How sawing technology has gradually changed
by Hans Diederichs
Sawing technology has always been Kasto’s main business field and today it is one of the two main pillars of the company. 175 years of Kasto company history are characterised by numerous innovations and developments, thanks to which Kasto revolutionised the sawing of metal time and time again, helping the company to achieve its position as one of the worldwide market and technology leaders.
In the mid-19th century company founder Karl Stolzer realised that many companies in the region needed an efficient sawing technology. The carpenter then devoted himself to the production of sawmills and sawing works – at that time still used for sawing wood and operated with water power. Over time, roller gang saws and other sawmill equipment were added and continuously further developed by Karl Stolzer and subsequently by his descendants. It was Stolzer’s great-grandsons Friedrich and Paul who increasingly focused the company’s business on the sawing of metal around 100 years later.
1947 marked a turning point in Kasto’s history. That was the year when Paul Stolzer invented the hack sawing machine, a decisive step in the company’s transition into a modern machine tool manufacturer. Until then, hack saws, in which the saw blade is clamped in a U-shaped bow, were only operated by hand with a great deal of effort. However, the machine-operated hack saw now made this laborious sawing process much simpler and provided many companies with a dramatic increase in performance. In 1952 Kastopresented a metal hack saw for the first time at the Hanover Trade Fair. The company had patented the process of the bow-shaped impacting and cutting movement – and it brought Kasto worldwide success.
All three sawing processes in the Kasto portfolio
In the following years, however, it became clear that new materials and increasing production requirements also required different sawing processes – so in 1965 Kasto began producing circular sawing machines and ten years later, after the market launch of the bi-metal saw blade, the first band saw expanded the portfolio yet again. Today, the company is one of the few metal sawing machine manufacturers which offers users all three sawing processes and has an extensive product portfolio in each segment, ranging from small manual machines for workshop use all the way to high-performance band sawing units for the industrial machining of large blocks and plates. Kasto has already supplied more than 140,000 sawing machines worldwide – and the company also plays a pioneering role in the field of innovation with around 170 patents.
Fit for the future with modern technologies
Kasto has been awarded numerous prizes for its outstanding achievements in product development, including the coveted Red Dot Design Award and the AMB Award at the international metalworking exhibition. Kasto adopts the current trends of Industry 4.0, such as digitalisation and networking, additive manufacturing and augmented reality, at an early stage and incorporates them into the development of its new products. Today’s sawing machines are high-tech solutions that can be easily integrated into a uniform and digitally-controlled material flow, supported by software solutions such as the KASTOoptisaw cutting optimisation tool, which calculates time and material-efficient cutting plans based on various parameters. Users can use their smartphones or tablets to query and monitor the status of their machines at any time and from anywhere on the company premises – and if necessary, they can react right away. This enables high availability and minimal downtimes.
During operation, Kasto makes sure that as few entries as possible are required, increasing convenience for the user and helping to avoid errors. The sawing processes largely adjust and correct themselves. Users can capture machine data and evaluate it online to optimise processes and downtimes.
Source and photo: Kasto GmbH & Co. KG