All of our flame cutting machines are CNC (computer numerically controlled), plate cutting can be from as thin as 1mm up to 350mm thick plate. The bed sizes are approx. 3000mm x 18000mm long which can be extended if needs be to meet your bespoke requirements. In addition to this, we have a 30 tonne crane which enables us to lift larger, heavier plate, ideal for the flame cutter. We offer flame cutting usually from approximately 40mm and upwards, but are happy to offer on thinner thicknesses should you require a square cut edge. The process of all thickness is the same, as the area is preheated or burnt, (thermos-chemical process) this process gives a clean, square cut from the plate edge which is slag free.
The plate is heated with a flame (you can use a variety of gases such as acetylene or propane) and the plate is heated up to a molten state. Then it is blown away by an oxygen jet through the centre of the nozzle. Flame cutting can offer on a variety of complex shapes, as all of our flame cutters are pre-programmed CNC and uploaded with your dxf, nc, or dwg files. If you are looking for quality precise flame cut parts SM Thompson Ltd has comprehensive experience. We have used this process at S M Thompson Ltd for well over 40 years and we are constantly developing to make the system more efficient and keeping the quality of a high standard which we are proud of.
Plasma cutting (plasma arc cutting) is a melting process in which a jet of ionised gas at temperatures above 20,000°C is used to melt and expel material from the cut. During the process, an electric arc is struck between an electrode (cathode) and the workpiece (anode). The electrode is recessed in a water- or air-cooled gas nozzle (SMT) which constricts the arc causing the narrow, high temperature, high velocity plasma jet to form.
HD (High Definition) CNC plasma cutting is at the forefront of our business. We have two HD plasma machines, one fixed head and the other a bevel plasma, both of which are CNC and we can cut a large variety of shapes and intricate designs. High definition technology concentrates more energy in a smaller area, and increased plasma density creates a precision cut with a narrower kerf, less top-edge rounding, and less bevel, operating with true hole technology. This equipment produces significantly better hole quality than had previously been possible using plasma, helping to virtually eliminate hole taper and making the plasma process suitable for many jobs previously cut with laser.
Our current cutting capability is up to 60mm mild steel cutting a smooth edge. The plasma beds are approximately 3000mm X 12000mm long which can be extended to suit any plate or profile requirements. We have extensive experience in cutting S275, S355, stainless, boiler grades, pressure vessel grades, weathering steel, and abrasion plate.
The bevel plasma should not be overlooked and adds an extra string to S M Thompsons bow, offering chamfering to your requirements. This process is ideal for weld preps on profiles and it compliments our plate rolling facilities.
Laser cutting has long been a service at S M Thompson but we are proud to announce that we have invested in a new Bystronic fibre laser 4000 x 2000 bed size. This high-end fiber laser represents precise Bystronic technology, a stable cutting process up to the highest laser power, and a broad spectrum of applications. The cutting head is the core element for a stable cutting process and constantly high parts quality. This applies all the more with increasing laser power, which must be brought to the cutting material precisely and reliably. To enable this, Bystronic has consistently continued to develop the Fiber cutting head. Optimal cooling in the cutting head ensures constantly precise cutting performance, particularly for long-lasting cutting operation with high laser power.
We are currently offering cutting up to 25mm mild steel, stainless and 30mm aluminum. The new Bystronic machine is highly efficient, enabling us to offer better lead times on profiles with an exceptional cut quality and accuracy. In addition to its fantastic cut quality the new Bystronic fibre laser can offer an excellent etching service suitable for bend lines, and profile identifications. This is a vital service for larger orders enable you to identify your parts quickly and therefore saving you valuable time and money.
Watch our video about the new technology we have invested in here.
Originally bevelling of plate was often a time-consuming expensive job but with our versatile ESAB plasma bevel it is designed for speed, and gives a precise clean cut on your profiles. Program-controlled torches can be moved on multiple axes, while the advanced height control systems allow extremely precise bevel tolerances. A large number of available bevel angles can be achieved from V cuts, K cuts, X cuts see table below. The ESAB plasma bevel also has the capability of offering a varied chamfer (multiple angles) on more complex profiles max angle of 45 degrees.
The current cutting bed size is approx. 12000mm x 3000mm, offering plasma bevelling up the 35mm thick (dependent on the angle), cutting with precision hole technology when cutting upright.
To complement our plasma bevel we also offer a variety of chamfering/bevelling machines which can also offer a similar service on larger and thinner profiles. We are continually investing in new products and services to enable us to stay at the frontline of our industry.
The process of plate rolling is where a plate is fed through a series of rollers usually 3-4 and is passed forwards and backwards in order to achieve a desired curvature. The rolls are powered with hydraulic motors to extort pressure onto the steel plate. The pressure on each roll will determine the curvature of the steel and with the moving rollers it enables the operative to control the curve of the plate.
SM Thompson are well established within the plate rolling sector. We have invested heavily in this sector and are constantly streamlining working processes. We can offer plate rolling on free issue material, stainless grades, S355 grades, boiler and pressure grade. Our new CNC rolls have increased our capacity of rolling up to 65mm thick over 3000mm and up to 110mm over shorter lengths. This news set of 4 roller system can also allow us to prepress the ends which minimises waste.
A weld prepping service is also available in a variety of different ways from flame and plasma cut. For smaller and thinner material, we have a range of variable geometry rolls.
SM Thompson has supplied to all different sectors such as Oil and Gas Industry, Construction, Wind Farms, and Fabrication.
Flat bar, angle sections, tubes, channels, plate, box section (SHS and RHS) universal beams, columns and joist are all within our cold rolling or section bending capacity.
SM Thompson are constantly investing in development in this new area of expertise. Currently we offer all of our section bending cold rolled, which is accomplished by passing the steel section between the rolls multiple times to achieve the required dimensions. The pressure exerted open the steel will push the section of steel beyond it yield strength and therefore form it into the desired shape.
Different sizes of couplings are used to ensure that channels etc are kept to their shape. A multitude of different radii can be achieved from both sets of section rolls and it is difficult to determine what the limitations are, we are happy to look at each job no matter how difficult it may seem. We have rolled angles for all different industries including construction, fabrication, marine and offshore.
Press braking or bending is a procedure for forming a flat, sheet metal workpiece. It immediately follows cutting in the processing chain. The workpiece lies on a bottom tool with a v-shaped opening. A wedge-shaped tool (punch) presses the workpiece into the v-opening and thus bends it to the desired angle.
SM Thompson has extensive experience with the pressing and forming of plate, having introduced it over 15 years ago. We are constantly developing manufacturer techniques and purchasing new machinery which allows use to give you a first-rate service. Not only can we press mild steel but we can offer pressing on a multitude of steel specification Aluminum, Stainless, Hard wearing, S690QL, boiler and pressure vessel grades.
We currently have two CNC press brakes one 400t 4000mm long and 500t over 5000mm long. Both CNC presses can offer a wide variety of radii, our body of work includes concentric and eccentric cones, channels, angles, square to round cones, lobster backs and digger buckets. Similar to plate rolling it is difficult to say what our limitations are as every enquiry is bespoke, we are happy to quote for the smallest of enquiries to the more complex ones.
At SM Thompson Ltd we have two large CNC drills, offering both drilling facilities and counter sinking. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) drilling machines have enabled drilling processes to become automated; increasing speed and giving a precise quality of manufacturing. Here at SM Thompson precision and productivity are our top priorities.
All of the drills are equipped to drill several different specifications of steel, from mild steel, stainless to floor plate. Even with the current with plasma and laser cutting advancements, drilling is still a much sought-after part of our production more so requested with the introduction of CE marking accreditation. Amongst our body of work are base plates, flanges, rails, boat kits, automotive parts.
Along with the CNC drills we have a radial arm drill which has a large bed of approx. 2000mm x 1000mm drilling up to 210mm thick, perfect for larger profiles.
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