In order to achieve increased crosscutting capacity, Bartram Timber – based in Sandy, Bedfordshire – has invested in a new Cursal automatic crosscutting line supplied by JJ Smith.

Bartram Timber was set up by managing director James Bartram in 1998 and since then, the company has gained an excellent reputation for its in-depth knowledge of the timber industry, and the wide range of products it offers to its ever-expanding customer base.

The current product line-up includes timber, MDF panels and mouldings, Thermowood, decking and all its associated products. Foremost has been the development of the importing and machining of hardwoods and softwoods which include larch and cedar used for cladding, decking and construction.

This is closely followed by the company’s venture into the in-house manufacture of Easi-Joist® trussed rafters and timber frames, all of which involved a significant investment in machinery and personnel.

Earlier this year James Bartram recognised the need to increase the crosscutting capacity and so set about contacting several UK suppliers to see what they could recommend. In his own words some had “very little idea” of what was required  and consequently their proposals were immediately  dismissed.

However, James also contacted JJ Smith and spoke with its crosscutting product manager Kevin McGlone. He recognised straight away that Kevin knew his stuff and invited him down to the company’s Sandy site to review and discuss exact production requirements in further detail.

After calculating the throughput Bartram needed to achieve, a Cursal TRSI high speed optimisation crosscut system was proposed. It was to have a 6m infeed capacity linked to a cross chain feed and board separation loading system, thus allowing the operator to load the infeed chains with boards while the machine automatically separates them prior to push-feeding through the saw.

On the outfeed of the saw a 5m conveyor with two pneumatic kickers were specified enabling the cut pieces to be assigned to a specific location with the off-cuts going to a waste bin. Gravity-fed unloading tables were also included to store the cut components.

The push-feed system on this model of Cursal machine has  pneumatic lifting of the pusher on the return run with feeding from right to left. Movement is on precision linear guides – rolling circulation system – with a built-in lubrication device and driven by a brush-less servo motor with high torque and precision.

The speed of the pusher is programmable up to 200m/min with a positioning accuracy of ±0.2mm/m. The saw cutting action is controlled by the machine CNC with adjustable cutting time from 0.3 to two seconds while the vertical movement of the saw blade is pneumatic with adjustable speed.

The maximum saw diameter is 500mm, driven by a 7.5hp brake motor. In order to ensure a perfectly square cut there is a pneumatic side alignment arm with adjustable pressure fitted before the blade, and a pneumatic vertical pressure unit on the outfeed of the saw equipped with braking wheels and high resistance rubber to reduce wear.

The machine is controlled by an industrial PC – CNC with colour display – allowing the operator quick and easy programming. Depending on customers’ individual requirements three different levels of optimisation can be specified.

In order for James to fully evaluate all the features of the proposed machine, a visit to SCA Timber in Hull was arranged as Bartram had purchased a similar specification system last year. As he is a qualified pilot, owning his own helicopter it took him less than an hour to reach SCA, which allowed him to land next to the factory. James spent a considerable amount of time inspecting the machine and talking with SCA staff about its performance and reliability. As everything he viewed and heard was very positive, a final price was agreed with Kevin and an order placed there and then.

The Cursal saw line was delivered on time and James comments: “As a result of JJ Smith’s professional approach, every aspect of the order and installation went very smoothly. The saw is working even faster than we had originally anticipated and it is performing extremely well. Due to our continuing growth there is every chance we will be adding the optional infeed automatic vacuum lifting system in the none to distant future.

Kevin McGlone adds: “It has been a pleasure to work with James on this project and we are delighted to have been able to supply a cross-cut system that exactly suited Bartram’s requirements. As we supply a range of cross cutting machines from different manufacturers this enables us to offer the correct solution to suit each customers’ individual requirements, rather than a one-type-fits-all approach which some suppliers can only offer.”

There is a video on JJ Smith’s YouTube page to see the machine in operation.

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