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High-performance thermal cutting of metals

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Thermal cutting technologies – including oxygen, plasma and laser cutting – are used to prepare materials in many fields of engineering. Each technology is unique and irreplaceable, and they often overlap and complement each other. The quality of cut parts is judged by their dimensional accuracy, the correctness of their edge angles and the structure of the cut itself. With over forty years of experience in the field of thermal cutting, Vanad machines achieve exceptional quality by offering versatile cutting technologies with an extremely robust design, high-precision guiding mechanisms, precision gearboxes and a state-of-the-art control system developed in cooperation with B&R.

It is estimated that up to half of all products manufactured globally include bevel cutting. Its main application in machine manufacturing is precision finishing of surfaces to be welded. Beveled edges may also serve structural or load reducing purposes. Bevel cutting saves a significant amount of time and money while also increasing the quality of cut parts.

Dynamic 3D accuracy

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Vanad's automated 3D plasma cutting head with automatic adjustment of angles and offsets, height monitoring etc., developed in cooperation with B&R.

As a technical innovation for bevel cutting, Vanad 2000 offers a fully automated head for plasma cutting with 3D motion, which significantly extends the scope of applications and increases the performance of their cutting machines. The automated 3D head for plasma cutting from Vanad is typically used in small-series manufacturing of parts with complex shapes, where the prevailing 2D mode is often switched to 3D. Robot bevelling becomes costly in such cases, and the best way to achieve the required quality is to use an automated 3D head. This head is also used in the precision cutting of shaped holes into pipes and profiles using the Vanad Rotcut accessory. The automated 3D head for plasma cutting was developed in cooperation with B&R.

Ready-to-use robotics libraries and transformation algorithms provided by B&R enable fully automated angle adjustment and cut offsets, conversion of the plasma arc and height monitoring. Cycloidal gears are used on both of the head's rotary axes, ensuring high precision, rigidity, durability, efficiency and compact size. The high level of accuracy and dynamic movement required of the head are achieved using premium components from B&R. "The key elements of 3D plasma heads are B&R ACOPOS servo drives, EnDat multi-turn absolute optical encoders, the fast POWERLINK communication bus and the new series of B&R Industrial PCs, the Automation PC 910," says Dusan Kokoska, director of strategy and development at Vanad 2000. "It would hardly have been possible to create the head without them."

High-end rugged gantry CNC

Together with the 3D plasma cutting head, Vanad 2000 is also launching a new top-class gantry CNC cutting machine called Bluester. Designed to operate under the most demanding conditions, it can be equipped with multiple sliders bearing plasma or autogenous cutting heads and accessories for other applications such as drilling. The machine not only dominates its class in terms of rugged construction, but can also be equipped with the fully automated 3D cutting head.

Bluester features advanced B&R components and the B&R operating system, which has become standard for Vanad machines. Error-free operation is guaranteed by very powerful and dynamic servo drives with optical encoders, which B&R provides as fully assembled units with integrated precision gearboxes. The control system was developed in close cooperation with B&R developers at the same time the B&R operating system was established as a standard feature on all Vanad cutting machines.

Dušan Kokoška, Director of Strategy and Development at Vanad 2000

"The key elements of 3D plasma heads are B&R ACOPOS servo drives, EnDat multi-turn absolute optical encoders, the fast POWERLINK communication bus and the new series of B&R Industrial PCs, the Automation PC 910. It would hardly have been possible to create the head without them."

Strategic cooperation with B&R

"The long-term strategic cooperation between Vanad 2000 and B&R, especially in the areas of development and assembly of hardware and software for thermal cutting machines, dates back to 2006," says Kokoska. "Based on this partnership, Vanad 2000 has open access to the latest drive and control technology, including the necessary development tools. With the benefit of B&R's know-how, we are well positioned to continuously innovate and improve our range of premium quality thermal cutting machines tailored to our individual customers' needs."

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Vanad Bluester – this innovative gantry CNC machine became the "top-class" thermal cutting machine for precision cutting thanks to high-performance servo drives with optical encoders, transmissions with minimum backlash, the use of an automated 3D plasma cutting head for bevel cutting and – last but not least – the unique split chassis design.

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The fast POWERLINK communication bus is one of the key elements of the Vanad 2000 3D plasma cutting head.

Vanad has established B&R's open development environment and real-time operating system, Automation Studio and Automation Runtime, as standards for every cutting machine it produces.

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