Deburring at 247TailorSteel
For 247TailorSteel, perfect tuning in automation is of vital importance. Machines, processes and software must work together seamlessly. For deburring, the company has engaged Timesavers. Biggest advantage: a directionless finish. For the customers of 247TailorSteel, products with a finish are difficult to assemble.
Frank Gelen is COO at 247TailorSteel. He is responsible for all production, logistics and planning of the factory in Varsseveld, where cut-to-size metal sheets, tubes and lace parts are made. “Our concept is unique,” he says. And indeed, the international steel world is watching the operations of 247TailorSteel.
At the company, metal sheets are cut to size quickly and efficiently using CNC-controlled laser cutting machines from Trumpf. And although there are several processing techniques for making a metal sheet to measure, 247TailorSteel opts for laser cutting. This machining technique ensures a particularly narrow cutting width and makes it possible to cut complex shapes. High-precision profiles and small holes are cut with great precision. The almost angled cutting edge is very clean, with exceptionally small grooves and trailing lines and (virtually) no slag.
Gelen: “People can upload their own products to our site and know the price and delivery time within a minute. Deliver within 48 hours? Or within a week or three? The price level adjusts accordingly. There is no salesperson involved. 247TailorSteel uses what is known as Sophia for this online ordering method. This stands for Sophisticated Intelligent Analyser and works with artificial intelligence that controls production and logistics. For example, ‘she’ generates laser-cut metal sheets, tubes and edge parts in no time at all, without human support. Customers can upload their entire ‘product’, Sophia traces it back to parts and determines which operations are required on them, at a price tag.
Gelen remembers a customer who had loaded a product file of 1500 products. Within fifteen minutes, this customer had received a tailor-made price for each individual product via Sophia. He still regularly marvels at the power of their own software. “For example, we also supply artists who make steel partitions for restaurants. In these partitions, the artists make figures which they have printed out for us. From Ameland to Maastricht, you can see those printed parts on terraces and in restaurants”.
Most of 247TailorSteel’s customers are still in the Benelux, but demand in the countries surrounding us is rising rapidly. The demand is spreading like an oil slick, via Germany to Scandinavia, Switzerland and Austria. That is why 247TailorSteel is looking for a location near Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. Because there too they want to be able to deliver within 48 hours.
Brushing machines from Timesavers are used at all locations of 247TailorSteel. “We use them to remove the burrs, the so-called edge rounding. You can see that with deburring, a number of suppliers polish. The result is that you see a kind of direction on the metal. We don’t know how our customers use the products ordered from us, which means that you have to set the machine properly and stick to the settings. This leaves you with a very even rounding, even with very fine and small products. And important: without a certain direction on the product”.
Deburring is done at 247TailorSteel in the process between cutting and edging. “This ensures that the burrs are neatly removed before we do the edging. Timesavers guided us smoothly during the installation of the first machine. A large part of the future manufacturing industry in the Netherlands will soon be working in a way that we do with our Timesavers partners. I myself come from the world of machining and I think that what we are doing here in the field of cutting could also be in the field of machining”.
Gelen: “Thanks to the movement of the brushes, this deburring machine leaves a very even pattern. The brushes themselves are very special. I have to be honest: the purchase costs were quite high. It is also a wear part, so I actually had my reservations. In use, we notice that the service life of the brushes is very high, higher than with others. And so it doesn’t really make a difference in consumption”. He also noticed another advantage when replacing parts. That’s what Timesavers came up with fasteners for, so you don’t need any tools to adjust anything. You can disassemble and clean the machine quickly and easily. “This has really been thought through,” says Gelen.