Combined plasma cutting system for enormous efficiency and flexibility

The Spanish metalworking company Caldererías Indalícas SL specializes in metal structures, industrial plants and boiler construction. The company, which has 450 employees, invested in a MicroStep multifunctional cutting center, generating an enormous increase in efficiency and flexibility. The new technology includes a wide range of processing options – among other things, a plasma rotator and an oxyfuel rotator enable great possibilities for 3D cutting of plates, pipes and domes.

The Spanish metal construction company Caldererías Indálicas invested in a multifunctional system for 3D processing of plates, pipes and domes. Two rotators with different cutting technologies extend the possibilities for bevel processing.

Narrow alleys, small white houses, gardens and palm avenues. Here in a Mediterranean bay lies the port city of Almeria in southern Spain. Where the main economic sector of the port exports agricultural products to distant countries, the Caldererías Indalícas SL is also at home. Founded in 1993, this limited liability company offers an all-round service – from design to manufacture, assembly and repair – and specializes in metal constructions, pressure vessel construction, boiler production and industrial plants. An enormous focus is placed on the topics of quality, environment and occupational safety in order to satisfy customers in the best possible way. The high standards pay off, the high-quality products are in demand. The company grew continuously and now counts renowned companies throughout Europe, South America and Africa to its customers. Today Caldererías Indálicas has a team of 450 employees in five divisions: Engineering & Projects, Production, Installation & Maintenance & Commissioning, Administration & Safety and Environment.

By integrating two rotators (plasma rotator & oxyfuel rotator) and a multifunction scanner, Caldererías Indálicas can, among other things, process different geometries and material thicknesses with high precision.

Objective of the acquisition: To automate processes

Last year, the metal construction company and container specialist invested in a new cutting technology to be able to meet the increasing and more individual customer requirements quickly and precisely. In doing so, the company relied on the exact analysis of the in-house processes and needs by MicroStep experts. "The customer needed to automate a number of very different processes," recalls Joan Alejo, responsible engineer for technology and marketing at MicroStep Spain. This included 2D and 3D cutting on flat material with fine plasma, pipe cutting of all types, and cutting of domes. "Dome processing, in particular, was previously a difficult, tedious and, above all, time-consuming task, given the number and complexity of the holes," says Joan Alejo.

MicroSteps oxyfuel rotator allows bevel cuts, for example for weld edge preparation up to 65°. The rotator system with flame cutting technology creates completely new possibilities in the 3D processing of thick sheets.

The solution: One system instead of different manual processing steps

For Caldererías Indálicas, the MicroStep solution represented a radical change in the manufacturing method. Whereas in the past, different workers used to draw contours by hand and cut with several machines, today a combined fine plasma cutting machine from the CombiCut series automatically does the job. The system was equipped with a plasma rotator and an oxyfuel rotator for 3D processing of different material thicknesses and geometries.

The multifunctional system enables 3D sheet metal processing on an area of 16,000 x 2,500 mm, flexible pipe processing of 3D geometries with a length of 12,000 mm and a diameter of up to 1,000 mm as well as the processing of domes up to 4,500 mm in diameter on a separate dome cutting table at one end of the system.

The system is equipped with a laser scanner and other technologies to significantly increase the cutting results during dome cutting (mScan®) or to apply weld seam preparations to already cut components afterwards (ABP®).

The ACTG® (Automatic Calibration of Tool Geometry) calibration unit developed and patented by MicroStep is responsible for the calibration of the rotators. This unique system corrects inaccuracies and deviations fully automatically with the highest precision in the hundredths range and thus ensures permanently precise results.

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