Industry Publication Articles


Take a Load Off

The 2018 skills gap study put together by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute lays out a fairly clear picture: Automation is well on its way to being the new norm in manufacturing. As of August 2018, there were 508,000 open manufacturing jobs in the United States, but over the next decade, as more baby boomers exit the workforce and as more jobs are naturally created based on company growth, the number of unfilled jobs could climb to as high as 2.4 million. Manufacturers that don’t embrace new technology now or in the near future are going to have a rough decade ahead of them.

Autoloader-scott & josh
Ease of use is just one of the many benefits of adopting a fully automated system, such as Scotchman’s CPO 350 AutoLoader. Here, workers stand at the control unit where cut lists can be easily downloaded to the system.

“While the job gains are a positive indication that the industry continues to recover from the Great Recession and reflect strong production levels,” the report reads, “it also means that finding talent with the right skills to fill the open jobs could reach crisis proportions.”

The impact of the skills gap has been widely reported, and in the midst of it, sawing machine and equipment manufacturers have been innovating in various ways to address the ongoing challenge. They have improved their software to make it easier for saw operators to jump in on day one and process raw materials, and they’ve developed new material handling solutions that can help bypass the need for added labor.

“Companies are looking for increased automation,” says Scott Olivier, cold saw product manager at Scotchman Industries Inc. To help those companies overcome the skills gap, Scotchman is doing its part by introducing an automated material loading solution, which has been added to one of its top-selling products, the CPO 350 PKPD variable-speed cold saw.

The combined system, called the CPO 350 AutoLoader, addresses the challenges presented by the skills gap, but it also goes above and beyond those needs. The system saves fabricators valuable time, reduces their scrap rates and eliminates costly mistakes.

Operator Ease

The CPO 350 AutoLoader comes standard with a magazine loader and combines three of the company’s time-tested technologies into one product: the trusted CPO 350 PKPD cold saw, the durable material supply tracks from Scotchman’s Roller Feed Automatic (RFA) saw and the precise measuring technology used in the company’s measuring and material loading systems. Also referred to as a supply track, the AutoLoader comes in two sizes, 12 ft. or 24 ft.

The CPO 350 AutoLoader comes standard with a magazine loader and combines the CPO 350 PKPD cold saw, the material supply tracks from Scotchman’s Roller Feed Automatic (RFA) saw and the precise measuring technology used in the company’s measuring and material loading systems

“Operators don’t have to load each new piece of raw stock,” Olivier says of the supply tracks’ advantage. “They can put X amount of material onto the loader and when it is finished cutting each piece of stock, it automatically loads the next one without having an operator assist it.” Another aspect that adds to the value of the system is its trimming feature. Scotchman’s software accounts for a trim cut from the beginning of each new piece of material. Because the raw materials manufacturers receive from steel service centers often have subpar cuts, a trim cut ensures each part cut thereafter is accurate.

Furthermore, the cuts on finished parts are improved through the use of a double clamping system. With the material clamped on both sides of the blade, it prevents the “drop burr” outcome, which occurs on a single clamping system when the part begins to drop before the blade is completely through the material, creating a burr and the need for secondary work.

Olivier says typical material being cut on the system includes mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum – “anything you can run through a cold saw, you can run through this.” He notes that for manufacturers processing aluminum, the system is built using Scotchman’s nonferrous CPO 350 saw, which runs at higher speeds and uses a carbide-tipped blade.

“The CPO 350 Autoloader eliminates human error by taking the tape measure out of [the operators’] hands.”
Scott Olivier, cold saw product manager, Scotchman Industries Inc.

Optimal Options

For manufacturers processing bundled materials, Scotchman offers a new addition to the automated loading system: an optional bundle loader. It’s a welcome addition for operators seeking to process a high volume of material without interruption and with less labor. It can handle bundled materials up to 20 in. in diameter and hefty loads up to 6,600 lbs.

With a clamp on either side of the cut, operators achieve better cut quality as the amount of burr is drastically reduced.

“You can use the bundle loader to automatically align the material and load it into the inclined table to feed through the saw,” Olivier says.

Scotchman’s CPO 350 cold saw comes standard with a lubricant spray system, but for manufacturers cutting heavier material, an optional flood lubricant system is also available.
“If you’re doing thin-walled tubing and smaller diameters, the mist coolant just sprays a little bit of mist every time the saw blade makes a cut through the material, so you have a fine mist of coolant,” he says. “The flood coolant comes in handy when you’re cutting heavy-walled pipe or solids.”

“It optimizes material usage automatically in auto mode, so you always get the best yield from each of your stock lengths, eliminating wasted material.”
Scott Olivier, cold saw product manager, Scotchman Industries Inc.

Taking Measure

The spring-return tape measure has been in the hands of manufacturers since 1868, but even in the hands of skilled laborers, mistakes can be made. “The CPO 350 AutoLoader eliminates human error by taking the tape measure out of their hands,” Olivier says. “It also removes a lot of the strenuous material handling work involved with each cutting job, so you can get the job done safer with less labor. With the rising price of materials, mistakes can be costly – the AutoLoader, however, feeds material precisely, so you don’t have scrap material and waste from measuring something wrong.”

An optional bundle loader is also available for use with Scotchman’s AutoLoader material loading system.

Manual entry almost always opens the door for mistakes, which is why Scotchman’s system allows operators to use a jump drive or a digital connection to an office computer to download approved and accurate cut lists directly to the sawing system. And thanks to the AutoLoader’s Windows-based software, raw material can be optimized to produce the maximum possible amount of parts.

“It optimizes material usage automatically in auto mode,” Olivier says, adding that there is also a semi-automatic mode for processing smaller cut lists or making miter cuts, “so you always get the best yield from each of your stock lengths, eliminating wasted material.”

For processing varying types of metals, such as aluminum, the CPO 350 cold saw has various settings that can quickly be adjusted – in around a minute or less. This includes downfeed flow control for adjusting the blade speed as it goes through the material, a variable-drive speed that adjusts RPM allowing the operator to use the proper blade speed that is best suited for the material being cut and a stroke control setting that controls blade clearance between cuts.


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American Manufacturing Spotlight - Benefits of Adding Automation

There is no denying the incredible impact technology has had on our lives over the past two decades — it has changed the traditional workplace and reshaped business expectations.

Technology offers countless opportunities to maximize efficiency within your business operations, and therefore, save you time. And time is money, right? The ways you adopt and integrate technology can play a major role in business innovation and productivity improvement.

Here are a few ideas to get you started… or see our Automatic Sawing Line

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Technology Spotlight - Get a tight fit for tube and pipe assemblies.

Handrailings, race car frames, gates, fences, and furniture. Those are a few examples of structures that support and protect. Their construction typically involves steel or stainless steel tubes and pipes that have been notched, fitted, and welded to provide strength and durability.

Getting the right fit can be difficult when you are using a welding torch to manually cut the notch. Gaps where the tube doesn’t connect properly will need to be filled during the welding process.

Jerry Kroetch, president of Scotchman®, talked about how notching equipment can make working with tube and pipe assemblies easier and more efficient. Read more here >>

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The Ironmen - Scotchman has Built a Strong Reputation with its High-Quality Ironworkers.

by: Manufacturing Today
The oldest hydraulic ironworker manufacturer in the world celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 in its hometown of Philip, S.D. Scotchman Industries manufactured its first-ever hydraulic machine in 1967 and the Scotchman Ironworker has become synonymous with quality machinery.

“We have been manufacturing ironworkers for 50 years, so we have a strong name in the market,” President Jerry Kroetch says. “There are manufacturers in Europe who have been building ironworkers for a hundred years, but originally it was mechanical. We manufactured the first-ever hydraulic ironworker machine on a national level. Scotchman is a household name in the metal industry.”

Continue reading. 

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A Fine Cut - Scotchman Saw Provides Solution for Canadian Company to Produce More Parts at a Lower Cost.

Despite being located more than 1,300 miles apart, executives at Philip, South Dakota-based Scotchman Industries Inc. and Hamilton, Ontario-based Motis Inc. developed a mutually beneficial business partnership. In 2012, Scotchman unveiled its GAA-500-90 Automatic Upcut Circular Cold Saw with an adjustable vertical and horizontal clamp system that fits the majority of profiles. The GAA-500-90 is a large-capacity upcut automatic saw that is designed to cut nonferrous materials like aluminum and copper, including large-diameter profiles up to 6 inches square or round, at angles up to 90 degrees.

Motis’ founder, Paul Terpstra, initially spotted the GAA-500-90 at a trade show and was drawn to its potency and effectiveness. Terpstra conducted due diligence and determined that Scotchman’s saw could maximize Motis’ in-house production of its Snagger Tool. The Snagger Tool is a multipurpose device that can be carried in a firefighter’s pocket to handle everyday issues they encounter on the job.

“Before our final purchase decision, I sent a piece of raw extrusion, which we use to make the Snagger Tool, to Scotchman,” says Terpstra. “They cut them to size with the GAA-500-90 saw and sent back the samples. They also sent videos they had recorded showing the saw in action and how to best mount our odd-shaped extrusion. We were impressed. Read more here!

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Automating Saw Operations -

Benefits of automating your sawing process.

Automation will maximize fabricating efficiencies and reduce operating costs.There is no denying the incredible impact technology has had on our lives over the past two decades -- it has changed the traditional workplace and reshaped business expectations.

Technology offers countless opportunities to maximize efficiency within your business operations, and therefore, save you time. And time is money, right? The ways you adopt and integrate technology can play a major role in business innovation and productivity improvement. Read More. Check out our Automatic Saws

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Manufacturing in America’s Heartland

Most often, the success or failure of a business may depend much on fate as it does on ingenuity, hard work, and business sense. A combination of these things has led Scotchman Industries, Inc. to becoming one of the largest manufacturers of hydraulic ironworkers in the United States.

Located in Philip, a town of 880 residents situated in the middle of western South Dakota, Scotchman Industries did not start out manufacturing ironworkers, but eventually evolved into that business thanks to the determination and foresight of one man: Art Kroetch of Philip, SD. Read the full article here!

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50 Years of Scotchman

Firmly rooted in tradition with an eye on the future, Scotchman Industries, Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

It’s been half a century since Scotchman debuted its hydraulic-powered ironworker and we are honored to have served the manufacturing industry in America and abroad over all those years.

Although five decades have passed since Arthur A. Kroetch founded the company, Scotchman has remained committed to building high-quality dependable products, providing first-class customer service and believing in the strength of American manufacturing. Click here to read more.

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The Evolution of the Hydraulic Ironworker

The hydraulic ironworker was originally invented in 1949, but it never really entered the scene until 50 years ago when the patent was acquired and manufacturing of these metal fabricating machines in the U.S. began. Many of the earliest models are still operational on shop floors and in maintenance departments today .

For example, the first model produced by Scotchman was the 314, and we continue to get calls for replacement parts for that model. The original design was a hydraulic system, but it was powered only in one direction. It had a spring return. When the punch was engaged, the ram went down, and the spring pulled it back up. That coil spring was similar to one found in a ’57 Chevy at the time.

Fifty years later, we continue to sell dozens of those springs per month. So we buy the spring, compress it, and weld a frame around it for delivery to the customer. When the fabricator gets it, he drops it into the ironworker and cuts the frame to expose the compressed spring. That old hydraulic ironworker is ready for more work.

That’s no surprise. It’s a testament to how those ironworkers were made. Click here for the full article.


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Half-Century Celebration

Big businesses in small towns – sometimes it just works. Sure, there are challenges, but Scotchman Industries Inc., located in Philip, S.D., a town of 880 residents, not only made it work, they’re thriving. In fact, 2017 marks the company’s 50th year in operation.

Art Kroetch founded Scotchman in 1967 after years of making and selling farm-related products to area ranchers and farmers out of a small shop starting in the 1950s. Gates and chutes, pickup stock racks, corral panels – these were the staples of Kroetch’s business in the early 1960s.

One of the most important of the early milestones for Kroetch’s company involved the purchase of a patent for a hydraulic ironworker, the first of its kind. The year was 1966 and the machine Kroetch created the next year around that patent would alter the course of his career and offer a staple for employment for the residents of his small town that he held dear to his heart. Read more here!

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Staying Sharp

Blade failure can have a catastrophic impact on your sawing operations.

The sawing operation is arguably one of the most crucial elements in a fabrication shop. Problems in the process can create bottlenecks in downstream operations, introduce costly production inefficiencies, and delay customer deliveries.

Whether you’re working with circular cold saws or band saws, the rule of thumb is the same: maintain blade life to eliminate catastrophic problems down the line. Read More Here!

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3 Year WarrantyAll of our products are designed to increase production, accuracy, and efficiency for our customers. We offer in-house financing and a best-in-the-business warranty on Ironworkers, Cold Saws, Band Saws and Tube & Pipe Notchers.

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