July 18, 2022
Aldan, PA: KAAST Machine Tools opened their showroom doors last week and invited existing and potential customers to stop by and see the vast in-stock inventory. With over 100 machines on the floor and nearly a dozen under power, there was something for everyone from fabricators to job shops to structural engineers.
After grabbing a name tag and spinning the prize wheel, guests were invited to turn the handles on the knee mills to see the 3 axis DRO in action. The available Rapid Feed on the X axis was a popular feature as the tables of the KAAST DMV knee mills can be as big as 60” wide. Also powered up was the CNC bed mill version of these popular mills. Featuring Fagor teach-style programming, the DMV 380 VS CNC allows for both live action program writing and importation of traditional G-code. Visitors were impressed with the quick tool change via the optional Air-Powered Drawbar, and all agreed the tapping feature is a clear bonus on these machines.
Lenox Band Saw Blade Expert, Gordon Mudge, peeled wafer-thin slices off 1.5” solid bar with the fully automatic HBS A 325 C. “The KAAST saws, when paired with the correct Lenox blades, are really exceptional machines,” Mudge said, “the more stable the cutting envelope, the cleaner the cut. You can see [with these potato chip thin slices of the bar stock] how smoothly the blade glides through the material. This shows how well the blade is supported by the KAAST HBS support arms.”
The small footprint of the F-Grind 2550 AH surface grinder, paired with the AD5 NC control’s auto feed function, made it a belle-of-the-ball for sure, with its dance card for live action demonstration quickly filling. “To be able to set it up, turn it on, walk away, and come back to a completed grinding program will save so much time,” one guest explained to their companion.
For those looking to roll profile, bar, or tube stock, the PBH 65 NC stole the show. Allowing for live programming, this 2” capacity NC controlled ring roller excels at repeatability. There are many profile rollers in stock in the KAAST showroom with capacity ranging from 1-6”. The included modular dies allow the operator to set up the machine to bend most any square type of profile (angle, T, flat bar, square bar, etc.) and KAAST keeps their parts room stocks with dies for tube and other rounded profiles. Custom dies for unique profiles are also available.
While KAAST only had two plate rollers in stock for the event, several more with varying sizes and capacities are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. The RBD-4HL with NC Control was on view, exciting visitors with its 80” x 0.3” capacity and easy application to shipbuilding, tank fabrication, and other industrial sectors.
For shearing, punching, and notching, a KAAST ironworker is the machine for the job. The PS ironworkers feature 5 stations, with the DP models featuring two independent hydraulic cylinders for independent utilization of both the punching station and any other station simultaneously. The punching station can also be swapped out for the optional brake press attachment, expanding the applications for these machines. Visitors were impressed by the accuracy and speed attainable with the electronic back gauge on this of this Swiss-army-knife machine even further.
The VF-Mill A 7 L vertical machining center was throwing chips during the open house, utilizing the 15Hp 10,000 rpm spindle to create grooves, slots, and channels with the easy-to-use Fanuc control. These moving table machining centers feature extremely robust and solid base frames providing great rigidity, stability, and vibration-free work even with heavy duty cutting. All models include a tool changer, rigid tapping, and an automatic lubrication system, as well as many other features. Running the newest generation of the Fanuc Series 0i control systems, the VF Series machines can receive programming at the machine via manual programming, USB, or CF Card, or Ethernet.
The stars of Open House 2022 were definitely the Bodor P3+Max 12kW and C3+Max 3kW fiber laser cutting systems. Slicing through 2” steel like butter, the 12kW system impressed visitors with a fine edge quality, extreme speed, and versatility, while the 3kW system inspired onlookers with its affordable price tag and low running costs while cutting 3/8” stainless steel with just air. These fiber laser cutting systems feature a complete enclosure of the cutting envelope, which isolates laser radiation and pollution offering higher safety levels. Smoke and dust produced during cutting is automatically collected to ensure a clean operating area. The Bodor machines also feature an intelligent anti-collision system. This 360° radar system can detect any obstacles in advance and Z axis high-speed motion will be activated to immediately avoid obstacles, avoiding collisions. This function reduces the damage rate of the laser head, and accordingly reduces maintenance cost and prolongs the service life of the machine.
Rounding out the line up of machine demos were the C-Turn lathes in both manual and CNC set ups.
The headstock of these lathes is manufactured from thick-walled heavily ribbed casting to provide a smooth and quiet turning machine. All gears and shafts are precisely hardened and ground for their best performance. High tensile Meehanite iron is used for all castings for maximum vibration dampening. All slideways and drive elements are automatically lubricated and the undersides of the saddle, as well as the cross slide, are coated with Turcite-B to ensure accuracy and long life of this shop must-have. The forced lubrication and oil bath are combined in the headstock, prolonging machine life and avoiding service calls. The main spindle bores on these toolroom lathes range from 3”- 14” and are precision machined and ground from a large one-piece forging. Double chuck systems are also available. The spindle and gears are made of carburized and ground CR-MO alloy steel. The three-point support on the spindle with two taper-roller bearing and one roller bearing assures accuracy and rigidity. The optional automatic tool changing systems offered on the CNC models (H4, V8, or V12) provide high performance and high production with flexible and accurate tooling which is optimized to meet the most demanding job schedule. The CNC series also includes a built-in tool library for easing management of tools. Operators and engineers alike were excited by the C-Turn CNC Toolroom Lathe’s teach-style Fagor control saving time and money.
All in all, the event was a success for all involved. Friends new and old were able to connect over bar-b-que lunch and all agreed they would return for the next KAAST Open House.