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Sawing/Cutting

Up to the challenge

Above: The latest additions to the MCS machine pool are three bandsaws from the KastoWin line with cutting ranges of 18 in. and 22 in.

Strong saws are built to handle exacting specifications

January 2020 - In 1956, Milon Viel and Ross Clarke opened up a fabrication business. Viel had spent time in the Air Force and then worked for Douglas Aircraft, and Clark was a retired co-pilot and mechanic for Hearst Airlines in San Simeon. Initially, the company designed and built aluminum window frames but soon began to cut a wide variety of materials exactly to customer specifications, focusing on the growing aerospace industry and manufacturers that did not have in-house sawing capabilities.

Today, Metal Cutting Service is a partner and supplier for manufacturers in aerospace and defense, semiconductor makers, aluminum and steel distribution. The company has been based in City of Industry, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, since 1975. Current owner David Viel joined his father in 1977, working part-time while in college and transitioning to a full-time position in 1981. He became company president in 1993.

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Metal Cutting Service specializes in cutting various materials exactly to customer specifications—especially for companies that do not have their own sawing capacity.

Offering a wide range of cutting abilities has been a crucial component of MCS’ business strategy, so it needed to ensure its saws could adapt to varying requirements. Complex geometries and large dimensions are an MCS specialty, including sawing of plate, bar, forging and extrusions up to 50 in. thick and 700 in. long.

Rugged workhorses

“In the past, we mainly worked with multipurpose saws, so every machine basically did every job,” recalls plant manager Curt Steen, who has been with MCS since 1996. “As the requirements of our customers and the variety of their orders increased, however, we had to become more technically specialized, so we purchased different types of saws for the wide range of tasks we had to tackle.”

In 2004, the company invested in its first Kasto saw, a KastoBloc U 5 log bandsaw. Five more saws have since been installed, including three KastoWin bandsaws with cutting ranges of 18 in. and 22 in.

The KastoWin line is designed for the serial and production sawing of solid materials, pipes and sections. These machines can handle a variety of tasks, and thanks to their sturdy construction, the saws are strong enough for a tough working life at MCS. “We work up to six days a week, all year round in two shifts—and we have to process large and heavy parts,” says Steen. “So, I definitely say we are not known for being easy on our machines.”

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MCS has been a Kasto customer for 15 years. Machines like the KastoVertical, a vertical bandsaw, provide users with improved quality and reliability.

At MCS, the KastoWin bandsaws have increased productivity, improved cutting quality and significantly reduced the amount of remnants generated in the sawing process. In addition, the saws provide the company with reliable operation and short downtimes.

Because many of the parts used in Kasto’s different models are identical, the company is able to sell saws at a competitive price. “These machines have really given us a lot of quality and value for our money,” says Steen. MCS also benefited from Kasto’s short delivery times. “The saws we ordered have always been in stock at the American branch of Kasto, although they’re produced in Germany,” explains Steen. “For example, when we had a capacity bottleneck in the summer of 2018 and we couldn’t keep up with the orders, we ordered an additional machine from Kasto at short notice. It was working for us in less than a week. That was really sensational.”

Optimal options

Add-ons to the Kasto machines, such as magnetic clamping plates for remnants, prism mounting, packers and support surfaces with wearing plates, allow fabricators to customize the equipment to their specific needs, and the control system allows orders to be created and set to process, one right after the other.

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MCS has an extensive state-of-the-art sawmill machine pool at its headquarters.

“We can individually adjust all the parameters, such as cutting times,” says Steen, which means the saws can be optimally integrated into the MCS process chain.

Steen also says the BandControl built-in saw blade monitoring system “gives us real-time information on the operating times and wear of the saw blades. This helps us to achieve better results and virtually eliminate scrap.”

When blades become too worn to effectively cut, they can be easily accessed and replaced quickly—and the saws’ built-in safety functions make the replacement procedure safe for employees.

Viel says that every Kasto saw running at MCS has lived up to performance expectations and has “definitely contributed to our continued success. When we need a new machine again, Kasto will certainly be our first choice.”  FFJ

Sources

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