Crash barriers along motorways are a crucial part of road safety. Delivering a bad product? Not an option. And they know that at Steel Constructions in Geldermalsen, the Netherlands. Here are two Timesavers 42 RB series machines in line, with a turnover unit between them. It is an unusual set-up. One that suits the diverse requirements of their products. From machining rectangular tubes to making a uniform radius of 2 mm.

The Geldermalsen-based company is one of the largest and most modern producers of guardrail. This is another word for crash barriers. At Steel Constructions, they also make other traffic facilities, logistics equipment and scaffolding material. Their strength lies in their large stock and fast delivery time. Do they not have a product? Then they will make it. Because they design and produce the standardised and customised products themselves, they are very flexible. There is a special line for making guardrails. The guardrails come in as sheet material on large coils. The material first goes into the decoiler and through a straightener. Further down the line, the product code is engraved and the holes punched. Then the rollers press the shape of the guardrail into the sheet metal. At the desired distance, the machine cuts the guardrail and a robot stacks the product.


Quality demands

Each type of product has its own quality requirements. Marco Hage, Manager Operations: “Guardrail has to meet many requirements. So everything is inspected and tested so that it fits within the standards. That makes it specialised work. Just like many other things related to road safety. We make steel tubes for road signs, and recently traffic signs too. We cut and paste those ourselves.” In addition, a 2 mm radius is required for railing parts and products that are powder-coated or wet-coated. The radius contributes to a longer service life.



At Steel Constructions, they are constantly innovating. Also when it comes to deburring. Hage: “We used to deburr everything by hand. This was done the traditional way with an angle grinder. Very labour-intensive. And the result was not always accurate enough. Our customers wanted a certain radius on the sheet material.” Ludo Vermeulen is responsible for Technical Services and training the machine operators. He still remembers how several operators manually machined metal parts. Besides the fact that it was intensive work, it also released a lot of dust and particles.



And so, their search for the perfect deburring solution began. They looked at several suppliers. At one supplier, the sheet material became very hot during the process. This was the deciding factor for choosing Timesavers instead. Their brushes gently stroke the steel. Resulting in less wear on the rollers and lower maintenance costs.


42 RB series

Steel Constructions has chosen two Timesavers 42 RB series with a 1350 mm working width. The deburring machines feature eight rotary brushes that deburr and round off edges. Depending on the speed, they apply a nice, uniform radius of 2 mm on the metal. Thanks to the special magnetic table, it is possible to deburr and brush steel rectangular tubes, guardrails and steel sheet in all sizes. For brushing, they have several types of brushes. One is better suited for flat parts, the other for parts with embossing. The Timesavers machines are very user-friendly. According to Vermeulen, anyone can set up the touchscreen panel after a short instruction. After that, you can operate the machine without additional instructions. Ludo particularly likes the function where you can save programmes. With one minor step, you bring up the settings of a previously made product and can immediately start production.


Turnkey solution

The installation consists of a deburring machine, a return table, a turnover unit, a second deburring machine and a powerful dust extractor. The turnover unit ensures that Hage and his colleagues need to turn a product as little as possible. At most once in the case of steel rectangular tubes that have to be machined on four sides. A huge advantage, considering that some parts are up to six metres long, and therefore incredibly heavy. Vermeulen: “For smaller material, we have another solution. Anything less than 400 by 400 millimetres cannot pass through the turnover unit. Those parts come into a small turnaround.”



“Productivity increases. And that with fewer people.” Explains Marco. “But just as importantly, production is cleaner for the employees. And for the customers, we can achieve a good radius. The product is also super-clean before it goes to the welder. And if it has to be galvanised, the zinc layer will also adhere better.” As for machine maintenance, Ludo is very satisfied: “As a maintenance engineer, I have very little to do at the Timesavers line. Once, someone accidentally bumped into a sensor. I had to realign the sensor. Other than that, I have had very little maintenance on it. I am happy about that, because I have plenty of other work.”