Product Applications – Beveling Aluminum
Gullco Plate Beveling Machine: Case Study of Automated Cutting and Beveling System for Heavy Plate Fabricator
Product Application File – Portable Plate Beveler
This Gullco International customer does plenty of plate beveling. The majority of the beveling is done on heavy plates, 5254 and 5654 aluminum, typically 10×30 feet x1/2 inch weighing 2,100 pounds, which go into the manufacture of railroad tank cars. After the tank is plasma cut to shape, the plate requires a 30 bevel with a 1/16 inch land on all four edges. Then wire brushes clean 12 inches back from beveled edges, a bending machines rolls the plate into cylinders, nine feet in diameter. GMAW guns on booms weld the cylinders in flat position.
With the seam on the bottom, machines weld one pass at a current of 310 to 320 amps on the beveled side. The guns move at 10 to 14 in./ min. to weld longitudinal seams. Then, with guns stationary, the cylinders rotate to make circumferential welds. Milling backchips the joint to solid weld metal for the final pass, laid in at 340 to 360 amps from the outside of the cylinder. Fillers: 5654 or 5254 aluminum plate and 5356 or 5554 (depending on customer specification) for 5454 plate.X-rays inspect all tank car cylinder welds. Faced with overhaul of its large beveling plainer, at a cost of $50 000 to $80 000 the customer found that it could improve operations. Two small portable plate bevelers are now on the line in place of the plainer and have doubled the production rate of plate edge beveling at the plant.
With the plainer, an overhead crane rotated the plate, and fixtures held it in place for beveling all four edges of each plate. Fixturing difficulties caused uneven bevels, resulting in excessive weld repair as a result of poor joint fit-up. The addition of portable plate bevelers has made the beveling process much easier and has generated better results. The plate lies flat on stands at a height set for the beveling machine. The operator rolls the beveler which is mounted on a spring loaded undercarriage with wheels over to the work piece, set it at the plates edge, and starts the motor. The machine bevels plate as it moves along to make a consistent smooth, clean bevel. No more repositioning of the plate or costly material handling. With the increased beveling rate on the plate line, the new machines can bevel plate in other departments. They can cut a 22.5 or 55 bevel on aluminum, mild steel, or stainless steel plate.