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Sawing/Cutting

Fine-tuning production

By Allie Klipp, Behringer Saws Inc.

Above: Every Kyser capo starts as two cross-sectional aluminum extrusions.

A new high-speed saw helps a guitar accessories manufacturer cut through a production backlog

September 2020 - A capotasto, better known as a capo, is a small device designed to quickly change the pitch of a stringed instrument. Used by virtually every musician, from famous touring professionals to campfire players, a capo is an essential tool for every kit.

Kyser Musical Products, founded in 1980 by Milton Kyser, has made a name for itself as the worldwide leader in capo manufacturing. Kyser has distributed its product throughout the world of music and into the hands of many well-known musicians. From George Strait and Katy Perry to John Mayer and Bon Jovi, Kyser capos are a staple for guitarists, bassists, banjoists and other musicians.

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The VA-L 560NC is a circular cold saw specifically geared toward aluminum and is suited for Kyser’s specific production needs.

Handmade in the United States, every capo starts as two cross-sectional aluminum extrusions, each with a different profile. The extrusions are sliced into narrow pieces, which are joined together to make the final clamp-like product.

When David McClung, director of safety and maintenance at Kyser Musical Products, realized production was not keeping up with demand, it became apparent that the sawing equipment just wasn’t cutting it. The company’s existing machine was delivering less than 50 percent of required volumes; the saw simply was not fast enough, accurate enough or consistent enough to get the job done.

McClung needed a solution, but this wasn’t as simple as choosing a new supplier and moving on with production. It was an important capital equipment acquisition. He needed to make an investment in a piece of machinery that would be efficient, dependable and hold tight tolerances—and a good investment requires research.

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Informed decision

When the product you are buying is a critical investment, the value of an informed decision cannot be underestimated. McClung spent a year on research alone—sending out parts, talking to numerous people and comparing equipment in his search for a machine that could stand up to his demands. He struggled to find a saw that could check off all his boxes.

“The findings were always the same, either they could not cut our smallest parts or they could not get the finish we were looking for,” he explains. The saw also needed to minimize downtime and waste, while improving the overall quality and consistency of the product.

During the hunt, McClung came across Behringer Saws, and he made a call. Within a week, a sales representative had gone out to visit Kyser. The rep familiarized himself with Kyser’s process, took samples of the materials and headed back to Behringer to begin testing. With this information and having run tests on every one of Kyser’s materials, Behringer was able to recommend the VA-L 560NC, a circular cold saw specifically geared towards aluminum and tailored to Kyser’s specific production needs. “We can control blade speed, feed rate, oil spray and pressure on the grippers, which allows for the best possible finish,” McClung points out.

A few months later, McClung and his team were headed to Behringer with more samples to see the machine in action. Behringer demonstrated the saw’s capabilities, showing off the versatility and ease of controlling the equipment and proving that the saw was up to the challenge. Behringer’s control system made it possible to get precision and speed. The systems are freely programmable and allow for several different piece number and length combinations during a single run, which suited Kyser’s need for flexibility.

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Kyser’s saw needs to minimize downtime and waste, while improving the quality and consistency of the product.

High speeds

Capable of running between 800 and 3,400 rpm, the VA-L 560 was able to increase production by up to 75 percent, according to McClung’s team. Waylon Alexander, director of operations, says, “The speed and output without sacrificing quality” is what has made the biggest difference. “Less downtime has put us in a position to run the saw fewer hours in the work week.”

But a good investment in equipment is more than the value of the machine itself. A testament to the retained value of a Behringer saw is seen in the continuation of technical support nationwide, for the lifetime of the machine. Customers can rely on experienced technicians who will service the line. Behringer sent a technician out for a week to assist Kyser with setting up the equipment and training employees on proper operation. That happens with every saw sold.

As it celebrates a 40th year in business, Kyser Musical Products is poised to support continued growth and to satisfy the needs of musicians. “The company that we had purchased [a saw] from previously could not or did not know how to fix any problems that had developed,” McClung says. “Behringer’s customer service is, by far, above all others.”  FFJ

Sources

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