Bosch Heating Systems LLC has put into operation a new production line for the manufacture of industrial boilers in Russia. For cutting technology, the company relies on a plasma cutting system from MicroStep. "The cutting system is at the very beginning of the manufacturing process and is therefore the most important link," says Stefan Karguth, Project Manager Machine Procurement at Robert BOSCH GmbH.
In an existing BOSCH plant in the Russian city of Engels – about 800 kilometers southeast of Moscow – the BOSCH Thermotechnology Division has invested in a new production line for the manufacture of industrial steam boilers. "The location is ideal, not least because of the great demand for this technology on the Russian market," explains Stefan Karguth, Project Manager Machine Procurement at Robert BOSCH GmbH. The engineer designed and accompanied the project from Germany from the very beginning.
The plasma cutting system plays a key role in the production process. It is located directly next to the sheet metal storage and is loaded by a crane using a magnetic cross beam. Since the machine is therefore right at the beginning of the production chain, it is the most important link, according to Karguth: "When the plasma cutting system is at a standstill, all the following systems run empty. Accordingly, the requirements that BOSCH made when selecting new suppliers for the production line were stringent: In addition to an obligatory liquidity check, suppliers must, for example, have a certain size of operation, references are checked and it is checked whether in principle the ability to work according to the so-called BOSCH standards is given. MicroStep was able to meet the criteria. "We were well looked after right from the start," says Karguth about the MicroStep project team's appearance, which he considers professional and fact-oriented.
The system of the MG series from MicroStep currently operates in a 2-shift operation and cuts steel sheets with a material thickness of 5 to 18 mm and dimensions of up to 3,000 mm x 12,000 mm. Rectangular components as well as larger round contours and small holes are cut from these sheets. In addition, the components are also prepared for welding seams. The machine has a working area of 15,000 x 3,500 mm and has the following special features:
Plasma rotator for weld edge preparation
A highlight of the cutting system is the new R5 plasma rotator from MicroStep, which applies precise chamfers and weld edge preparations of up to 50° to components. Endless-rotating as standard, the unit delivers a cutting quality and process reliability never seen before in plasma bevel cutting. No matter whether X, Y, K or variable bevel. A series of patented assistance systems – such as the automatic calibration unit (ACTG®), a precise height control (ATHC®) and the adaptive bevel angle compensation (ABC®) – ensure very high dimensional accuracy. A HiFocus 280i from the company Kjellberg-Finsterwalde serves as power source. The suction technology consists of a powerful TEKA filter system.
Moving power source for hand cuts
The plant is equipped with a hand plasma source Kjellberg CUTi70 with a 6 meter long hose package. To accommodate this device a specially designed holding console was mounted on the gantry. In addition, a power connection as well as a compressed air connection was integrated on the gantry so that the plasma source does not have to be moved in case of operation.