The basic list of equipment for any metal fabrication operation includes a metal bandsaw. It just makes sense to have a piece of machinery that can quickly and cleanly slice a piece of metal. Bandsaws have been around since ancient Egyptian times and have proven their value over the last few millennia. In the 21st Century, we’ve gone so far as to not only motorize bandsaws, we’ve computerized them as well. The results of that combination, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) and bandsaw machines have produced one of the most productive pieces of equipment on any shop floor.
A “Band” is a long, continuous strip of metal. A “Saw” is a device with sharp teeth on one side used to cut pieces of metal. It makes sense that a “Bandsaw” is a long, continuous strip of metal with sharp teeth on one side that is used to cut metal. Add a motor to the recipe and you’ve got a highly-productive metal-working machine that can save time, decrease waste material, and improve production efficiency. Throw technology at the whole package and you’ve got a self-operating floor machine that can put out tight-tolerance workpieces with little oversight or maintenance.
CNC Bandsaws add precision and verstaility
Take the CNC Bandsaw one step further by making it capable of working on production processes in horizontal, vertical, and every other angle possible. This is a versatile machine that can perform several different tasks reducing the need for additional processing equipment or personnel. CNC Bandsaws, utilizing onboard applications programmed on-site, can adapt to changes in production requirements with greater ease than manually-operated Bandsaws. CNC Bandsaw operators can program their equipment to cut multiple axis piecework decreasing machine downtime and increasing profitability.
The variety of CNC Bandsaw products on the market is remarkable. Advances in metal alloys have produced longer-life cutting blades that decrease the costs of tooling and maintenance. The different styles of CNC Bandsaws available include:
- Horizontal – Favored by both professional machinists and home DIYers, this is probably the most commonly used bandsaw and it is used to cut apart workpieces for production processing.
- Vertical – Unlike the Horizontal Bandsaw, the Vertical Bandsaw cuts workpieces by moving the workpiece over the blade teeth. It can also be used for filing, polishing, and contour cutting as well.
- Wood – For rough-cutting timber material with the woodgrain and against the woodgrain.
- Meat – For butchering and processing meat products.
- Handheld – Can make cuts in straight lines, curves, and irregular shapes.
To the Future and Beyond!
The addition of CNC technology to Metal Bandsaws took a good piece of production machinery and made it great. CNC automation and productivity combined with the accuracy of the cuts and a decrease in bad cuts have brought the ancient bandsaw full circle to its ultimate conclusion. The next step will be the addition of Artificial Intelligence to the mixture and then things will become even more interesting! The only question is – are you getting in the game or standing on the sidelines?