The technology that aids medium-heavy carpentry

High process quality, skilled technical team constantly trained, accurate selection of raw materials, flexibility and willingness to satisfy customers. These, in short, the highlights that allow imi to play a reference role in national and international ambit in the segment of medium-heavy carpentry. Machining competences and technologies where stands out a new koike gantry cutting machine, too.

View of Koike Deltatex 5500 gantry machine with plate holding work plan featuring 3,650 x 25,600 mm.

For Imi, Koike Deltatex 5500 gantry machine has been configured with Katana Numerical Control, with four oxygen-cutting carriages and with a plasma one.

Imi was established in 1988 due to the entrepreneurial farsightedness of Claudio Gonzini, based on a significant experience gained together with some strict collaborators in the metalworking industry. Know-how that afterwards traced the evolutionary lines of the market for the successive years. Besides the traditional competences of carpentry, in fact, the company quickly specializes in the medium-heavy segment with high technological content. «An indispensable aspect, the latter –precisely underlines Claudio Gonzini –for our company, to the extent of making it one of the few realities in Europe able to execute plasma welding on dissimilar steels». A precise operational strategy that leads Imi to play a protagonist reference role in the field of the machining and welding involving high technical-implementation skills on steel elements, at the service of the shipbuilding, iron and steel, energy and petrochemical industries. «An activity – adds Gonzini – today fulfilled on an overall production area of 13,500 square metres, of which 4,400 covered, where is engaged a staff of around thirty employees». Concerning this, about 1,600 sq.m. of the covered surface of the headquarters at Travagliato (BS) have been recently built and are fruit of an enlargement, needed to make room for the new gantry cutting machine installed some months ago. We are referring to Deltatex 5500 purchased from Koike, renowned Japanese manufacturer operating in Italy with a direct branch in Milan province. «A productive enlargement – specifies Gonzini – that has allowed improving and optimizing the operational flows, minimizing the displacement of manufactured goods between one machining phase and the other. From the productive point of view, the new machine has replaced two previous pantographs now become obsolete for the new requirements, making also the plasma cutting available».

Reduction gear for the testing of wind power trees implemented by Imi for the energy sector.

Structure for the wind power tree testing.

Fast and precise cutting

Deltatex 5500 is a sturdy gantry machine developed to satisfy the highest requirements of precision, user friendliness and performances and it is designed to work in the harshest production environments. The gantry portal is a structure with double reinforced beam with the use of double linear guides, pinions and racks opportunely sized for heavy-duty tasks, with the addition of powerful brushless a.c. servomotors and backlash-free reduction gears. Suitable for being used with a maximum of 12 tool stations, the gantry slides on ground tracks and is driven on the two sides with integrated differential compensation for precise displacements. The stiff structure of the machine with a.c. servo-axis assures excellent dynamic properties with high precision in the cut execution and positioning speeds up to 34 m/min. «According to our requirements – highlights Gonzini – we have opted for a gantry equipped with five carriages. Four of them are intended for oxygen cutting operations whereas the other one is entrusted with the execution of plasma cutting processes. Equipment that today allows us to perform more and more complex machining operations». More in detail, the configuration chosen by the Brescia company consists of a gantry provided with a Koike Epoch powered oxygen-cutting carriage (for thickness cutting up to 600 mm), of 3 Kfit Ics8 oxygen-cutting carriages (for max. cutting thicknesses of 200 mm, simultaneously, too) and of a powered plasma carriage for vertical cutting (with Kjellberg Hi Focus 280i 280 A plasma unit equipped with automatic gas console). Available in work widths up to 6,000 mm and in lengths up to 48,000 mm, Imi has chosen the version with plate-support work plan featuring 3,650 x 25,600 mm, with maximum translation speed of 24 m/min.

Maximum speed, minimum set-up

The performances and the process quality of Deltatex 5500 are also granted by Katana, the global control developed by Koike for its cutting machines. Equipped with a touch panel and an intuitive user interface, the control provides structured menus, graphic symbols and self-explicatory photos, which guide the operator step by step through the system. Approach that allows achieving perfect cutting results quickly with a minimum set-up time. High advanced speed and communication in real time assure a smooth management of all the motions of the machine axes and the utmost performances in the process control. The operation is perfectly suited to operators’ need of reducing idle times and avoiding operational errors. Integrated cutting databanks and guided process procedures give also unexperienced operators the possibility of producing parts in few steps. Katana is equipped with hardware designed to operate in challenging industrial environments and with modular software, flexibly structured for a user-friendly implementation of the new functions. «The new cutting centre – underlines Gonzini – together with the other as recent plants for the submerged arc welding, represents the first step to create an interconnected factory backbone, to be able to engineer and to computerize the entire job order. An “in process” evolution that will allow us to assure even better not only the technological excellence but also the more and more integrated control based on the concept of integrated production verticalization». A targeted and global management that differentiates Imi itself also due to a series of side services with high added value it can offer to its customers. «Among them – intervenes Mauro Gonzini, owner’s son and purchase and communication division manager – also the one assuring the constant process traceability. I am referring to the “tracking on line”, that is to say the possibility for our customers of knowing in real time the state-of-the-art of their job orders. An advantage that undoubtedly permits a better and more precise planning».

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Used to carry out the bevel cutting rapidly and precisely, Koike 3D-Link (awarded by the Japan Welding & Engineering Society) still today is considered one of the best units for this kind of machining. Installable also on the Deltatex gantry machine installed at Imi, thanks to the advanced height regulation with anti-collision protection, it allows performing the cutting of the most complex shapes with or without edge preparation.

Koike 3D-Link has been designed to execute the bevel cutting with plasma head.

The guided procedure, integrated into Katana CNC, includes all necessary values for an accurate bevel cutting according to the type of material, the thickness and bevel angles, so that the entire system is automatically regulated with the correct parameters. 3D-Link performs precise and efficient cuts in a single pass, actually eliminating the need of manual re-working. Further distinguishing highlights concern the accurate height control through the measuring of the arc voltage, the high positioning speed of the torch (up to 20 m/min) and its endless rotation, with an angle setting speed of 100°/sec.

Imi ranks among the few European companies that can implement plasma welds on dissimilar steels of big thickness.

Great experience at the service of projects with high technical-implementation commitment

As already underlined, besides the new gantry cutting machine, Imi has invested in technologies, integrating two new submerged arc welding systems and a new bridge crane. Equipment that allows managing at best the machining and the handling of manufactured goods characterized by heavy weights and big sizes. The productive site at Travagliato hosts also 3 20-ton cranes, one 40-ton (20+20 ton) crane, one 12-ton version and one, still bridge-type, of 50-ton (25+25), a 500-ton press, a bending machine (3,000 x 80 mm), other 3 submerged arc welding plants (1,000 A/dc 4.000 x 4,000 mm, 1,000 A/dc 2,500 x 2,500 mm and one of 1,000 A/dc + 1,000 A/ac 5,000 x 5,000 mm), besides rotary table positioners (from 1 to 40 tons) and roller positioners (from 1 to 50 tons). Specialized in welding, Imi can boast in fact great process experience in alloyed steels, showing remarkable competence in the techniques of manual welding, wire welding and electrode welding, besides the Tig one. «We have reached – ends Gonzini – a high specialization degree in the plasma welding technique, too, especially on big thicknesses, arousing widespread success on the national and international markets». Skills that in fact make Imi rank among the few European companies able to carry out plasma welding of a certain complexity. Assemblies of high technical-implementation commitment, of big sizes and high thicknesses that today can benefit from the cutting performances of the new Koike gantry machine, too.

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