlin cleat 75mm long x 6mm wide is 162mm of V-scoring per AOP this size at 6m = 162/6000mm is 2.7 seconds
    2. Contour marking the same part at 1m/min is 162/1000mm = 16.2 seconds
      1. Many traditional and cheap beamlines steel service centres purchase do not have travelling Xaxis so depending on where the AOP”s are positioned on the beam the layout marking can only be completed one AOP at a time.
    3. The V-scoring is then 600% faster than 1990 technology for contour marking
    4. The fabricator has to invest in a dedicated 2nd layout marking machine that requires another 50m x 10m of footprint and another operator.  This $600k machine isn’t required when investing in the beamline from SMS
    5. This dedicated layout marking machine is still 600% lower than the SMS beamline with the V-scoring.
    6. Therefore clients don’t need this 2nd layout marking machine with more cost and labour when investing in beamlines from SMS
  5. Contour marking machining milling at 2000 rpm air spindle into the profile that then fills with paint or galvanising that makes identification difficult.

    Capacity, schedule, profit & man-hours redeployed can be measured with audible & evidence-based metrics when following the SMS specification matching performance outcomes with a robust evaluation process.

  6. Time study for full functionality of beamline adding value to the profile that steel service centres never do.  This will identify limitations from the traditional beamline manufactures of complex and standard processing
    1. A fabricator investing in a Japanese/Korean beamline can not calculate any time studies with the software as they need to do this manually and it is presented in Japanese.
    2. These manufactures simply tell their clients to ask the beamline operator how long the machine will take to process the next price sensitive project or tender of let’s say 400 tonne that has penalties attached from their buyer.
      1. Sensible strategy to go into administration
    3. Time & LIMITATION study should include separate times for evaluation for
      1. Material handling
      2. Drilling
      3. Machining
      4. Bandsaw
  7. Impossible for any machine tool builder to provide a faster time for their 1990 basic hydraulic pull-down saw compared to SMS that is 45K euro higher value but 3 times faster.
  8. Does the fabricator with the SMS bandsaw cutting three times the amount of steel a day more than their competitor have a competitive advantage on schedule, cost and profit?
  9. Layout marking times
    1. Only the fabricators with SMS beamlines layout mark every add-on-part to their profiles as you have noticed.
    2. Beamlines agents & manufactures can’t provide any references in Australia that are layout marking without slowing their beamline to a rate that isn’t providing enough steel to fabricate the jobs fast enough.
    3. Most builders are expecting 15-20 tonne of fabricated steel that can be sent to site on the one semi and is enough daylight to be installed per day.
  10. The fabricator with the slow beamline will be penalised for delivering this steel 30% slower that also means they can not take on the 2nd or 3rd project awarded like clients of SMS can.
    1. Part marking
    2. Guarantee what profiles can be processed and machined in full automation mode
    3. An example may be the angle profiles may not be guaranteed from the manufacture of the beamline to process in lights out mode as these profiles may not be straight so collisions may occur when the profile is approaching the drilling unit in automation mode.
      1. Clients of SMS have worked a way to process angles in automation mode and they appreciated SMS discussing processing these profiles in semi-automatic mode prior to ordering their beamline from SMS
    4. What daily tasks are required to ensure full automation is possible to ensure the profiles provided can be loaded onto the infeed stockyard in any order and be processed without stopping the beamline so 100% guarantee is agreed from the supplier.
      1. SMS can provide a fabricators file of challenging coping robot profiles that could not be machined on their current Italian beamline so this package was contracted to a steel service centre with these complex coped profiles that SMS can demonstrate what profiles will have the limitations for the machining that was budget 5% of the profiles that the fitter can follow the V-score layout mark to plasma/oxy cut on the workshop bench.  No reading of drawing or manual layout marking generally is not required and every fabricator can work around these limitations that they are used to doing now every day from the steel they purchase from the steel service centre that is basic drilling and bandsaw straight or mitre cut profiles.
    5. This ensures the fabricator can validate if the automation strategy from competitors of SMS actually works
      1. What clients of SMS who have invested in the only fully automatic beamlines in Australia have realised the agent or local salesperson doesn’t understand fully automatic beamlines as the evaluation process indicated that there were many limitations that prevented the beamline working as the fabricator required it to.
      2. This would have meant another person working the beamline almost full time
        1. to manually remove small or large trim cuts
        2. Remove or empty the parts from the 2m long small part table that has a weight or depth of material that can be loaded to this 2m long table
        3. This prevents the line from processing 4-5 hours of steel on the in feed stockyard as the small part table needs emptying every 1 hour due to small part table becoming full or the parts combined weight hit the weight limit of the pusher bar moving any more steel onto the table.
    6. When the fabricator invests in additional capability for lights out automation and the machine doesn’t provide this its a $3M cost over 10 years when $300K of labour is required to drive the machine every shift of every year.
    7. Reviewing the drawings of what can not be coped machined compared to a dedicated coping robot that requires labour to run it is a must-have during any evaluation of a beamline with extra matching capability.
  11. Receiving a shared screen demonstration on the following from the factory
    1. Remote diagnostics
    2. V-scoring layout marking
    3. Tekla integration (very limited experience)
    4. Time study
    5. Exploring DSTV files
  12. Not testing the limitations in the ‘cheap’ beamline the seller has specified to lower their price to assist their opportunity of winning an order
    1. Allowing the agent or manufacture to leave key capability from the beamline proposal and layout.  Once a deposit is paid the agent starts to discuss best practices so they can increase the specification for additional capability at margins that are profitable after a non-refundable deposit has been paid.
  13. A common complaint is a bandsaw and the slow speed of cutting
    1. Hydraulically controlled 1990 technology to pull the bandsaw blade through the profile will be very slow
      1. Some machine tool builders will encourage your workshop to invest in TWO very slow bandsaws and split the line so no automation would be possible as the datum is lost
    2. SMS provides a bandsaw that is 70% faster than the hydraulic saw as our specification has Automatic Feed Control (AFC)
    3. Can be used with a carbide blade for when the fabricator has delivery pressure.  Has air blow to avoid any drilling chips on the web to interfere and damage the expensive carbide blade
    4. Servo drives and ball screws to control the feed rate accurately and the bandsaw bed rocks up and down to provide a similar motion as a person manually cutting with a hacksaw.

The numbers used in this example are a guide and will change based on the exchange rate the machines are purchased at, finance interest rates will vary and labour rates an individual workshop applies to the operators.  We encourage clients of SMS to work in partnership to validate these numbers for in their own ROI and charge our rates to the market.




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