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CONTENTS

EXPRESS VOL. 2/10

FEATURE

8 Investing in what matters PORTRAIT

Creativity, productivity and teamwork are the foundation for success at a Chattanooga-based, woman-owned business.

8 12

TOPICS INTERVIEW

12 Family matters Although HitchDoc’s business has vastly expanded into contract manufacturing, they still find time for the motorcycle hitches that helped to launch their company. CUSTOMER FOCUS

14 A company comes home 14 24

Morton Industries went from being a locally-owned company to becoming part of a large investment group—then circled back. INTERNATIONAL REPORT

22 A promising economy Sheet metal fabrication is booming business in India—with a future that looks even brighter. FABRICATING

24 Sharing a secret 26 28

This entrepreneur does more than run his own successful fabrication business; he issues a call to action to his peers. PROFILE

26 On the upswing Doug Brown of Advanced Metal Components in Swainsboro, Georgia continues his father’s legacy of innovation.

STANDARDS Special FABTECH 2010 Starting on page 16

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03 04 28

TO THE POINT PANORAMA PERSONALITIES

30 30 31

STORIES IN SHEET METAL CREDITS CLOSING POINT


TO THE POINT

The manufacturing process is more than just nuts, bolts, gasses, and laser beams. The HMI or Human-Machine Interface has become simplified, and as our knowledge has evolved we have learned to harness technology to our advantage and better communicate with our machines. It’s the HMI that streamlines the operation by providing the link between a person and technology, allowing us to communicate with each other. TRUMPF is using technology in new ways to help operators communicate with our machines to ensure their smooth and efficient operation, and one example of this advanced HMI is found in TRUMPF’s TruLaser 1030, the innovative 2D laser-cutting system introduced last year. The TruLaser 1030 will once again be a highlight of the TRUMPF booth at FABTECH 2010—with new enhancements and variations that offer customers the power to choose what’s best for their business. TRUMPF differentiates itself in the industry with the TruLaser 1030, not only because of the machine’s incredible price, but also because of the technology used in its development that streamlines the HMI. The programming tool on the TruLaser 1030 is straightforward. Man versus technology. It’s a confl ict that has been a recurring theme, even playing out I experienced it myself last spring when I received a day’s training on on the big screen with Star Trek, Transformers and The Matrix. But the machine. It was time well spent because I came away with a firsttoday’s reality is man and technology, working together—not in hand appreciation for the TruLaser 1030’s ease of use, and enthusiasm for the possibilities this machine holds for our customers who operate opposition. In many ways, science fiction has become non-fiction. A cutting-edge, pioneering culture has always been associated with in diverse market segments in various parts of the world. This machine is one of the best examples in the industry of how leading TRUMPF; because of our commitment to innovation we are able to develop and manufacture machines that revolutionize the sheet metal edge technology helps sheet metal fabricators remain competitive in a challenging and ever changing economy. It is vitally important for fabricating industry—and society-at-large. For example, TRUMPF technology in the form of our 3D, TruDiode fabricators to recognize the importance and power of new inventions, and TruDisk series of lasers has played a key role in a competition that to carefully examine their options and to choose wisely when purchasing challenges teams to develop a prototype of a Space Elevator. This is an technology for the purpose of furthering their business goals. With enhanced HMI built into TRUMPF machines, and innovative initiative of the Spaceward Foundation and NASA, where teams build a bridge from earth to outer space by replacing rocket power with laser technological tools that include tele-diagnostics, trouble-shooting power. A little “far out” sounding? Yes. But is it likely to become a support via the web and webinars, the future has arrived. TRUMPF is utilizing technology to enhance ways operators and programmers reality? That’s a distinct possibility at some point in the future. While it’s exciting to be involved in projects that could have a communicate with our equipment, and to foster more effective tremendous impact on our world years from now, and to manufacture communication with our customers. Even if you’re not a fan of science fiction movies, you have to admit advanced equipment for industries that define today’s modern society— aerospace, automotive, appliance, and infrastructure—moving forward, that technology has permeated the soul of our industry—and in the best there is another area of technological advancement that impacts possible way. Technological innovations that we used to only dream about are now playing out on our own shop floors. TRUMPF’s customers. It involves communication. Rolf Biekert, President and CEO

Communicating with machines

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PANORAMA

TRUMPF’s showroom is reorganized.

Reorganize and remodel TRUMPF revamps Farmington showroom Earlier this year, the demo room floor of the Customer and Technology Center in Farmington underwent a substantial reorganization and remodeling in order to better showcase the current TRUMPF product line. Three additional machines have been added to the showroom floor as well as two brand new products. Now, visiting customers have the opportunity to have several machines demonstrated for them all under one roof, including three lasers, two punching machines and three press brakes. The ultimate goal was to effectively use the demo room space to ensure that a strong selection of machines with broad ranges of capabilities is available for demonstration. “I’m very happy with the

changes,” said Brian Welz, manager of the applications department. “The rearrangement gives the customer the opportunity to see their original machine of interest demonstrated, as well as other machines they might be interested in purchasing in the future.” The new floor plan was also designed to include recently introduced automation components which have become increasingly popular. New additions to the showroom floor include the new Lift Master Compact and the TruStore system for material storage. > Additional information: www.us.trumpf.com

Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, and a TRUMPF customer, has announced that they are now accepting entries into their 34th Annual SOURCE Awards national lighting design competition. The yearly competition attempts to promote the understanding, knowledge, and function of lighting as an important element of design and is open to all professional lighting designers who use Cooper Lighting fixtures. Students who are currently enrolled in applicable disciplines are also eligible for entry for judgment in a separate category. This year’s focus is on a creative use of fixtures in order to provide energy-efficient design solutions. The judges will be looking for a balance of aesthetics, creative achievement, and technical performances, as well as ensuring the projects meet certain constraints and standards. Award categories will include Winner, Honorable Mention, and Award of Recognition. There will be no minimum or maximum number of awards given. Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2011. The competition will be judged in February and winners will be announced in May. Professional winner(s) will receive $2,000, a crystal trophy, and local and national recognition, while student winner(s) will receive $1,500 in prize money and a crystal trophy. All winners will also receive an invitation to a lighting seminar at SOURCE, Cooper Lighting’s premier lighting education center located in Peachtree City, Georgia.

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Competitive spirit Energy efficiency at heart of Cooper’s competition

> Additional information: www.cooperlighting.com


PANORAMA

Contractor of the year Tyson fetes D&F for innovation, efficiency D&F Equipment of Crossville, Alabama, has been recognized for their outstanding performance working with Tyson Foods throughout this past year. They were honored with the title “Contractor of the Year” at an awards luncheon at Tyson World Headquarters. Tyson President & CEO Donnie Smith, COO Jim Lochner, and Group Vice President Hal Carper were all in attendance. The award was given based on D&F Equipment’s continuous improvement contributions, performance surveys, order fi ll rate, customer satisfaction, sales & technical support, ease of doing business, and diversity support efforts. “These are suppliers that actively seek innovation and ways to promote efficiency,” Hal Carper said. “Their support helps us in our efforts to provide consistently superior protein products and services to our customers.” D&F has been a supplier of Tyson Foods for many years, primarily performing millwright and fabrication for company facilities. They have also expanded services to Tyson by providing process engineering and parts fabrication.

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Media

D&F has been a supplier to Tyson for many years, and they utilize TRUMPF equipment to help meet the company’s needs for fabricated parts.

> Additional information: www.dfequip.com

“Find Us!” TRUMPF expands social media presence

Find TRUMPF online: Twitter: TRUMPFinc YouTube: TRUMPFINC Facebook: TRUMPF Inc. Website: www.us.trumpf.com

“Find us on Facebook” – a request you have probably heard a lot recently. But, what exactly is Facebook®? Facebook, the most utilized social networking site online, allows user-created pages, groups, and events to share web links, news stories, blog posts, photos, videos, and more. As of March 2010, it moved past Yahoo as the second most visited site online - only Google boasts more web traffic in the U.S. (www.compete.com)1 According to Facebook statistics, the site has over 400 million active users and 50% of these users log into the site daily. The result is a premier, ever evolving marketplace for ideas and information. TRUMPF Inc. on Facebook holds a variety of pictures, links to articles and videos, event listings and other updates regarding TRUMPF and the manufacturing community. With the page, TRUMPF expands its internet presence, making it easier for users to stay involved and connected. So, come “Find us on Facebook!” Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service

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PANORAMA

A magic number TRUMPF’s 100th TruLaser 1030 rolls off the assembly line TRUMPF is pleased to announce that the 100th TruLaser 1030 machine assembled at our production facility in Farmington, Conn. rolled off the line in mid-August, just nine months after the product “There was introduced. A revolution in laser cutting technology began last November at the is no other laser FABTECH 2009 trade show with the introduction of the TruLaser 1030. cutting machine like it on the This 2D cutting system is truly a marvel of innovation: designed and market,” says Stephan Bundschu, the lead produced entirely here in the United States, the 1030 boasts all of the engineer of the team that designed the TruLaser 1030. The ease of installation, operation, and incredible cost-effectiveness features of TRUMPF technology at an incredible price—opening the door of the TruLaser 1030 make it a machine that has the potential to change to new business opportunities for sheet metal fabricators of all sizes. While the machine is made and sold in the United States, it is being the sheet metal fabrication industry forever. sold and exported to countries as far away as India. > Additional information: www.us.trumpf.com

Cutting-edge cabin Rockwell Collins takes flight with Pegasus Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been chosen by Turkey’s most established private airline, Pegasus Airlines, to provide dPAVES in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems in over 30 of its Boeing 737NG planes. Tommy Dodson, vice president and general manager of Cabin Systems for Rockwell Collins believes that this will greatly enhance the experience of all Pegasus travelers. “With our IFE expertise, and our longstanding relationships with content creators and distributors, we can help Pegasus Airlines differentiate its cabin and provide premium entertainment to its passengers.” Rockwell Collins is an innovative company specializing in aviation electronic solutions, one of its particular fields of focus being cutting-edge cabin systems. dPAVES specifically is an impressive system, boasting a Broadcast Digital Server offering 160 gigabyte storage, integrated pre-recorded announcements and music functionality, and an embedded Airshow Moving Map – all in a single unit. > Additional information: www.rockwellcollins.com

TRUMPF announces regionalization of machine services TRUMPF has regionalized service of its installed machine base. With this regional approach, your local service engineer will be able to service your machine faster and at a lower cost. This will be accomplished through effective troubleshooting and the ability to arrive at your facility faster, reducing travel costs. TRUMPF has established five service regions. Each region has a designated service manager and a team of local service engineers that are committed to increasing the productivity of your TRUMPF machine. If you need assistance with your laser, press brake or punching machine, our regional service teams’ vast experience in customer service and competent knowledge of the entire TRUMPF product line will ensure your needs are readily addressed. If you require service support for your TRUMPF machine, please contact our in-house technical support team at (860) 678-8584.

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PANORAMA

SunView Ultra Bright display technology

Lighting the day Display Devices brightens things up, even in the sun SunView Ultra Bright display technology from Display Devices lights things up, even outdoors when the sun is shining brightly. The company’s remarkable displays already provide an astonishing 2800 cd/m2 light output, making them the brightest displays in the world. And now these displays, which are more than six times brighter than standard displays, are available in 32, 40, 46, 52, 57, 65”, and 70” sizes.

Places where you’ll see SunView Ultra Bright display technology include quickservice drive-thru operations, amusement parks, outdoor shopping centers, or any other location where dynamic outdoor digital signage is required. The displays also include an autodimming feature for nighttime viewing. Founded in 1989, Colorado-based Display Devices has carved a niche in the audio/ visual marketplace as the innovator of

specialty mounting solutions. Its extensive line of standard products—such as those manufactured using the TRUMPF TruPunch 2020—include motorized lift s, mounts and enclosures for projectors and flat panel displays, camera pan-tilt systems, wall plates, rack panels staging products, and more. > Additional information: www.displaydevices.com

TRUMPF’s 2010 distributor awards Hegman Machine Tool receives top honor

Team Hegman with TRUMPF’s vice president of sales and marketing, Burke Doar (far right).

TRUMPF Inc. presented 2010 awards of sales achievement to Icon Machine Tool, Inc. and Hegman Machine Tool, Inc. at their annual distributor meeting held July 28 at TRUMPF headquarters in Farmington, Conn. Hegman Machine Tool, Inc. (Maple Grove, MN) received the Outstanding Distributor Performance Award in recognition of the company’s exceptional performance in selling TRUMPF products during the past fiscal year. The Sustained Excellence Award was presented to Icon Machine Tool, Inc. (St. Louis, MO) in recognition of their consistent performance in selling TRUMPF products. The awards were presented to the distributors by Burke Doar, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, TRUMPF Inc. > Additional information: www.us.trumpf.com

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PORTRAIT

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Investing in what matters A Chattanooga-based job shop finds success through technology and values

It is 4:30 a.m. and Brenna Fairchild is already awake. Whether heading out for an early morning run, preparing to teach a sign language class, a Pilates class or the aerobic boot camp she leads – free of charge – for women in her community, there is plenty to do before heading to work at Engineered Mechanical Systems, the profitable job shop she owns and operates with her husband, Mark Fairchild, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “While most people cringe when they think of working with their spouse, we have enjoyed it,” says Brenna. ”He’s my best friend.” Although, jokingly, she suggests that working on opposite ends of the building helps, Brenna points to their team-oriented partnership as a key to their success. “My education and training is on the financial end while he has the fabrication background. Together, we have a good balance which has been important as we develop plans for the future of the company.” When Engineered Mechanical Systems was established in 1990, there were just three employees: Mark, his brother, Kevin Fairchild, and “the Mayor” the witty nickname Mark has given their long-reigning employee. At that point, “With no machining capabilities, we did any job we could get our hands on and focused on providing quality work in a timely manner.” Customer focused As EMS matured, Brenna and Mark recognized manufacturers increasingly looked to streamline– relying on job shops to perform quality work at a reasonable price. To be competitive, especially in the United States, the focus needed to be on new technology and increased automation. “We know companies who won’t invest in new equipment and technology go out of business,” says Mark. We believe the investment is necessary to make us more efficient, bringing us where we can compete.” “We turn all our profits back into the business to keep up with technology and the needs of our customers or future customers. Five years ago, mechanical contracting was a core service for Engineered Mechanical Systems,” he explains. “Today, it is one of many services, such as CNC machining, laser cutting, robotic welding, custom fabrication including design build, prototyping, and assembly, offered by the company. Each additional tool has opened new doors for success. Basically, if it’s made of metal, we can build it”. Investing in technology over the last 20 years has allowed EMS to remain competitive. It has also led to three lasers and three press brakes from TRUMPF. “Over the years, TRUMPF has made so many leaps and bounds; constantly improving their machines and investing in R&D.” Each purchase has been based on research as well as experience, as Mark has worked with TRUMPF equipment since 1994. “While the initial investment may be a little higher, > Express Vol. 2/10

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PORTRAIT

”We believe the investment is necessary to make us more efficient, bringing us where we can compete.” 10 Express Vol. 2/10

moneywise, TRUMPF machines are more reliable and come with the best service. In my opinion, they are hands down the best choice.” So while many companies have struggled in a tough economy, EMS found they were “busting out the seams” and needed an expansion. Mark explains, “With so many capabilities under one roof, we are not reliant on one industry. Whether providing services for the power, food, automotive, or defense industry, we are not a production shop; we are a job shop – with the difficult task of serving all industries. We have to have the right equipment in place to be competitive and be ready to move on a dime – producing parts both timely and economically.” With the installation of their new TruLaser 2030 with load and unload capabilities, EMS plans to run their newest laser machine around the clock. “The days of job shops working parts by hand are over. We can provide manufacturing and installation more economically than other companies still processing parts by hand – and I think that capability will become increasingly more important in the future,” says Mark. “Companies who have material handling capabilities and robotics will be the ones that are busy and survive.” And, since manufacturers rely on receiving parts “justin-time”, Mark sees this as an opportunity to build a positive reputation. “If you have the technology to perform a job quickly, and can meet a difficult deadline, you are in high demand.” This positive reputation has grown with Engineered Mechanical Systems’ recent distinction as a certified women’s business enterprise as recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which


has allowed Brenna to network with other well-established women while broadening their customer base. Brenna explains, “The WBENC distinction is very difficult to achieve. Held to a high standard, the selection process is rigorous because the companies also represent the organization.” Family focused Constantly striving for excellence, Mark stresses that a facility full of equipment is not enough. It is also essential to have qualified and supportive people behind it. “You must invest in the technology but also have good, well-trained people to operate the machines. They, too, are excited by the technological changes and in their increased efficiency and accuracy. Many of our long-term employees, especially, have been crosstrained. And, as the company grows, they become increasingly more valuable.” The couple explain that they try to run their business as a family, crediting a low employee turnover rate to the strong sense of security a family-like atmosphere creates. Although the original “family of three” has become a much larger “family of forty-seven” this supportive environment is evident in that most employees have served the company for 10 years or more. While a dedication to technology and a strong family atmosphere has kept Engineered Mechanical Systems competitive, Brenna and Mark consider their devotion to their faith as fundamental to their success. They quote a verse from the Bible, Philippians 4:13, as a credit to the source of their strength and the success of the company, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” They believe that by operating with faith at their core, their company has been successful over the last 20 years.

Engineered Mechanical Systems Who:

Engineered Mechanical Systems, Chattanooga, TN, Established in 1990. www.engineeredmechanicalsystems.com

What: Sheet metal fabricator and manufacturer that serves several and diverse industries. How:

TruBend 5170, TruBend 5085, TruBend 3120, TruLaser 3030 (2), TruLaser 2030

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Family matters Creativity, commitment to family all part of HitchDoc’s culture

N

ot only do the father and son team who run HitchDoc have a vision of their own, but they have earned a reputation for helping their customers realize their own visions. Located in Jackson, Minnesota, HitchDoc is a manufacturer of consumer and industrial products. In addition to hitches for motorcycles, HitchDoc creates large and small parts for industries that include agriculture, construction, recreation, aviation, energy, turf, and construction. Chad oversees sales, marketing and customer relations, while his father, Brad, spends his time looking at the company’s big picture. Chad recently took some time out of his busy day to discuss his family’s business. What is it like to work with your father? It is a very good relationship. I know what he’s doing, and he knows what I’m doing, sometimes without even discussing it. Th is business has been in my blood since my early teenage years, so it seems pretty easy to be on the same page as my father.

Brad Mohns, along with his son Chad, keeps things family-oriented at HitchDoc. 12 Express Vol. 2/10

You and your father have earned a reputation for being “prototype troubleshooters extraordinaire.” Can you tell me how you came by such an honor? We have literally taken many ideas from napkin drawings or extreme concepts, and developed them into successful, end products not only for ourselves but for many customers. Sometimes we are the third, fourth, fift h, or even sixth company that a customer has worked with


INTERVIEW

when trying to develop a product. They always find that HitchDoc is the last stop they need to get their idea off the ground and from concept to market time. This is a big advantage we have over our overseas competition. Whose idea was it to start HitchDoc in the early 1980s to build motorcycle trailer hitches? My Dad made a motorcycle hitch for his first Harley Davidson in 1989. He had a hitch on order for weeks and when it fi nally arrived he thought the hitch did not blend well with the new Harley. One evening, after a hard day of working on the farm, my Dad and Grandpa started measuring and designing the fi rst hitch. It wasn’t made with any sort of technology, but with “old school” sweat and a good vision. And the timing of the Sturgis 50th anniversary motorcycle rally that same summer couldn’t have been any better. The ball was rolling. Describe the early days of the business and how HitchDoc began to grow. Because of unforeseen issues with getting his parts/protos turned around fast enough, Dad had some trouble keeping up with demand in the early years. With his hunger for keeping the business growing, but with his limited funds, he began looking into building his own CNC plasma machine. Six months later he was ordering ¼” and 3/8” sheets from which he cut his hitch parts. Once word got out about Dad’s machine, the contract manufacturing side of the business really took off. It wasn’t in the plans, but it was another spur in direction that helped keep the shop busy during the off-season of hitches. In fact, contract manufacturing is now the largest side of our business, bringing in more than 80 percent of the total revenue. It really started to take shape in the mid/late-1990s. Our customers pushed us to become a more value-added shop. Suddenly, it wasn’t as easy as simply cutting plasma parts. We kept evolving to a facility that became a place where all of our customers’ needs were met with the least amount of anxiety involved. It’s really as simple as “they call, we deliver”. How do you continue to keep up with the hitch side of the business when you are so busy with contract manufacturing clients? Every year we come out with new hitches to keep up with the motorcycle industry. We have engineers that take pride in keeping up the HitchDoc name with the best hitches in the industry. We continue to make hitches that add to the design of the bike. Interestingly, many of our customers tell us that our hitches are too pretty to pull a trailer. It’s something we like to hear; we keep aesthetics in mind, along with practicality and durability, when a hitch is in the concept stage.

equipment and employees busy, we purchased another company, invested in research and development of new products and added marketing and sales people. We came through 2009 with a great plan and were able to execute it very well. The new snow blower we made is virtually made with very little fi xturing. We designed it in-house and used the laser “notching and tabbing” philosophy—which works great to help keep your product quality at a very high level. Even though things were a little tougher in 2009, we spent a lot of time working with contract customers, as well. We all knew the hard times wouldn’t last and kept working hard at developing relationships and proving that we could and would be great suppliers to anyone that became a new account. When the times toughen up, that’s not a good time for a company to back down on effort. What’s it like to work at HitchDoc? We currently have 70 employees and are expecting for this number to grow within the next four to six months. HitchDoc is a family environment. In fact, we have just come from our company campout. We used to have an annual company picnic, but as the years have gone by it has turned into a weekend company-wide campout. Our employees also recognize they have a great opportunity in a fast-growing business. And we recognize the importance of a great group of people who are working toward a common goal. It’s fun to show up to work every day. Everyone covers each others’ back in a time of need. What does the future look like for HitchDoc? There are many possibilities for HitchDoc’s future. Our vision will keep us growing for many years to come. We will keep looking for needs and niches in the marketplace, and we will keep abreast of new technology that will keep us on the cutting edge.

HitchDoc Who:

It seems that almost every company has experienced a shift in the way they conduct business. Has this been the case at HitchDoc? During the 2009 downturn, a good portion of our contract manufacturing customers pulled in their reins. We quickly became heavy on fabrication capacity and employees. In order to keep the

HitchDoc, Jackson, MN, Established in the early 1980s. www.hitchdoc.com

What: Manufacturer/job shop that makes consumer and industrial products, and trailer hitches for motorcycles. How:

TruLaser 5030 (3), TruLaser 3040 (2), TruBend V200

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CUSTOMER FOCUS

A company comes home Morton Industries grows a large patch of business

Morton, Illinois is renowned for its pumpkins. The orange, gourd-like squash are omnipresent in this small village outside of Peoria. They’re even the focus of an annual festival every September. Quite a bit of folklore surrounds these fruits (which are often mistakenly called vegetables), including a belief that pumpkins herald important new beginnings. So it seems fitting that the former Morton Welding, now Morton Industries, a long-time manufacturer in the region since 1946, has been experiencing an important—and somewhat incredible—new beginning of its own these past two years. Midwest know-how When Morton Welding launched, it was a small repair shop for farm implements and metal fabrications. The young company’s initial goal was to provide a service to area farmers and businesses.

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Today, Morton Industries is a leading, highquality manufacturer of tube assemblies and laser cut and machined components. The company has 450 employees and annual sales of more than $60 million. Morton Industries services the agricultural, mining, construction, on/off highway, and aftermarket industries, producing everything from prototype parts to high volume orders. The company processes more than three million feet of tubing in an average year. Its impressive customer base includes names such as Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co., Allison Transmission, and Road Armor, which is the world’s leading bumper manufacturer. Chances are you’ve seen Morton Industries’ handiwork in the bumpers of pick-up trucks such as the Ford F150 and the Dodge Ram. In addition to carbon-stainless steel tubing, the company also works with exotic, noncorrosive metals (the kind that can present a challenge to fabricators), particularly in projects


commissioned by the U.S. Navy. These materials include copper, nickel, brass, and alloy. Staying strong Morton Industries has been through many changes these past 24 months. And nobody knows more about this than Christopher Ober, the company’s president. As he explains it, Morton Industries acquired an almost super herolike power to bend steel overnight. “We had never bent a piece of sheet metal before 2009,” said Chris. “First we brought in a flat-bed laser and a press brake, a TruLaser 3030 and a TruBend 3066. And today, just one year later, Morton Industries has five TRUMPF machines, a line-up that includes not only a flat-bed laser cutting system and press brakes, but also a laser for 3D cutting as well as a tube laser.

Chris Ober, president of Morton Industries, found himself on both sides of the fence as buyer and seller of the company.

A community’s company The company’s rapid acquisition of laser and bending power is certainly significant, but there’s another part to this story. In 2004, Morton Welding was acquired by a private equity firm, which then merged it into a large group of diverse companies. After more than half a century of being rooted in the region like those ubiquitous pumpkins, Morton Welding was now being guided by outside forces. So when word went out in June of last year that the parent company wanted to “shop” Morton Welding, a small group of local investors seized the opportunity to recapture it. “It is such a jewel in the community,” said Chris. Buying and selling It was during that sales transaction that Chris found himself in the unique— “Tubing is very corrosive,” he explained, which makes it difficult and unenviable—position of buyer and seller. He actually helped negotiate the sale of the company to the local investors that purchased it, a group to to successfully transport over water via cargo ship. Morton Industries runs three shifts these days, an achievement that which he belonged, while working as an employee for the seller. After the transaction was complete, Morton Welding was renamed Morton Industries Chris and Robb attribute in large part to their TRUMPF equipment, including the recently-acquired TRUMPF TruLaser Tube 5000, an to reflect the company’s broadening manufacturing capabilities. advanced 4-axis system for high-volume laser cutting of multi“I didn’t get a lot of sleep during that time,” Chris admitted. profile tubes and pipes. The TruLaser Tube 5000 eliminates the need And there were some other sleepless nights, too. Just as many other manufacturers have had to do, Morton was forced for multiple machine tools for traditional drilling, punching, milling, to downsize its staff. But the business is now experiencing a true rebound. sawing, deburring, and other tube finishing applications. These days, Morton isn’t just a solid, very successful operation. “Customers are coming back, and new customers are coming in,” said Chris. Morton Industries’ Robb Herbig, who cut his teeth on the shop floor It’s a solid, very successful and locally-owned company. It’s a safe and worked his way up to the executive level, noted that customer bet that Chris Ober has been able to breathe a bit easier. Who knows? requirements have changed from a focus on quantity, to quality and Maybe this year he’ll even be able to spare a few moments to visit delivery requirements. “There are zero defects and no tolerance for late Morton’s annual pumpkin festival. deliveries,” he explained. “Lower lot sizes have increased the need for quick changeover equipment Morton Industries and tooling, and there is the constant pressure with price.” Who: Morton Industries, Morton, IL, Established in 1946. When many manufacturers are losing business to overseas competitors, www.mortonwelding.com one thing that has served Morton Industries well during the recession is the company’s expertise in tube fabrication. What: Manufactures tube assemblies, fabrications, laser cut and “That separates us,” said Chris. machined components Because of Morton’s 3D laser cutting capabilities, the company was able How: TruBend 5130, TruBend 3066, TruLaser Tube 5000. TruLaser 3030, to secure a $3 million deal for work—tube work—that was initially slated TLC 1000, TruTops software to go to a manufacturer outside of the United States. Express 2/10

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SPECIAL TRUMPF at FABTECH 2010

The Power of Choice. Despite what some may claim, there is no “one size fits all“ in the world of fabricating equipment and industrial lasers. Not every fabricator is the same nor do they have the same requirements and applications. At FABTECH 2010 to be held November 2-4 in Atlanta, Georgia, TRUMPF will feature products that offer fabricators choices in cutting edge technology – choices that empower them to select machines and options that best match their individual preferences and business requirements. 16 Express Vol. 2/10


FABTECH 2010 SPECIAL

2D Laser Cutting Systems: The Power to Choose TRUMPF now gives fabricators more options than ever for laser cutting with the TruLaser 1030 and the TruLaser 3030.

■ TruLaser 1030 TRUMPF’s newest 2D laser cutting system has revolutionized the sheet metal fabricating industry in its first year on the market. Initially available with 2.0 kW of laser power delivered by the TRUMPF TruCoax 2000 diff usion cooled RF laser resonator, the TruLaser 1030 line is being expanded to include the TruLaser 1030 with TruCoax 2500, featuring 2.5 kW of power, and the TruLaser 1030 fiber with TruDisk 2001 solidstate laser. In addition to 25% more laser power, the TruLaser 1030 with TruCoax 2500 features a new style, solidstate RF generator integrated in the machine cabinet which replaces the tube generator in the original model. The higher laser power results in cutting speed increases that average 20% and the new RF generator reduces maintenance costs. For those customers who prefer a solid-state laser option, the TruLaser 1030 is also available with the TruDisk 2001 laser. With 2kW of laser power, the TruLaser 1030 fiber has specific application when cutting thin gauge sheet metal and reflective materials.

J TruLaser 1030

■ TruLaser 3030 With its single cutting head strategy, now available with up to 6 kW of laser power and Rotolas tube processing capability, the TruLaser 3030 sets the standard for the future with features that further increase productivity and flexibility when cutting sheet thicknesses up to 1 inch. The FastLine process, now a standard feature, generates a flow transition between the piercing and cutting processes, which reduces processing times by an average of 20 percent in thin sheet. The result of the innovative technology found in the TruLaser 3030 is that a greater number of parts can now be cut in the same amount of time as before. In addition, the power usage per part is reduced making the TruLaser 3030 an excellent example of energy-efficient productivity. The TruFlow laser also contributes to the machine’s energy efficiency. When it is not cutting, the laser switches to an optimized standby mode until it is needed again. This leads to an energy savings of more than 10 kW as soon as the machine is not in cutting mode. Flexibility is inherent in this machine. The pallet changer can be configured in either a longitudinal or in a transverse fashion, making the best use of space available on the shop floor. J TruLaser 3030

Express Vol. 2/10

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SPECIAL FABTECH 2010

J TruPunch 3000

J TruMark Station 5000

TruPunch 3000: TRUMPF’s Newest Punching Machine

TruMark Laser Marking Systems: Versatility, Speed and Precision

The TruPunch 3000 is available in either 4’ x 8’ or 5’ x 8’

With high quality laser marking systems equipped

format. Its small footprint, universal automation concept

with every available type of marking laser: YAG, vanadate

and skeleton-free processing put the power of choice in

and fiber, TRUMPF has the right laser for your application.

customers’ hands.

■ TruPunch 3000 The machine is equipped with electric punching head technology which averages electrical consumption of about 5 kW. This makes the machine very energy efficient. The TruPunch 3000 is the world’s first punching machine with skeleton-free processing capability. This results in an average of 10% higher material utilization as well as additional process reliability. Part sorting or tabbing are available, and the machine also features scratch-free small part sorting with the parts flap or scrap sorting unit.

■ TruMark 3130 / TruMark Station 5000 With high pulse frequencies, unmatched pulse-to-pulse stability and a low heat affected zone, TRUMPF’s TruMark 3130 marking laser makes high precision marks on a variety of materials. Material ablation is a key application for the TruMark 3130. In particular, this laser is used extensively for day/night marking in industries such as automotive manufacturing. The TruMark 3130 has an ultra-compact design of laser head and workstation (19” rack compatible). It is air-cooled and has an easy-to-disconnect hybrid cable on the laser head, internal defocusing to adjust the working distance without external mechanical movement and tele-diagnostics making it a champion for easy integration and industrial manufacturing. At FABTECH, the TruMark 3130 will be housed in a TruMark Station 5000 which can be equipped with a xy-table for maximum productivity in marking large parts or entire trays of parts.

18 Express Vol. 2/10


FABTECH 2010 SPECIAL

TruBend Series 5000 and 7000: More Options, Greater Flexibility TRUMPF provides innovative, industry-leading products to address any bending requirement. Fabricating solutions are found in our hydraulic and electric press brakes.

â– TruBend Series 5000 Available with a press force ranging from 55 to 353 tons and two six axis back gauge solutions, the press brakes of this series feature a hydraulic system for precise bending of a wide variety of parts in various sizes and material thicknesses. Bending is simplified with ACB (Automatically Controlled Bending) which ensures first part accuracy, minimizing downtime and reducing scrap. The series is equipped with a visual setup and positioning aid comprised of an LED light bar integrated in the cover of the upper tool clamp. During tool setup the visual setup aid indicates the positions where the bending tools should be loaded. The operator inserts the tools at the location of the LED lights rather than having to read the setup sheet and then locate the tools according to the scale on the machine. Productivity during the bending process is further increased by the visual positioning aid. It clearly identifies the next bend location, eliminating mistakes and constant reference to the control or setup sheet. J TruBend 5130

â– TruBend Series 7000 The TruBend 7018 and TruBend 7036 are electric press brakes that offer high speed bending of smaller parts from thinner materials and feature ergonomically-correct conditions for the operator. The TruBend Series 7000 are compact machines that offer a high-quality, efficient solution for the production of small bent parts up to 40 inches. Typical applications include sheet metal parts used in the production of vending machines and electrical equipment as well as in the telecommunications and aerospace industries. Optimum working conditions and user-friendly operating elements are integrated into the machine design. The operator can control the machine while sitting down and work without becoming fatigued, which helps ensure the quantity and quality of the fabricated parts. Foot and arm rests can be adjusted so that every operator can set up his or her workplace individually. Optional TRUMPF LED lighting illuminates the area in front of and behind the beam, ensuring correct lighting conditions precisely at the bend, without heat radiation. J TruBend 7036

Express Vol. 2/10

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SPECIAL FABTECH 2010

J TruDiode Series

J TruTops Software

TruTops Software: Machine Intelligence TRUMPF Industrial Lasers: The Right Laser for Your Application Experience shows that diverse applications require different laser technologies. Therefore, TRUMPF offers a diverse industrial laser portfolio that includes CO2, Nd:YAG, fiber, disk, direct diode and more, to ensure you get the laser that best fits your needs.

■ TruDiode Series: High Beam Quality Low Operating Costs TRUMPF’s direct diode lasers are available with output powers of 800, 1000, 2000 and 3000 watts for welding, brazing, hardening and heat treatment. These industrial grade direct diode lasers possess a beam quality comparable to that of lamp-pumped lasers – even at high output power – at significantly lower operating costs. These lasers feature high wall plug efficiency which can reach up to 40 percent and in a three-shift operation, for example, the variable costs can be up to 95 percent lower than lamp-pumped lasers. Likewise, the passively cooled diodes ensure a long life for the TruDiode beam sources. Thanks to their modular design, the diode lasers can be easily integrated into existing production systems. In addition, the highly flexible TruDiode supports onsite field upgrades. 20 Express Vol. 2/10

With TRUMPF software products you benefit from ideal interaction between machine, control system, and production software – because nobody knows TRUMPF machines and technology as well as we do.

■ TruTops Software: TRUMPF soft ware products and solutions provide ideal support for all of your sheet metal processing needs. In addition to solutions for sheet metal design, programming systems and proposals for complete production control, we offer custom products to match your specific requirements. Design Software With numerous functions geared toward sheet metal processing, TRUMPF design soft ware is a time-saver. Integration of TRUMPF bending factors ensures precise production and the modular principle results can be adapted to your needs. It also coordinates perfectly with TruTops programming systems. Programming Systems The perfect mix of productivity and process reliability gives you complete control of part processing. It features a seamless, modern operating concept focused on ergonomics and efficiency. Programming systems are integrated into the total TRUMPF concept from design to production planning. Production Control With TRUMPF production control soft ware you have a constant overview of your production situation enabling quick response to interruptions. Production sequences and processes are optimized which assists in controlling costs.


FABTECH 2010 SPECIAL

Portable Power Tools: Put the right choice in your hand Over 75 years of experience in designing rugged and precise portable power tools for the HVAC, metal shop, construction and other related industries.

■ Shears/Double Cut Shears A complete line of shears ideal for cutting jobs where material loss through chips must be avoided.

■ Nibblers TRUMPF Nibblers are easy to guide and cut distortion-free through a variety of thin and thick (0.375 in. in mild steel) materials including stainless steel and aluminum.

■ Fasteners/Seam Lockers Facilitate production of standing and angular seams at tight angles, as well as closing Pittsburgh Seams.

■ Bevellers Provide clean, accurate edges that help guarantee good weld quality. TRUMPF bevellers can start a bevel at any point with no structural damage to the material.

■ Chamfer/Deburr TRUMPF chamfering and deburring machines create cuts with excellent surface quality – important for large visible welded edges.

■ Slat Cleaner Removes slag build-up on support slats without interrupting production. It is a simple and cost-efficient alternative to manual slag removal or complete slat replacement.

J N 700-2 Nibbler

FABTECH 2010 Express Vol. 2/10

21


INTERNATIONAL REPORT

A promising economy India offers opportunities for sheet metal fabricators

Many foreign companies are hoping to claim a good starting position in one of the world’s largest growth markets. They are f locking to the subcontinent, having invested more than $30 billion U.S. dollars in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. At an average growth rate of about 9 percent, India is on the road to transform itself into a powerhouse of the global economy. The local economy felt the effects of the global financial crisis for only a short period of time and once again is expanding at a rate of 8 percent. By the middle of this century the country will have climbed to become the third largest economic power. Opportunity is everywhere “In this vibrant business environment sheet metal fabrication has become a booming industrial sector and the need for high-quality sheet metal products is enormous,” reports Rajendra Kothari, Managing Director at Crish Metal Works.

22 Express Vol. 2/10


”In this vibrant business environment sheet metal fabrication has become a booming industrial sector.” His sheet metal fabrication operation serves numerous industries, and his customer list reads like a Who’s Who of Indian industry. Awards for outstanding business achievements grace his office. “Our prime selling point is our machinery. With that we were able to achieve significant growth, even in the crisis years 2008 and 2009.” His plans for grow th appear to be thoroughly realistic in view of the country’s booming industries with their ravenous hunger for sheet metal components. The automotive market is just one example: India is already the fourth largest producer of automobiles and boasts a rapidly growing export share. The Indian Tata Group has sparked an international sensation with its low-priced Nano model. Major manufacturers like Toyota and Honda manufacture here. Volkswagen, in conjunction with Suzuki, intends to grab a piece of the pie. Ship and aircraft construction, civil engineering, heating and climate control, and power generating technologies are driving steel consumption upward. The Indian Government is also planning to invest in the country’s infrastructure. A growing middle class, now numbering about 300 million, has also developed a great appetite for consumer and luxury goods. These are all grand prospects for job shops like Crish Metal Works. A high-tech success But sheet metal fabricators serving a specific industry have also been dealt a good hand. It was in 2008 that Taikisha Engineering set up its own sheet metal fabrication facility at the edge of the industrial center of Pune, just three hours from Mumbai. It was only in mid-2008 that this Japanese-Indian joint venture — specializing in the engineering and manufacture of turnkey, robot-equipped painting lines, command and control units, and monitoring systems for the automotive industry — put its own

sheet metal manufacturing operations into service. Before, all the sheet metal components had been bought in. “The quality standard at Indian job shops is rising but in many cases it has not yet reached the level we’d like to see,” explained Vice President H. N. Makwana. His father, N. A. Makwana, who manages Taikisha Engineering India, explained the strategic background: “We want to apply our vehicle engineering know-how in other grow th industries in India — such as railway rolling stock, aviation engineering and subway construction. Taikisha India holds to international production standards when manufacturing painting systems and has become certif ied for these target sectors. To let us guarantee top quality to our customers, we are now manufacturing all the sheet metal parts ourselves.” The plant does not only produce sheet metal components for systems destined for the Indian market. It has also positioned itself as an international supplier within the global Taikisha Corporation. Idle capacities are used for job shop orders. Names notwithstanding Taikisha Engineering makes sheet metal components on a punch press and a six kilowatt laser cutting unit, both from TRUMPF. At the end of 2009 the firm also decided on a press brake. One of the mandatory requirements for Factory Manager Sachin Kshirsagar was that the machine vendor be on site with its own local service center. “In many respects we depend upon the manufacturer’s support and are thoroughly satisfied with the service rendered by TRUMPF India.” Company patriarch N. A. Makwana explains his vision for the Indian economy: “With the objective of satisfying world quality standards at the best possible prices, India will soon move into the front ranks among global players in engineering services and equipment construction.”

The management team at Taikisha Engineering India: N.A. Makwana, A.S. Prabhu, Sachin S. Kshirsagar and H.N. Makwana (left photo) along with Rajendra Kothari, CEO at Crish Metal Works, a job shop serving many industries (right photo).

Express Vol. 2/10

23


FABRICATING

Sharing a secret

Marlin Steel Wire’s acquisition of a TRUMPF TruPunch 2020 was possible because of Bonus Depreciation, a tax incentive from the federal government.

Entrepreneurial spirits keep Marlin Steel Wire strong

Drew Greenblatt borrowed enough money from his father to buy a lawn mower, and he hung out a shingle when he was only 11 years old. “I cut 15 to 20 lawns,” he recalled. “I was pretty industrious for a kid.” That he was. And still is. Today, Drew Greenblatt has three sons of his own and a manufacturing company that exports to 30 countries that include China, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, Israel, Belgium, and the U.K. His Baltimorebased business, Marlin Steel Wire Products, is a 42-year-old enterprise that manufactures wire baskets, wire forms and precision sheet metal fabricated parts. Baskets from Marlin Steel Wire are everywhere, from biotech companies like Baxter and Roche to manufacturers like Boeing and Toyota, all the way to retailers like Macy’s. TRUMPF uses baskets from Marlin at its Farmington, Conn. headquarters. The company was purchased by Drew in 1998. As president and majority shareholder, he has more than sextupled sales, even in the face of formidable obstacles—such as a recession and a move out of Brooklyn, where space was tight and electricity was uncertain. 24 Express Vol. 2/10

Marlin Steel Wire’s “secret” is the company’s investment in technology that enables the firm to dramatically tighten tolerances and quickly meet delivery requirements—wherever in the world a customer is located. Drew attributes such swift delivery to his company’s five wire-bending robots and a TRUMPF TruPunch 2020 with automation. The acquisition of this equipment was made possible by Bonus Depreciation, a tax incentive from the federal government that allows a business to recover the cost of capital expenditures faster than an ordinary depreciation schedule would allow. All of this new equipment, purchased during the past four years, has paved the way for new business. In fact, Marlin Steel Wire is seeing projects come through its doors that used to go offshore. A company that had been buying wire baskets and wire hooks from China for more than a decade contacted Marlin because of problems they were having with a sheet metal vendor’s quality and delays. “That opportunity pushed us to get the TRUMPF machine,” he said. “Last week we ran 57 sheets for this customer and unloaded 16,000


Drew Greenblatt successfully navigates his company through rough economic waters.

parts from the TRUMPF machine and then shipped to Chicago. Those were parts that used to be fabricated in Chinaa and are now made in Baltimore.” Business sense and cents For Drew Greenblatt, the secret to success ss is well-organized business practices and solutions. One example of efficiency in action on starts at the desk of each of the company’s 28 employees. “Every employee has an email address,” explained Drew. And everyone also has two, 30-inch computer monitors. After all, as he pointed out, the 15-17-inch screens offer limited viewing. While employees are reading something, such as a customer order, on one monitor, they can check their email on the second one. With just a single computer screen you would spend four to five seconds toggling screens back and forth. “This is where my value added is found,” he said, referring to the time savings—which can multiply seconds into hours. And when it comes to developing the best solutions for customers, Drew explained that an impressive 20 percent of Marlin’s employees are engineers. “This enables us to develop elegant ideas on the front end. We come up with innovative designs for our customers so they have tools that move product faster and with less damage from internal handling, and of course less scrap. All of this keeps their total cost of acquisition down. ”

Still, “Not enough of us told them what was going on before,” Drew s said. “We have to tell them how incensed we aare now. If we all carve out a little time to talk to the legislators le and administrators, then it’s not so burdensome. burde ”

A call to action Opening just one new factory fa has a ripple effect that involves truck drivers, restaurant owners, paper suppliers, and a myriad of other service providers, he emphasized. “This country should focus like a laser beam on creating a culture of manufacturing. The best jobs out there for most people are manufacturing jobs,” he explained, citing benefits in the form of good pay and health care. Marlin’s president encourages his fellow small business owners to phone and e-mail legislators, and to get them to visit their factories. “I think the American economy is going to come back and be strong,” he predicted. After all, he said, “In the 80s, everyone was dejected because Japan ruled the world; they bought Rockefeller Center.” In the 90s, he recalled, it was Mexico and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) causing manufacturers to give pause. “The last 10 years, it’s been China.” In other words, it’s always something. But like anything worth saving, the process of reinventing the U.S. manufacturing industry will require much effort. In the words of Marlin Steel Wire’s captain: “It’s not pretty, and it’s not going to be easy.” Because the U.S. is competing with China and Mexico, “We have to be A manufacturer’s manufacturer Before Marlin Steel Wire Products there was Lifewatch, which specialized the most productive people in the world.” in commercial and residential security systems. Drew sold that company Drew, who became a soccer coach when his middle son showed back in 1995—for five-and-a-half times its purchase price. an interest in the sport, encourages manufacturers to take a page If you’re noticing a pattern, you’ve picked up on the obvious. Drew from his business playbook. “Spend more money on the innovative Greenblatt is not just a manufacturer; he is a manufacturer who has the soul side of your business. Invest heavily in state-of-the-art technology of an entrepreneur. And he has the entire matter of U.S. manufacturing— so you can be competitive.” and entrepreneurship in this country—at the top of his mind. Most important, he advised, is to “invest in smart people Drew is on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers who come up with creative ideas. This is the linchpin for turning (NAM), the Chairman of the Board of the Regional Manufacturing things around.” Institute and is a past-president and current board member of the Wire Fabricators Association. Poised atop such a perch, the president of Marlin Steel Wire has a Marlin Steel Wire bird’s eye view of industry goings on. And what he sees are small business Who: Marlin Steel Wire, Baltimore, MD, Established in 1998. owners besieged by the taxman at the same time they are wrapped up in www.marlinwire.com the day-to-day operations of their company. Their life is consumed with meeting payroll and other obligations that What: Designs, fixtures, welds and bends wire baskets and hooks. define the role of an entrepreneur, which doesn’t leave much time for How: TruPunch 2020 with SheetMaster Compact advocacy work. Express Vol. 2/10

25


PROFILE

On the upswing Advanced Metal Components swims out of some rough waters

Well before he enrolled at Georgia Tech, Doug Brown had always planned to return home to work in the family business. But a plane crash one day in 1995 meant that Doug would join and eventually lead the company without his father. “He was really coming into his own,” Doug said, as he spoke of the timing of the accident that took his father’s life. A business major, Doug earned his degree a few years later in 1998, and then he began working at the company his father started in South Georgia, Advanced Metal Components, which is located in Swainsboro. Doug’s parents, Richard and Regina Brown, founded Manufacturing Services, Inc. in 1977, about six years after Richard, an engineer, graduated from Georgia Tech. Prior to striking out on his own, Richard worked for his uncle manufacturing blades and spare parts for lawn mowers.

Doug Brown thrives on the challenges associated with running a business. ExpressVol. Vol.2/10 2/10 26 26 Express

Building a business “My father took out a second mortgage on the house for $15,000 to start the business,” said Doug. “It was really hard for my parents in the early days.” Manufacturing Services opened for business with two punch presses, one 3-foot shear, one 6-foot brake, and a surface grinder. In 1981 the company embarked on an ambitious plan to acquire state-of-the-art fabricating equipment. The company continued to grow steadily and moved into a 60,000 square foot industrial facility in 1989 and changed the business name to Advanced Metal Components, Inc. Today, AMC is housed in a 127,000 square foot facility and supplies contract manufacturing services to businesses in the industrial equipment, medical, refrigeration, recreation, mass transit, and telecommunications industries.


”We’ve rebounded to pre-recession levels, and positioned ourselves for more growth in the future.” After Richard’s death, the company was operated by a very competent management team that was already in place. “The company had a lot of talent and great momentum,” said Doug, who started his career at AMC in 1988, just after completing the 7th grade. “I painted the bathrooms, cleaned up, and had the privilege of stripping the paint off of a very old punch press,” he said. “I worked at AMC every summer after that, eventually learning all of the processes.” Yesterday’s ambitious 7th grader is now leading the company. “I definitely enjoy the feeling of running a business. You control your own destiny,” he explained, and added with a laugh that he “never did like taking instructions from people.” However, running your own operation is not always glamorous. Ever since 2001, “Business has been tough,” he said. “Our sales hit a plateau and we never really made it over the hump.” Until recently, that is.

The recent growth is the result of AMC’s strategic initiative to secure additional business as far back as 2006. In 2008 the company landed a very large contract, but then they had to wait out the recession to see the increase in sales. If he could offer advice to other small business owners, Doug said he would recommend they expand their customer base and not concentrate solely on one or two customers, and develop a spirit of tenacity—as well as patience. “We’ve rebounded to pre-recession levels, and positioned ourselves for more growth in the future,” Going up “It’s surprisingly good now,” said Doug. said Doug. One of the biggest Since March of this year, Advanced Metal Components has experienced record-setting challenges he faces as sales. company president, he said, “We were down in the dumps for a while,” is hiring the right people he said, especially at the beginning of the for the job, and keeping his recession. Like so many manufacturers, AMC employees happy. When it comes to running a business, “There experienced layoffs, benefits cuts and reduced work hours. are a lot of obstacles,” Doug admitted. “You feel “All of the things you don’t want to like you’ve just passed one challenge, and then do, we had to do them to preserve the jobs there is a mountain in front of you.” Still, he’ll tell you that he thrives on we could and continue to perform for our customers,” he said. those challenges. However, in mid-February Doug’s customers Advanced Metal Components is holding its advised him to prepare for an onslaught of own these days, primarily manufacturing larger, business. “We made it a priority while business more complex assemblies that are typically too was down to fi nd ways to be profitable at a expensive to offshore. And they use TRUMPF smaller-scale,” he said. “Now we’re applying punching, laser and bending machines to those lessons in frugality and efficiency to our fabricate parts. The president of AMC has built greatly upon restored volume.” In three months’ time, AMC added 50 new his father’s legacy. But he admits that his biggest employees, including many let go during concern right now is his 2-and-a-half-year-old earlier layoffs. daughter, who is learning how to swim. Her

Dad explained that she’s having a little trouble keeping her head above water. But Doug Brown need not worry. If his daughter is anything like her father and grandfather, she’ll do just fine. Advanced Metal Components, Inc. Who:

Advanced Metal Components (AMC), Swainsboro, GA, Established in 1977. www.advancedmetalcomponents.com

What: Precision sheet metal contract manufacturer How:

TruLaser 3030, TruLaser 3030 with Liftmaster and 40 pallet TKL, TruMatic 500, TruPunch 5000, TruBend 5085 (2).

Express Vol. 2/10

27


PERSONALITIES

Elegantly cool Interpreting polished stainless steel

ExpressVol. Vol.2/10 2/10 28 28 Express


Stainless steel is practically part of Dave Regier’s genetic make up. The renowned sculptor was apprenticed by his father, master sculptor Arlie Regier, and grew up working with the cool, polished medium that he calls “naturally elegant and a mirror to the world.” “When I was young, I threw sparks almost every day,” he recalls. “Shaping something is all in the wrist.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Dave Regier has carved his own niche and is known for his brand of distinctive work that blends old world craftsmanship with contemporary design. Dave’s work can be found from Kansas City to Paris, and all points in between. In fact, his art was featured in the 2009 blockbuster fi lm, The Watchmen. The set designer saw Dave’s sculptures and was drawn to the intricate designs made from thousands of individual pieces, which connected with Dr. Manhattan, a superhero character in the movie who used his mind to assemble and reassemble things— including his physical body. A Complex Puzzle The artist chooses his various shapes— circles, squares and other geometrics— and then assembles them in a metal ring that he calls his canvas. The rings then fit together like puzzle pieces with stainless steel frames becoming a sculpture’s foundation. While hundreds of welds go into Dave’s sculpture, it’s difficult to find them planted among the myriad of shapes and patterns that compose his pieces. “I always leave a way to weld myself out,” he tells. It’s this technique for which he’s become famous, and it’s this seamlessness, a bit of welding wizardry, that places Dave Regier in a league all his own. Dave’s polished stainless steel ref lects his personal passions and, better still, ref lects his client’s passions. The Emotional Connection “My brain is constantly engaged,” he says. “I look for my designs to be part of a bigger picture…an emotional connection to someone’s life.”

An example of this is Dave’s life-sized, sculptural interpretation of his own violin, which eventually evolved into ever greater intricacy with his Opera Violin Series. “I play the violin, and my daughter plays beautifully,” he says. “Her violin was my excuse to carve, ‘sculpt’ if you will, my designs into a violin’s top surface. I wanted the designs to be curved, to give life to the piece.” While the concept of the Opera Violin was connected to emotions, its composition was a lofty goal, even by Dave’s standards. The design required artistic brilliance and expertly-honed welding skills, accompanied by a bit of cutting-edge technology. At best, sculpting with stainless steel presents several technical challenges; for example, the material tends to hold heat in the area where you are working. A Dream Evolves But the 25 pound violin, at 24” long, 8” wide and 4” tall, required additional processes during its creation, which led Dave to enlist assistance from Regal Research. And with their TRUMPF laser cutting machine, the TruLaser 3030, Regal Research was able to cut very small contours out of very thick stainless steel (3/16”). “It took a couple of different technologies to bring it together,” says Dave of his five-year project that involved the formation of curves of almost-unheardof complexity. But from the artist’s 2D images, coupons eventually materialized and the sculptor set out to create his 3D Opera Violin. “The laser cutter made this possible and the crew at Regal Research made this work.” Dave’s initial pursuit, which was to re-create his own violin using his unique intricate designs, evolved into the Opera Violin Series after a collector friend of his who purchased a violin asked him to develop a process to make the unique, specific opera images appear mixed with the abstract images already in place. Inspired while listening to music from Madama Butterf ly, Dave developed intricate patterns for the violins, with their virtually invisible seams, that show images of music notes, an American sailor, his ship, his Japanese lover and Madama Butterfly herself. The Opera Violin Series will be marketed through fine art galleries in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. “Th is is one of my most fulfi lling projects. I want people to be able to look at the opera violin and hear the music they represent.”

”I always leave a way to weld myself out.”

Express Vol. 2/10

29


STORIES IN SHEET METAL

CREDITS

Hot tin roofs From Notre Dame Cathedral to Monticello, metal roofing graces architectural marvels

TRUMPF Express 2/10 Magazine for Sheet Metal Processing Published by

TRUMPF Inc. Farmington, CT 06032 www.us.trumpf.com Responsible for the content

L Located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, Monticello was home to Thomas Jefferson, M tthird president of the United States.

For centuries, metal has been a favored material for a myriad of different applications. It’s no wonder that throughout history, architects and builders worldwide have seen the seemingly countless advantages of sheet metal for roofi ng, including low cost, easy installation, and unrivaled durability. Copper began to be used as a roofing material as far back as 970 BC for the temple in Jerusalem, and bronze plates built the roof of the Pantheon in Rome in the second century CE. As time went on and technological advancements were made, lead and copper in particular were manipulated to serve different applications, including standing seam roofing and the flat-seamed domes and cupolas that remain on many early American buildings. Sheets of metal were imported into the United States from England until the late 18th century, when Robert Morris, a financier of the American Revolutionary War, opened the fi rst rolling mill facility in the country near Trenton, New Jersey. The production of sheet metal domestically only caused its popularity in the American building industry to rise. Many influential architects sang the praises of metal roofs and encouraged its application, including William Strickland, who designed the Second Bank of the United States as well as several U.S. mints, and A. J. Davis, who was responsible for the building of Federal Hall in New York City and the state of Ohio’s Capitol building. 30 Express Vol. 2/10

With the Industrial Revolution in full sswing, the early 19th century proved to be aan exciting and ground-breaking time for all manufacturers, the metal industry in particular. m IIron and other metals were being produced at unparalleled volumes, fi ft y times as much as u pre-Revolution times. In England in 1829, the p method of corrugation was patented, which gave m m metal roofs better strength, allowed materials to cover larger areas, and reduced labor costs and time. By 1834, the application of metal roofing was widespread in America. In 1837, another improvement to the metal processing industry established sheet metal as a building material that could withstand the weather: the process of galvanization. The method was perfected by French chemist Stanislas Sorel and involved coating sheets of metal with a thin layer of zinc in order to prevent rust and corrosion. Corrugated galvanized metal, abbreviated CGI, proved to be an impossibly sturdy substance and effectively weather- and fi re-proofed all buildings on which it was used. Because of its light weight and inexpensive price tag, tin-plate iron ultimately became the metal of choice for roofs. Thomas Jefferson was an early advocate of tin roofing, even going so far as to have it installed on his own home, the famous Monticello. The versatility of tin lent itself nicely to personalization; many tin shingles were embossed and painted to imitate the look of wood or tile, creating interesting and artfully textured patterns. To this day, even some of the earliest applications of metal roofing continue to shelter the world’s most magnificent architectural accomplishments, from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to the Washington Monument. Surely not many other materials can stand to say the same.

Sheila LaMothe Editor-in-Chief

Melanie McMillan 860-255-6112 melanie.mcmillan@us.trumpf.com Editorial Staff

Patti Charette Mike Gordon Susan Grohs Sheila LaMothe Taryn Murphy Design and production

John Mik, MIK Advertising & Design Printing and assembly

Paladin Commercial Printers, LLC Contributors

pr + co. gmbh, Stuttgart Photographs

Cooper Lighting Dave Regier D&F Equipment Dan Reynolds Photography Display Devices Ken Olson Photography Marlin Steel Wire pr + co., gmbh, Stuttgart Regal Research Rockwell Collins Ruarkphoto Sean Hagwell Photography Storm Water Systems Inc. tbgphoto TRUMPF archives


While some say credit isn’t available, TRUMPF Finance said YES to 93% of the businesses that needed financing over the last year. With competitive rates, flexible programs and financing over $30 million dollars in new machines, TRUMPF Finance is helping small businesses expand when they need it most – Now. TRUMPF Finance helps you finance the TRUMPF machine that will take your business to the next level. Instead of looking strictly at the machine costs versus sales, we look at the productivity and efficiency of the machine and how it will benefit your company, enabling you to make the best Laser Cutting Machines

machine selection for your business.

Multi-Axis Laser Systems Punch/Laser Machines Punching Machines Press Brakes Power Tools

It must be a

Industrial Lasers

860-255-6036 / leasing@us.trumpf.com

Express Vol. 2/10

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Transcending Metal A sculpture is more than art. It is a mark of the society in which it appears. Talley Fisher, from Rob Fisher Sculpture, LLC, conveys thoughtful ideas for the world to decipher and interpret. Whether the artist is articulating a concept or inspiring a thought, each piece is planned, configured and crafted beautifully and philosophically.

Total Manufacturing Company (TMCO)’s Metal and Art division recognizes the passion of Talley’s sculptures. With the TRUMPF tools to transform metal into artistic outlines, TMCO makes it possible for her to create works of art from pieces of metal, forming concepts into tangible reality, as seen in “Sea Turtles” at One Ocean Resort, Atlantic Beach, FL.

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TRUMPF Express Volume 2/10  

Featuring user stories on HitchDoc, Advanced Metal Components, EMS,Marlin Steel Wire and Morton Industries. A FABTECH 2010 insert outlines p...

TRUMPF Express Volume 2/10  

Featuring user stories on HitchDoc, Advanced Metal Components, EMS,Marlin Steel Wire and Morton Industries. A FABTECH 2010 insert outlines p...