• Automation
  • Beam
  • MSI
  • Fabrication
  • Drilling
  • Sawing

Combined sawing and drilling: What are the benefits?

Back-to-back drill saw line

One of the greatest leaps forward in automatic structural steel processing was the introduction of the back-to-back drill/saw combination layout. Stand-alone automated CNC drilling and sawing machines have existed for a while, but placing Voortman's beam drilling machines with a sawing machine in a back-to-back configuration provides many advantages like increased productivity and efficiency, all on a small footprint.

Increased productivity & efficiency

The most obvious advantage of a back-to-back (or close-coupled) drill/saw line is increased efficiency and productivity. The entire raw profile only needs to be measured once, processing in one operation and increasing throughput. The exact specifications on both machines are known and communicated with the control software, which also can take into account the saw blade thickness and distance between the saw blade and drill for absolute precision. Operations are ordered to produce the highest productivity and shortest movement paths during processing. Finished products can be sorted based on length, product name or further processing requirements.

High productivity on a small footprint

Another advantage of a back-to-back drill/saw line is a reduced footprint in your factory and direct material routing. With only one infeed and outfeed that both machines use, logistics are simpler in your workshop with only one loading and one unloading position, limiting the use of the crane or forklift.

The right measuring system

Important to consider in a close-coupled drilling/sawing line is the type of measuring system, the logistics and sorting of products and the handling of short products. Voortman has two efficient measuring systems that can be used for a combined drilling/sawing line - measuring rolls and a gripper truck.

The choice of a measuring system depends on the particular requirements and constraints of the workshop it needs to be installed in. The type of production itself is an important factor, as measuring systems can be better suited for series production, short products or different types of profiles. Voortman has extensive experience with production databases and can advise on the mix of measuring systems required for a particular production database. Optimizations can be made for footprint, autonomy, processing time, minimum product size and bundle sawing.

Back-to-back saw drill line with measuring rolls

Back-to-back saw drill line with a gripper truck

Back-to-back saw drill line lay-outs

Since there are multiple possible back-to-back layouts with different combinations of Voortman beam drilling and sawing machines, specifications are dependent on the specific configurations. Get in touch to discuss the optimal layout with one of our experts!

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Hear it
from our customers

Bect SAS - Fabrice Bect - France

“The main advantage compared to our previous workshop layout is that we have grown productivity by 25%. We have found machines made for steel fabricators to be productive and reliable.”
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Cermont Sp. z.o.o. - Damian Cieślik - Poland

“In the past the fitters were waiting for the prepared material to be able to tack weld. At this point the situation has reversed. The production is so efficient and fast that finished processed material is now waiting for assembling.”
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Steel & Pipe Corporation - Brian L. McRae - United States

“When we compare productivity to the previous beam line we have seen an increase in at least 30% and running cost saving of 40%. The accuracy and performance of the system has been exactly as was sold to us.”
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Quality Iron Fabricators - Brian Eason - United States

“I walked into the shop the other day and the drill line was drilling, the saw was sawing and they completed their operations. There was no one in the building! All the equipment was running on its own!”
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Canamétal - Canamétal - France

“Voortman was the only supplier to fulfill our needs and requirements in terms of automation and fast processing time. The local presence of the Voortman technical and sales subsidiary in Nantes was also a big plus.”
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