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Return to: 2000 Feature Stories

CLIENT: AMADA CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Oct. 20, 2000: Machine Tools Online

BAND SAWS TAKE C&J ENGINEERING TO WARP SPEED IN STEEL CUTTING

For Warren, MI-based C&J Engineering it used to take a week to cut 2,500 steel parts. Today, the company, which specializes in high volume, high-speed projects is cutting the same number of parts in a few hours.

Established in 1990, C&J Engineering is run by Mary Jovanovski, along with her two sons Tom and Steve. They took over the business in 1996 when her husband passed away. It wasn't until the company selected the CM100 carbide circular saw from Amada that the company was able to tackle projects requiring extended production runs.

The CM100 uses a disposable circular carbide blade instead of a conventional band saw blade. It can cut all kinds of materials 5 to 10 times faster and at the lowest cost per square inch of metal removal. The CM100 also leaves a clean surface finish that seldom requires any secondary operations.

"We do a lot of work for forging and fabricating companies, steel mills and automotive companies in the U.S. and Canada," says Tom. "We cut steel racks for the Big Three auto firms, parts for large hot and cold forging houses, aircraft parts, screw machine houses, steel brokers, even specialized tank parts for the Defense Department."

C&J Engineering now has five CM100 band saw machines, used to cut primarily carbon steels ranging from 1010 to 1078. The company operates six days a week and only shuts down between 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. and on Sundays. Tom says there are a number of CM100 features that are especially useful. A special pressured misting system helps to provide unusually long blade life without resharpening. With a width of only 0.078 in., the CM100 carbide-tipped blades provide maximum cutting life up to 100,000 square inches with minimal kerf loss.

The CM100 also uses an automated inclined loading system allowing the saw to run unattended for hours at a time as well as saw chip separation from the finished material, leaving the parts clean and burr free. The CM100 has also dramatically increased productivity. The most striking example recently occurred when a large automotive forging house called C&J Engineering late one Friday afternoon.

"They needed 8,000 pieces of 3-in. diameter 5120 grade by Monday morning but said they also couldn't deliver the materials to us until Saturday morning," Tom explains. "At the time we only had two CM100s, but I was confident we would get the job done." The production run was completed on Saturday afternoon."There were no defects, we only needed one operator to handle the entire job and also didn't have to pay double-time for having someone work on a Sunday," he says.

The company now handles several projects up to five million parts "and the operators don't even break a sweat," Tom says.

"We're able to maintain quality and keep our prices competitive." He adds that with the CM100, C&J can also cut one bar at a time." All the operator has to do is set the material down and the machine does all the work. We can cut to weight or to length and achieve tolerances of 0.005 in. We're also getting about 70,000 square inches per blade."

The CM100 has enabled C&J Engineering to reduce necessary floor space. The company just moved into a new 150,000 sq. ft. building in Warren with four other firms and has formed a strategic alliance that Tom said is analogous to a "mini-mall of steel processing," called Wall Bar.

"We'll be the cutting outfit, another company does turning/burnishing/straightening/NDT testing, one does storage and shipping, and a fourth firm will handle all heat treating needs," Tom says. "But because of the CM100's design, we can fit 11 machines into 18,000 sq. ft. that opens up more space for other machinery. If you have a high volume, round bar job, nothing beats the CM100."

Return to: 2000 Feature Stories