Goodwin companies come through thick and thin to attain their world-leading capabilities – helped by Accurate Cutting Services...
Goodwin Steel Castings produces machined castings, of up to 16,000kg weight and for critical-duty applications, mainly for exporting. The company, which was established more than 130 years ago, provides industry-leading casting solutions through its advanced uses of alloys, while adhering to stringent quality standards such as NORSOK (petrochemical) and ASME NCA3800 (nuclear).
Heavy-section duplex stainless steel and nickel alloys require cold-cutting techniques for the removal of excess material, prior to machining, because thermal stresses from oxy-fuel cutting often cause cracking. Initially, the company called on Accurate Cutting Services for sub-contract bandsawing. A heavy-duty Soitaab 2000mm gantry bandsaw was deployed: its cold cutting, close to the finished size, reduced the risks of rectification work being needed or of scrap being the costly result.
The Soitaab gantry bandsaw cuts in horizontal, vertical and diagonal directions, and a built-in turntable meant that most of the cutting could be done without any repositioning of the component between cuts. Time and money were saved working on the large, heavy castings coming from the Goodwin foundry. There was less risk of damage, also, with the handling of components minimised despite their centres of gravity changing as pieces were trimmed away.
“Our entrusting of the sawing work to Accurate Cutting Services was helped by the fact of their owning and using big gantry bandsaws themselves,” comments Bernard Goodwin, Production Director at Stoke-on-Trent based Goodwin Steel Castings Ltd.
“We have developed a very good relationship with Accurate Cutting Services,” Mr Goodwin adds. “We are on first-name terms with the sales and support people.”
With increased production of advanced nickel alloys, and of power-generator alloys susceptible to cracking, it made sense for the company to invest in its own Soitaab gantry bandsaw. Accurate Cutting Services, after some 5 years of its sub-contract sawing, supplied a machine with 3000mm cutting capacity, together with initial operator-training and ongoing maintenance and technical support.
Meanwhile, a second Goodwin plc company, this time a start-up, chose to purchase a smaller machine, again from Accurate Cutting Services. A Soitaab SC 550 horizontal bandsaw, fitted with bi-metal or carbide-tipped blades, will provide Metal Proving Services Ltd with a controlled feed-force sufficient for cutting tough materials. This sawing facility will enable the efficient processing of test material which is often, in section, like the component being produced.
“The petrochemical industries have come to require examination of through-section properties in order to certify material,” explains Mr Goodwin. “Metal Proving Services will have the ability to accurately section material to attain specimens at half- or third-thickness, or sub-surface sections, for mechanical testing and metallography.
Soitaab SC550mm heavy duty saw at MPS (Alan Matthews)
Alan Matthews 2014
“The Soitaab SC bandsaw, with its 550mm jaws, can section material without the need for additional, time-consuming machining. Non-productive swarf is avoided.
“Metal Proving Services is working towards full accreditation as a state-of-the-art UKAS testing facility,” Mr Goodwin continues. Will it supply testing services to third party customers? “Watch this space!” is the reply.
“We are immensely proud of the high integrity steels and nickel alloys produced at Goodwin Steel Castings, which are soon to be independently validated by Metal Proving Services,” Mr Goodwin concludes. “Our G130 nickel alloy development is world-leading, and the section sizes of some of our duplex castings challenge the material limitations.
“We are very grateful to Accurate Cutting Services for its supply of expertise and machinery in our drive for these achievements.”
Accurate Cutting Services, established in 1969, provides the UK’s largest and most versatile sub-contract sawing service, bringing efficiency gains prior to machining and after casting, forging, fabrication or extrusion.
The company investigates component failures, offering value-recovery opportunities, and provides blade and sawing machine sales, repairs and servicing from its Midlands and West Yorkshire locations.