At Machine Tools Africa during May, global laser and bending specialist, Bystronic, represented in South Africa by First Cut, presented its holistic approach for fabricators. African Fusion talks to Bystronic’s Philipp Burgener and Andrew Poole of First Cut.

Bystronics Philipp Burgener First Cut Andrew PooleAlthough Bystronic is renowned as a laser-cutting specialist, “Fabrication starts with design,” begins Burgener in introducing the company’s approach. “From the design, the material required goes for cutting, then for rolling or bending of individual components, before the welding, joining and product assembly begins.

Our ‘total solutions’ approach is striving to help fabricators to do every stage of the process better – more cost-effectively, at higher quality levels and much faster – so that the cost of every part is minimised with production costs dropping for each process involved. The end goal is to achieve the best margins possible for fabricators, enabling them to either reinvest for growth or generate better profits for shareholders,” he explains.

‘So we are no longer simply selling capital equipment such as laser cutting systems, we are now offering fabrication solutions,” he adds.

This ‘total solutions’ approach starts with the design of the individual parts. “By deliberately designing parts in a modular way to suit each of the downstream fabrication processes, by the time the welder gets to see the job, the fit up is easier, the amount of welding is reduced – by up to 30% in many cases – and a high quality end-result can be routinely achieved,” Burgener points out.

“Incorporating more complicated shapes at the cutting stage – chamfered ends instead of straight cuts, built-in bending relief, cut-outs to reduce weight or welding requirements, or interlocks to assist with fit up – does not add significantly to the cutting costs or time. By incorporating these principles, however, significant amounts of time can be saved when welding, better accuracy can be achieved and reject rates can be drastically reduced,” he continues.

“Adding a tiny nose to ensure perfect alignment, for example, might add one second to the cutting time, but it could save hours downstream through reduced jigging and error avoidance,” he adds.

He shows an example of a simple part that requires bending and then welding. By incorporating slots along the weld path, the net welding seam length is significantly reduced, while the fit up is made easier via the slots. “Easy to teach, design-for-fabrication techniques for developing the laser cutting program, enables less bending force to be required and the overall weld length to be reduced. We can typically reduce the total production costs of parts by 30% using cutting methodologies such as these,” he tells African Fusion.

“When designing for fabrication, this is the way we need to start thinking,” he argues. “We deliberately seek to simplify the way the joints work, even if it means incorporating more complex cutting paths.”

BySoft 7 software

Developed to make it easy for designers to include design-for-fabrication principles, Bystronic now incorporates its Bysoft 7 software at the starting point. The software runs on the Solid Works platform and shares the same interface...

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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.