After a search for a new saw, Scott of Johanningmeier Construction & Stone (IA) has seen his shop’s production go up and his stress go down in a big way, thanks to their new VOYAGER™ XP 5-Axis CNC Saw.
The Hunt for the Right Saw
Looking to upgrade from an older COUGAR bridge saw, Scott began researching cutting options on the market and had a demo of a robotic sawjet (not Park’s OPTIMUS™). Even though he liked the demo, he valued his experience with Park Industries® – he was currently operating a TITAN®, COUGAR, and PRO-EDGE® III) – so he decided to give Park a call.
Shortly after, he was getting another demo…this time of the VOYAGER™ XP. This would be the last demo in Scott’s saw search.
The Winning Features
Scott felt the 5-Axis CNC Saw was a better fit for his shop over a robotic sawjet. It was over $100k less and less maintenance ‘by a lot’, without sacrificing processing speeds. Three key features stood out for Scott:
- TightCut™ blade plunging – This stood out to Scott as an excellent substitute for a waterjet and he’s seeing increased material yield because of it. Scott explains, “The ability to punch holes with the coring tool then disconnect parts with the TightCut™ is very impressive and has surpassed my expectations.”
- Flexibility to run in manual mode – This was another key feature the VOYAGER™ XP had that a competitor’s robotic sawjet lacked. Scott mentions, “I don’t like cutting in manual mode if I don’t have to, but I need this capability because you never know what will come up. We also kept our old saw as a backup for this, but it’s so easy on the VOYAGER™ we haven’t had to use it all.”
- Seamless programming & simple operation – His familiarity with alphacam and Park’s machine interface on his TITAN® was huge for him. He found the saw to be a simple machine, needing only half of a training day to fully learn how to program and operate. He felt the whole controls side of the VOYAGER™ XP was more intuitive than the other options he had explored.
Impact of the New Machinery
Prior to the new equipment, the company was fighting to keep up with production. They had a small crew of 4, plus Scott who handles all the templating and programming. They were cutting their slabs with vinyl templates on the COUGAR, and the TITAN® was occasionally waiting on the saw.
In November of 2019, both the VOYAGER™ XP and FASTBACK® II were installed at Johanningmeier. Almost immediately, Scott felt the impact of the new machinery. He recalls the struggle to meet timelines being lifted, even though one of the 4 employees left during this time. The numbers also were looking great, now producing over 40% more with the VOYAGER™ XP handling the cutting and the FASTBACK® II handling the flat edge work, all done with one less employee.
The cutting speed of the VOYAGER™ XP has impressed Scott and the TITAN® has not had to wait on the saw since. Scott believes the VOYAGER™ XP could easily feed 2-3 TITAN’s.
Scott enthusiastically continues, “It takes longer to load/unload the saw then it does to cut the job. We are cutting most of our slabs in 8-14 minutes, easy. We just did the numbers on our 2020 first quarter – it was by far the best one we’ve ever had AND we weren’t fighting to keep up.”
He explains one of his best days with the saw thus far, “I cut 16 slabs for a laminated commercial job, none of it square in one short day all by myself, then glued them all up the next. My labor costs were extremely minimal and the profits on that job were a beautiful sight.”
Those types of efficient jobs are becoming the norm for Scott and he’s already calculated that he will have his VOYAGER™ XP paid off by the end of this year if the trend continues. After he joyfully spoke about his new production, Scott took a breath and concluded, “Man, I just really like that saw. All it does is make you money.”