Williams Patent Crusher (St. Louis, MO) designs and manufactures size reduction equipment and related process systems. The company’s list of machinery is extensive and includes pulverizers, impact dry mills, hammer mills, shredders, impact and roll crushers, conveyors, and more. Metal for producing these machines is cut on laser, oxyfuel and plasma cutting tables.
Many of the machines that Williams manufacturers contain a replaceable steel inner-liner designed to absorb wear and extend longevity. Constructed of a sturdy AR 400 grade steel, these liners are affixed to interior sidewalls using a bolted beveled metal plug. The finished piece (fabricated via plasma cutting) is countersunk into the liner ensuring a fit that is both secure and flush.
Initially the process to bevel cut these parts to the required standards and consistency was derived through trial and error. “We had a real quality problem with bevel cuts,” explained Plant Foreman, Jim Colyott. “The finishing process was a prolonged series of manual steps that included cutting, drilling, and grinding to clean up burring and smooth out edges. From start to finish it was nothing short of a three hour operation.”
Williams quickly realized that something had to change. A decision was made to add a Messer plasma cutting table. But when a third-party recommendation came to purchase a new nesting tool specifically for Messer plasma cutting, Colyott held his ground. “We were not about to move away from SigmaNEST,” he said. “We have been using the software successfully for more than eight years and over that time accumulated literally thousands of customer parts in our SigmaNEST parts library. We stood firm in our belief that SigmaNEST was the answer.”
An automated SigmaNEST-driven solution was identified and implemented allowing Williams to fully maximize the capabilities of both the nesting software and Messer plasma cutting machine. As a result Williams was able to produce a high quality bevel cut that in-turn reduced a manually-intensive three hour process to a staggering three minutes.
Plasma cutting machines come at a hefty price and a quick and sustained return on investment is vital. Williams know that software like SigmaNEST is the key. “We are willing to pay the price for new machinery but that’s just part of the equation. Without sophisticated software even the latest plasma cutting machines are not operating at peak performance. In today’s competitive environment anything less than full capacity with regard to machine output and material yield is a drain on productivity and ultimately profitability. Simply put, the better the software the better the machine.”