Altendorf Panel Saw for Glass Reinforced Concrete

Altendorf WA80TE panel saw at GRC

Daltons Wadkin help GRCUK upgrade to the latest sliding table saw technology from Altendorf. Used in the creation of patterns and moulds the Altendorf WA80TE offers significant quality, accuracy and safety advantages.

Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) is used on many of the world’s largest and most prestigious construction and infrastructure projects. The ability of the material to be formed into virtually any size, shape or finish and its unique combination of high strength, low weight and environmental benefits ensure its growing popularity with many internationally renowned architects and engineers.

The Altendorf WA80TE met the heavy production requirements of GRCUK whilst providing a noticeable increase in setting speed and ease of use. It is equipped as standard with a large, overhead crown guard. The guard provides superb dust extraction, and reduces the chances of an operator accident significantly. The decision to part-exchange their old Wadkin SP130 for a new Altendorf WA80TE was reinforced by the H&S advantages of the new machine.

With GRC becoming more widely accepted as an expression of architectural design and a growth in applications such as civil engineering and rail applications, North Notts based GRCUK – who have the capacity to produce approximately £5 million worth of GRC per annum – found producing the custom moulds in the casting process to be causing a bottleneck in the manufacturing process.

Lee Cowlishaw of GRCUK commented: “Although it has been in a tough environment and been worked to the bone, our old Wadkin SP130 panel saw has proved to be a great machine. However, as production demands rapidly increase, we quickly realised that the SP130 just didn’t have the speed or ease of use we really need. Also, to decrease labour time we need a larger depth of cut to process the timber sections and sheet material with the same machine.”

As Daltons Wadkin undertake a full woodworking machine service annually for GRCUK, Lee contacted Sales Director, Andy Walsh with the vision of improving the existing saw, or possibly upgrading to a new machine. The Altendorf WA80TE was supplied with a 3200mm sliding table and 1300mm rip fence. The convenient on/ off switches on the sliding table further improve safety and operating ergonomics, allowing large work pieces to be loaded before switching the machine on.

In addition to panel work, crosscutting timber material needed to be catered for – the standard 150mm depth of cut was sufficient – paired with a three speed 5.5kw motor, a broad range of thicknesses can now be safely and efficiently cut.

As part of the Laing O’Rourke group, GRCUK have a strict and admirable approach to Health and Safety. The group have recently launched a H&S campaign; “Mission Zero. “Mission Zero is our campaign to eliminate all accidents from our operations”, comments Lee, “We know it’s a tough target. Achieving it won’t be easy. But, to us, there’s no more worthwhile goal than keeping all our people safe and well. To help us get there, we have launched a number of new initiatives, while improving existing ones.”

The Altendorf WA80TE has now been with GRCUK for 18 months and has recently had its first service and is maintained to a very high standard.
Lee Cowlishaw comments on the installation, carried out by the Daltons Wadkin specialist trained engineer: “The Altendorf was delivered and installed by a very knowledgeable and friendly engineer. He didn’t leave until myself and my team were fluent and confident in its operation. Daltons Wadkin have once again provided a very helpful and efficient service.”

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