Voortman launches new angle punching and shearing machine

Developed for improving productivity in steel tower fabrication.

The Voortman V505-160T has been specifically designed with the challenges and needs of the tower fabrication industry in mind. As a result of direct customer involvement in the design phase, the Voortman V505-160T offers high-speed processing and waste reduction.

High running speed
With the all-new Voortman V505-160T punching and shearing machine the time required to complete a full production cycle is shortened by up to 25%, the company says. This significant performance benefit is calculated from the complete process, starting from infeed of the first angle profile to a fully processed end product and readiness to feed in the next profile. The results were confirmed by extensive tests and detailed customer feedback. Depending on the process configuration on site and the type of punching and shearing machine currently installed, even higher savings are possible.

Besides fast punching and shearing, the high speed processing is accomplished by an automatic infeed as part of the standard equipment of a Voortman V505-160T through which the need to manually load the material is eliminated. The servo driven gripper truck is equipped with a material sensor for full speed approach and it runs at a maximum speed of 110 m/min.


The two rigid punching frames, each holding three punching tools, are mounted on a sliding frame with a hinge and a spring load to prevent vibrations in the machine while punching. The positioning of the punch frames on two linear guidance rails is done with a spindle and a servo drive, reaching a high maximum speed of 15 m/min, which guarantees great accuracy at high speeds. On each punching frame, an 80 ton hydraulic cylinder is mounted which punches angles up to a maximum thickness of 19mm. The punching cylinder is mounted on two linear guidance rails and driven with two pneumatic cylinders for fast tool selection. Each punch block only weighs seven kilograms, enabling easy tool changing for the machine operator.

Minimising waste
With the Voortman V505-160T, the minimum material rest length is just 65mm when applying an end cut, measured as the length between the gripper truck and the shearing blade. Alternatively the operator can opt for a ‘no end cut’ principle. In that case, the gripper truck places the angle at the right position, retracts (so that the machine can punch as close to the profile end as possible), grips the profile again and feeds it out of the machine. Applying the ‘no end cut’ principle is especially useful for tower fabricators that source angle profiles, which are already cut to length.


The shear is equipped with a heavy 245 ton cylinder for cutting and with a material holder just in front of the shear to keep the material steady during the cutting. The shearing blade itself is optimised on all four corners to cut every angle in the range from 35mm to 160mm with the right radius, resulting in cutting quality as specified. Underneath the shear is space for a waste bin on wheels, which comes standard with the machine. The outfeed side of the machine is equipped with a tilting device, which lifts for short products and feeds the long products onto the outfeed roller conveyor. Both the in and outfeed are available in 6, 9, 12 or 15 metre configuration.

Positive outlook for tower fabrication
The future for tower fabrication looks bright. Worldwide electricity demand will continue to grow, especially in emerging markets such as Asia, Middle East and Africa. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently forecast that infrastructure will have to be expanded and reinforced by 62 million kilometres of transmission and distribution lines, which equals over 1500 times the circumference of the earth. Asia, Middle East and Africa will account for over 50% of this foreseen expansion and reinforcement. These signals create a positive outlook for the fabrication of new transmission towers. Simultaneously, existing infrastructure in North America and Europe is aging. More and more existing installations will reach the end of their technical lifetimes, which will lead to refurbishment or complete replacement. Next to power transmission and distribution, fast growing mobile data consumption and smartphone penetration will stimulate growing investments in telecommunication towers.

This positive outlook for the tower fabrication industry requires a need to increase tower production capacity while continuing to improve productivity in the workshop. Voortman supports tower fabrication companies in answering to both challenges.

For more information contact First Cut on TEL: 011 614 1112, email info@firstcut.co.za or visit the website www.firstcut.co.za