SAW ENGINEER
July through December 1998 - Issue No. 153
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Armstrong Introduces Circle Saw Leveler

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The ruggedly built (1750 lb. or 800 Kgs) Armstrong circular saw Leveler is completely enclosed for safety and to protect the components for years of precision service. Note the touch screen on the right side displays each saw’s condition and allows the operator to set up in less than 1 minute.
After two years of development, Armstrong is very pleased to introduce our automatic circular saw leveling machine. This Leveler has features that make it especially suitable for the 14" to 32" (350 mm to 815 mm) diameter splined arbor saws widely used in guided rotary gangs.

A team with a variety of backgrounds and skills worked on the project, including Terry Blessing and Greg Richardson, Armstrong’s two saw filers. In addition to their responsibilities in product development, Terry and Greg are the North American Sales Manager and Export Sales Manager at Armstrong respectively.

"When we first began this project, Greg and I told the engineers that an automatic circular saw leveler would be at least four times more difficult to make than a band saw leveler" recalls Terry Blessing. "Most of us saw filers understood that from the beginning. Greg and I would identify one problem after another that needed to be solved. As the engineers developed solutions, we worked with Oregon and Washington filers to evaluate and finally approve each design."

 

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Double-acting, three-piece leveling rolls stabilize the saw between the outside rollers. When an inside roller pushes lumps flat, the outside rollers on the opposite side push the saw into the opposing center roll. All six rollers move to level the saw in either direction as needed.
"We would never have progressed as quickly as we did without Senior Project Engineer Larry McMaster’s saw tracking program that maps the saw and displays the results on screen," explained Greg Richardson. "We incorporated that software and the color screen display into the final design of our circular saw Leveler. The operator will always be able to see the exact condition of the saw before and during leveling."

One important milestone was reached when the prototype Leveler could read a saw’s condition accurately from both sides. When the graphs made from mapping the inside exactly matched the graph made from mapping the outside, we knew the Leveler was "reading" the saw accurately without distorting the saw.

Another obstacle was determining the amount of pressure needed to level a saw. Heavier saws need more pressure, of course. So do saws that are harder. Every Leveler is supplied with a hardness testing gauge to determine the hardness of every new saw supplied to the filing room.

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The vertical configuration makes saws easy to load while carbide rails and three piece "transformer" rolls keep them so well stabilized that leveling and mapping take place simultaneously. A 22" diameter saw can be completely mapped and leveled in less than 8 minutes.
Among the features of the Armstrong circular saw Leveler:
  • A vertical design makes it easy to load saws and prevents gravity from affecting the saw.
  • A color touch screen displays the saws condition and makes the machine very easy to set up. The leveling parameters for up to six different types of saws can be stored so every saw can be leveled to the head filer’s exact specifications.
  • A non-contact sensor provides the sensitivity and stability to level imperfections as small as .0005" (.013mm).  This sensor reads through pitch an the saw and there is no fragile dial indicator that can be damaged.
  • The sensor moves with the four carbide rails that stabilize the saw and provide the "zero plane" (this is the perfectly level reference the Leveler works to achieve in every saw). So there is never a need to "tram" or align the Leveler. The Armstrong circular saw leveler can be set up in less than 1 minute ... even to set up a saw that is completely different from the one that just came off the machine!
  • The machine can be programmed to pre-level the worst sections of the saw before automatically advancing to the regular leveling mode. It will automatically skip the pre-leveling step when the initial mapping confirms the saw meets minimum requirements.
  • Saws "float" on the centering mandrel, just as they do on the saw arbor, so the eye does not distort the flatness of the saw plate. The Armstrong Leveler works to within 3/4" (20 mm) of the O.D. of the eye.
  • The operator easily sets the amount of leveling roll engagement to match the thickness and hardness of the saws.

Additional field evaluations will be conducted in September and October to determine the best operating practices. Four Armstrong circular saw Levelers will be installed in sawmills in November. Additional circular Levelers will be available for installation beginning in February 1999.

For the latest information on the Armstrong circular saw Leveler, please contact Armstrong or check with your local authorized Armstrong Stocking Distributor/Service Center.

  

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The touch screen displays the Saw's condition and makes the machine easy to set-up.  Leveling parameters for up to six different saws can be stored.

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Many people contributed to the success of the Armstrong circular saw Leveler, including saw filer & North American Sales Manager Terry Blessing, Design Engineer Larry McMaster, saw filer & Export Sales Manager Greg Richardson, Chief Engineer Dan Hockert, and Service Manager Warren Caltabiano.
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