Eliminate Welds by Forming Long Pieces
A company specializing in industrial machinery had a long, intricate, formed piece that they were forced to splice because they couldn’t bend anything longer than 10 ft long. This piece measured 14 ft x 1.5 ft x 1 ft, had many cut outs that required tolerances as tight as ± 0.010”, and 4 bends with a bend tolerance of ± ½⁰. The company wanted to take on more work and sales, but couldn’t find find qualified welders to handle the increase in work.
Additionally, speed was a priority for the company. They are producing many of their own parts today and needed to maintain a highly responsive supply chain to accomidate shifts in their production schedule and customer orders.
West Central Steel analyzed the part and determined the spliced part could be produced as one single part, eliminating the weld all together. The drawing file was provided and the part was programmed and cut out on a 6,000 Watt laser with an 80’ bed. This provided plenty of space to cut multiple parts in one nest and keep the part cost low. The part was inspected and met the tight tolerances.
Next, it was programmed on West Central Steel’s 1,100 Ton 30’ Press Brake. A test bend was done to adjust for any crowning that may occur due to the length of the piece and the part was formed. During each bend, the part was inspected along its entire length to ensure it was with in tolerances and adjustments were made as necessary. Once complete, the part was labeled and delivered the next day. From analyzing the part to shipping it, the complete process took only 1 week.
Eliminating welding on this part saved valuable welding time for the company, which allowed their welders to focus on higher value work. This more efficient part production process allowed the company to take on more orders and grow their sales, while at the same time maintaining their responsive supply chain. This was a win for their welders, sales and purchasing teams.