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Laser Technology

Attention to detail

By FFJournal staff

Above: The Optiplex Nexus CO2 is available in single fixed table, manual table or automated two-pallet configurations.

Investing in a laser allowed an equipment manufacturer to bring cutting home

April 2016 - From product recalls to plant shutdowns, improper sanitation can have a devastating effect on a food processing company, its employees and its customers. As a result, companies that handle food must have durable equipment that can not only withstand stringent sanitation practices but can also help to achieve them.

St. Charles, Illinois-based Eaglestone Equipment has spent more than 20 years becoming an expert on customers’ needs and sanitation requirements. Carmen Sammauro, Eaglestone’s president, started working in his father’s fabrication shop at age 13 and co-founded his company in 1990 with David Summers, who holds the position of director.

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Above: Series 1300 incline conveyors are designed to transport products between floors or equipment stationed at different elevations.

Eaglestone specializes in the custom design and manufacture of safe food processing and packaging equipment, including production-environment solutions, such as its trademarked CleanLockers. However, it also does job shop work for the coal and hospitality industries. Employees at Eaglestone are well-versed in the fabrication techniques needed to design equipment with an open architecture and eliminate flat horizontal surfaces or hollow areas that harbor bacteria. One of the company’s new products is the Quick-Clean Conveyor, which has tool-less flip-out guide rails, transition hold-downs and belt lifters for easy cleaning.

Keeping up

Eaglestone’s products are custom made to order, often within tight project timelines. For instance, its conveyor line provides options that enhance sanitation, performance and durability.

To keep up with customer demands, Eaglestone was running two waterjets, farming out laser-cut parts and running a second shift to keep up.

Because of the quick turnaround his customers need, Sammauro says it’s necessary for metal processing equipment to run smoothly with no downtime. And “if we need service work,” he says, it’s important to have “a company that can quickly get us back to operating.”

As business continued to expand, Eaglestone’s executives realized they were going to eventually need to purchase a laser because of its speed and the quality it can achieve when executing projects. However, even though they were already outsourcing their laser cutting, they weren’t ready to pull the trigger and purchase the equipment for their own facility.

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Above: The Series 1900 Flip Clean conveyor's design allows workers to easily remove the belt for proper cleaning.

Eaglestone’s team attended Mazak’s Spring 2015 Technology Days, where they saw the Optiplex Nexus CO2 in action and were impressed with the machine’s capabilities and all the standard options. They also liked the machine’s smaller footprint.MazakButton 1 27 14

Events like Technology Days give customers a no-risk opportunity to come view the advanced technology Mazak offers, according to Kaylee
Swearingen, marketing specialist at the cutting equipment maker. Featured in the showcase were 10 different laser-cutting machines, in addition to a variety of automation systems. Attendees could also take part in seminars covering technology-focused topics, such as automated machine functions and material automation solutions.

Customers who come to the event looking to purchase a machine or research their options can expand their knowledge of which technology is best for their shop by peppering seminar instructors with questions. Mazak engineers “who know the machines forwards and backwards” are readily available with answers that address specific applications, says Swearingen.

In-house processing

The Optiplex Nexus CO2 is a good fit for companies like Eaglestone, which are looking to expand into laser-cutting services. The machine was developed to fulfill a market need for lasers that provide high-performance features at an affordable cost. It’s available in single fixed table, manual table or automated two-pallet configurations, which are modular and can be upgraded in the future, giving shops flexibility.

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Above: Eaglestone Equipment’s curved incline conveyors are ideal for lines where products need to change elevations and negotiate curves.

It’s a great entry-level machine for a company looking to get into lasers, Swearingen says, “because it combines high performance and technology with an economical investment. It’s also easy to use with our Preview 3 touchscreen control and integrated Tech Tables. The machine also has Intelligent Setup Functions and Intelligent Monitoring Functions, which help reduce operator errors,” in addition to a two-pallet changer that helps increase productivity.

The Intelligent Setup Functions are standard on all Mazak lasers and include automatic nozzle changing, automatic focus position, focus detection, automatic profiler calibration and automatic nozzle cleaning. Intelligent Monitoring includes pierce detection, plasma detection, burn detection and lens monitoring.

“The first thing to grab our attention was the starting price,” Sammauro says. “We were excited that we could get a new Mazak for that. The second item that really pushed us over the edge was all the options included in the base unit—no other brand could compete. The final reason we chose Mazak was the service and training they offer.”

Ultimately, Eaglestone decided to purchase the Optiplex Nexus CO2, which allowed the equipment builder to bring laser cutting in-house and improve its fabrication capabilities. Now the company can profile cut material at speeds up 2,362 in. per minute, achieve tolerances ±0.002 in. and repeatability of ±0.001 in. The efficiency of the Optiplex Nexus CO2, has allowed Eaglestone to eliminate its second shift, create more prototypes and turn around jobs faster—providing more value to its customers. FFJ

 

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

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PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

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Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

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