Perth in Australia is one of the world’s most isolated cities. Being located in that isolated area, Alltype Engineering took the opportunity to offer their clients a comprehensive range of multifaceted, multidiscipline and complex fabrication and welding projects.
For over 30 years, Alltype Engineering has provided fabrication, site installation and maintenance services to the Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical and other industries. Being that versatile, Alltype Engineering knew they had to invest in automation in order to increase their production efficiency. Wasting time of their skilled craftsman was a major bottleneck for Alltype Engineering. Chief Operating Officer, Colin Heitman, knew that automating the cutting process would solve this.
Colin Heitman, noticed back in the early zeroes that CNC was starting to become big for cutting structural steel. He paid a visit to HGG’s cutting facility in The Netherlands to experience the advantages of automated pipe cutting. ‘When I visited the HGG workshop, I was sold. I knew that the HGG machine would be the largest labour-saving machine that I could put into my business’.
Alltype bought an HGG SPC Cutting Machine, a decision that Heitman still doesn’t regret. Highly skilled welders used to waste a lot of time on grinding. ‘I recognized that the SPC Pipe Cutting Machine would save us a lot of grinding, a lot of expensive work. Welders are hard to find. That’s exactly why I bought this pipe cutting machine.’
Heitman fell as a block for the accuracy and versatility of the machine. ‘But the biggest draw card is the massive amount of labour that could be saved by having a machine capable of cutting something as simple as a lobster back. It turned out to be right: the machine’s payback period was 1.1 year. Any machine that does that, is worth the investment,’ Heitman concludes.
Even though some workers at Alltype Engineering were afraid that the SPC Pipe Cutting Machine would take their job away, it proved that it only allowed the company to do more. Operators love working with it, chasing automation with high accuracy and versatility: profiling pipes from 100 mm up to 2035 mm (4–80”) thickness is no problem at all.
The SPC Pipe Cutting Machine is one of the best – if not the best – machines to work with, according to Processing Manager Nick Smith. ‘The operators can do far more on the machine and on the software itself, HGG’s own ProCAM software, when you got to do small changes.’ says Smith. ‘And the maintenance is so much easier!’ One of the operators, Mark, calls it a really efficient machine with very little waste of material. ‘One of the greatest advantages we found is that it’s very easy to go back and change or alter something, if you need to.’ ‘It’s a really easy machine to operate. Just follow the instructions that are coming up on the screen.’
The pipes being cut are very much appreciated by the welders and boiler makers. It makes their job easier and faster, because they don’t have to do the layout and cutting anymore. All the bevels are cut accurately by the machine already and all the parts have the right length, so it’s basically fit-up and put the package together, without grinding the material.
By automating the cutting process and applying smart weld preparations like bevels, materials are ready for fast and easy fit-up and welding. The accurate bevel cuts significantly reduce weld volume and time. As a result, Alltype Engineering managed to reduce on-site labour costs by 30%.
The SPC Pipe Cutting Machine helped Alltype Engineering to optimize their cutting process and allowing the welders to do what they do best: welding.