It is vital to know why beam coping is important in the fabrication industry. Coping steel beams has been an important part of the process of sheet metal fabrication for many years. Cutouts are unique to each beam and designed so that beams fit together tightly and with precision—even at acute angles. Coping of beams is necessary to make sure they line up without interference.

Coping Manually

In the old days, beam coping was done by hand, laying out the reliefs needed and cutting with a handheld torch. These copes or reliefs were often in error. Additional cutting needed to be done at assembly, high in the air with a crane, operator, and several fabricators. This made the process very expensive. Other problematic issues with the manual method include:

  • The layout time was too long. Too much time was spent in setup. A CNC beam coping machine can reduce this time dramatically.
  • Laying out coping lines took the most experienced steelworker, making it much more expensive for the customer and company to produce.
  • Incorrect layouts were frequent. Often, holes were out of alignment, cut at the wrong angle, or simply not in the correct location.
  • Manual cleanup took too long, as manual cutting required chipping and grinding to remove the dross and slag left behind by the torches.

CNC Beam Coping Machine

The answer for manual coping was a CNC profiling coping machine. Fabricators could take the detailed engineered data and directly arrange the beams in a single setup. This allowed for more accuracy as well as greatly improved throughput and in-field errors when the beams were assembled. A CNC beam coping machine added several improvements to beam drilling.

  • Eliminating layout time. Where before, this was a manual process, it is now automated on a CNC technology machine.
  • Lower paid machine operators can perform the beam cut. No longer is the most experienced steelworker needed to complete the operation.
  • Layouts are all extracted from approved engineering data, significantly reducing setup and cutting errors. The designs are computer automated with cuts programmed.
  • Cleanup is quick, and on some machines, automatic.

By upgrading to a CNC beam coping machine, a sheet metal fabrication facility can significantly improve their throughput, accuracy, and reliability on the products that they produce. In turn, this dramatically reduces errors found in the field and hence the need for handheld, last-minute coping operations. We hope this guide on why beam coping is important in the fabrication industry has helped you decide to upgrade your machinery.

Mac-Tech carries several beam drilling and beam coping machines suitable for those in the metal fabrication industry. Some of the structural beam coping machines and beam drilling machines we carry may do much more. You can rest assured that each piece of structural steel fabrication machinery we sell will meet your structural beam coping needs. Contact us to schedule a service date today.

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