The purchase of a Walter Woodtronic Rapide CNC5 D has made a “real difference” to saw blade grinding operations at Waltham Cross-based NLS Tools, according to Miguel Arce who heads up the family-run company.

Mr Arce said the Rapide, a tungsten carbide tipped circular saw blade grinder costing about £90,000, has cut down the amount of time and labour needed in blade regrinding. Its flexibility in processing varying blade types is proving “indispensable” in a business dominated by one-offs.

He claims a typical blade can now be resharpened in 12min, compared with 50min before, while its automatic load/unload three-pallet loader system enables blades to be processed overnight.

The Rapide, supplied by Walter GB of Redditch, can handle blades of 80-850mm diameter, up to 12mm thick and with tooth pitches of 4-125mm. Grinding spindle drive is 1.1kW, producing spindle speeds of 3,000rpm and cutting speeds of 25m per second.

It is fitted with Walter Window Mode control software, featuring a programme package allowing operators to create programs for any tooth shape and combination of shapes.

NLS Tools has invested more than £500,000 in its sawing division during the past four years, including a laser cutting centre for making blade blanks and a robot-loaded production line. Total investment in all divisions has topped about £750,000 during the period.