Profession and Passion in Steel
Demand the Best in Processing Technologies.
Bold, innovative ideas can only realize their full potential when there are skilled and passionate people are in place capable of turning them into reality. This is particularly true when it comes to architectural structures. New spaces for work, culture and leisure are created when innovative developers and architects work together with established partners in the construction industry. Biedenkapp Stahlbau GmbH in Wangen im Allgäu is definitely one of these, with a repertoire that includes various types of steel structures, recreational facilities, parking garages and much more.
“One for all. All from one.“ Biedenkapp’s slogan serves both to express the company’s aspirations and as a symbol of its accomplishments – achieved over the course of nearly seven decades. If variety is your passion, then flexibility must be your guide in everything you do. The goal of transforming ideas into real assets poses significant challenges to the company’s roughly 80 employees – challenges that Biedenkapp’s clients, whether they be industrial, commercial or municipal, know the company can tackle. The company’s activities cluster in three specific areas: While specializing in steel structures built to perfection, it focuses mainly on the construction of industrial facilities while also offering planning and manufacturing services. Along with unique industrial buildings, the company has built and continues to build proven functional structures. This includes everything from classic stairway railings to spectacular elements used in the stage for the world-famous Bregenz Opera Festival, bearer cable shoes for cable guides used in the Dachstein World Heritage cable lift or the architectural realization of the new Bad Wörishofen thermal spa. The range of services available from Biedenkapp is truly immense.
When Steel is your Profession and Innovation your Passion
A company that handles and processes 7500 tons of steel per year in the ways described above has to make sure it has processing methods in place capable of tackling the widest range of tasks quickly, economically and with precision. Meanwhile, increased customer desire for individuality together with the enhanced abilities afforded by state-of-the-art CAD software fuels architectural creativity – placing ever greater demands on the processing center in handling its primary raw material: steel. For companies like Biedenkapp, economy and flexibility play an ever more important role. Only by combing the two is it possible to both satisfy customer needs while also remaining economically viable.
Companies seeking to provide their customers with a wide range of know-how know rely on proven specialists when it comes to the equipment and components they use. This is where Kaltenbach once again demonstrates its value as manufacturer of metalworking equipment and facilities.
Technical Developments Aimed at Satisfying Customer Needs
Kaltenbach has always looked to market conditions and customer needs in developing new and existing technologies. So it isn’t surprising that it drew on suggestions from Biedenkapp’s experts on steel in developing its new KF 2612 sheet metal processing center. In particular, the need to provide the highest degree of flexibility stood front and center during development of this new technology. Flexibility is essential given the wide range of assignments the company has to handle and the trend toward ever more individualized designs in steel components, both of which make having optimum production methods absolutely crucial.
Speed and flexibility, greater precision and efficiency – that, in short, is what the KF 2612 provides. It’s a genuinely versatile too, providing drilling and flame cutting of sheet steel, metal strips and flat steel for endplates, fittings and gussets. It also handles thread cutting, counter-sinking and notching – making this KF unit a true all-rounder when it comes to steel structures, machine manufacturing and facilities construction.
A key factor in Biedenkapp’s decision to adopt the KF 2612 had to do not only with its years of experience working closely with Kaltenbach and its appreciation for the quality of Kaltenach equipment, it also had to do with Kaltenbach’s dedication to meeting customer needs starting with development. Because for Biedenkapp it’s paramount that as many contingencies as possible be covered when scarcely any two assignments are ever alike. The KF 2612 definitely also scores high marks in terms of speed: The Kaltenbach processing center is equipped with two processing heads (for drilling and flame cutting), which allows a doubling of the amount of material processed. This provides a distinct advantage, especially when it comes to identical parts (lot size 2 and above) – doubling order processing speed at the push of a button! This results in greater cost-effectiveness, which makes itself felt in other areas. The processing center joins together a whole range of processing operations: Whether it’s flame cutting, marking, center punching, notching or drilling – a single machine can do it all using precision automated materials handling. This helps save on processing time while making optimum use of available personnel. Where once several operators were required to complete these tasks, now they can be freed up to handle other jobs instead.
Systematic Development Provides a Competitive Advantage
The KF 2612 plate flame drill unit can handle plates up to 2600 mm × 6000 mm. Depending on the specific requirements, steel can be processed using either the integrated plasma cutter or an oxy-fuel cutter. The unit can also cut sheet metal for castellated beams. This enhances the range of applications the unit can handle, allowing the user to tackle specific customer demands almost instantaneously. Biedenkapp particularly appreciates the fact that, in contrast to the previously model, the new model can process metal of varying thicknesses – up to 100 mm – which makes it highly responsive to current market demands, setting a high bar for the competition. Moreover, in the course of development, the drill axis was completely redesigned. And by improving motor efficiency while making it possible to use carbide drills, processing speed was further enhanced. A special binder helps to better secure materials in place during drilling while also providing for exceptionally low drill vibration, which in turn results in significantly longer drill life. Advantages that show up in the company’s bottom line.
Often it’s the less obvious enhancements that produce the greatest benefits in terms of the logistical and organizational handling of orders. With the KF 2612, this includes for example the addition of embossing wheels. Individually embossed components are much easier to properly identify and allocate later during assembly while the use of two embossing wheels helps increase material throughput, which in turn increases the overall economic value of the unit.
Intelligent Thinking Produces Simplification and Greater Flexibility
The KF processing center does not require a specific type of software. This helps avoid both the usual interface problems as well as an overreliance on specific software manufacturers. CAD files for additional operations can be uploaded via a DSTV interface. Thanks to the intelligent nesting software, components can be precisely placed on the steel sheets, reducing waste to a minimum. Subsequent to waste optimization, data are then transmitted to the facility control room, where they are reviewed for use in enhancing production management. Programming can be carried out either in the office or directly at the unit itself.
“This new unit provides us with the greatest degree of flexibility in handling a variety of different assignments. For us, that means we’re able to better support customer creativity and design while also increasing our own levels of productivity“, says Biedenkapp’s chief of maintenance, Rudolf Schweiger. He adds that another crucial factor lay in the productive working relationship the company enjoyed with Kaltenbach. “The fact that they were able to incorporate our wishes, particularly with respect to the ability to handle steel in varying thicknesses, helped win us over. This is where it pays to have a truly capable partner“, Rudolf Schweiger says appreciatively. For Kaltenbach this makes it a win-win situation, since it’s precisely through close collaborative efforts like this that technical solutions are found that get right to the heart of the matter while also providing the customer with enormous creative freedom -- which in turn both creates and promotes long-lasting partnerships. It’s great how technology can bolster passion.