Bridge saws are the essential saws in manufacturing of products made of stone. This large saw can provide accurate cuts in slabs of material such as marble at a faster production rate than manual handsaws. When a company is considering the purchase of a bridge saw, it has several features to check out in order to choose the best bridge saw.
1. Beams and Bridge
Since the saw mechanism moves along the bridge and beams, these parts need to be strong and stable. The pressure created from cutting through heave stone will transfer to the bridge and beams. If the bridge and beams are not strong enough, they will give causing the cut to be off. Although cast iron beams can add up to 2 tons of weight, it is best to have a bridge saw that is more accurate and durable because it is built sturdier.
2. Oil Bath
A life saving feature for a bridge saw will be the oil bath. Stone cutting produces a great deal of dust and moisture that can be detrimental to the rollers and bearings of the machine. An oil bath will provide a self-maintaining lubricated track saving maintenance costs that come with bridge saws that have open, dry channels. This oil bath will also provide smoother tracking to increase the accuracy of cuts.
The modern programmable controls make running the bridge easier for the worker if it is user friendly. Look for a controller that allows manual, semi-automatic, and completely automatic programming. The operation of the controller should be simple enough for anyone to figure out fairly quickly. The best location for the controller is on a hanging pendant so that the operator does not have to walk around to set all the features. This type of controller will make production much more efficient.
4. Water System
When cutting stone, the water system protects the stone from cracking from overheated blades. The best water system for a bridge saw is an automatic valve that lets water out only when needed. This eliminates having to manually turn the water on or off from a distance that lets the water run longer than needed thereby increasing your water usage. Another cost saving feature to consider is a closed water system that recycles the water through the machine and possibly through the dust booth.
5. Tilting Table
For limitless options of angles, a hydraulic table that can be positioned to any angle rather than preset angles is preferable. Not only does it make loading the slab easier, it also allows angles for any required cut.
Depending on the material you will be cutting, you can choose a smaller bridge saw with a 10 to 15 horsepower motor. This is sufficient for up to 3cm thick stone. However, a larger 20 horsepower motor is needed for thick materials such as granite or marble.
Ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches, the size of the blade will also depend on the material you intend to cut. The larger blades do allow faster cuts, but they will have to use the larger motor.
8. Other Accessories
A laser can increase accuracy of cuts by projecting a cut line across the material to help line up the bridge saw blade with the cutting line. A safety shut-off device is a must to help prevent accidental injuries to the operator. The warranty should also at least meet the industry standards, which are one year on mechanical parts and labor and 90 days on the electrical parts.
Consider all of these aspects before investing in a bridge saw. Use colleagues who are familiar with the industry to find references for reputable bridge saw manufacturers to consider.