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Press Brakes

Bending barbecues

By Lynn Stanley

Fabricator relies on press brake technology to turn out high-end grills

October 2012 - One of America’s favorite pastimes, the backyard barbecue, can trace its roots back to western cattle drives in the 1800s when cowboys were fed less than perfect cuts of meat made tender through slow cooking. In the spirit of that tradition, Hasty-Bake Grills, Tulsa, Okla., produced the first Hasty-Bake charcoal oven in 1948, followed by the first portable unit, the first hooded unit and a new method for cooking using indirect heat. Since then, the award-winning company has depended on superior fabrication to turn out high-end multipurpose charcoal-burning grills. In 2007, the company decided to bring its fabrication in-house to gain better quality control over its press brake operations.

The Hasty-Bake grill also bakes and smokes food, giving customers a versatile cooking tool. The grill’s adjustable fire box and grease drainage system provide users with greater temperature control and help eliminate flare-ups, a common complaint about gas grills. The grills come in 13 different models and are produced from light gauge cold rolled and stainless steel in 20, 18 and 12 gauge thicknesses.

ffj-1126-webex-press-image1Repeatability

“The press brake operation is extremely critical to both our manufacturing process and to our end product,” says Richard Alexander, president of Hasty-Bake Grills. “We produce a very expensive charcoal grill. Each unit needs to look expensive and be well-crafted. We needed a press brake that offered repeatability and could hold tight tolerances.”

Alexander says a local sales representative introduced his company to Ermak USA, the North American arm of Ermaksan Turkey. Ermaksan designs and develops cost-effective, high-performance sheet metalworking equipment including lasers, plasma cutters, punch presses, press brakes, shears and ironworkers. The company began selling machines in the U.S. in the 1990s and in 2010 established Ermak USA, with headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

“Our purchase was value-driven,” says Alexander. “Because Ermak was not as established in the U.S. as other press brake manufacturers, we were able to get a cost savings of about 25 percent. But the reliability of the press brake has been excellent. In the five years we’ve operated it, we’ve never had a service call. We run it five days a week, eight hours a day with some overtime.”

Cost-effective

With 30 years of manufacturing experience, Ermaksan engineers its press brakes for high repetition and precision bending. “We had an attractive price, but we had a relatively unknown brand in the U.S. at the time,” says Emre Varisli, vice president of sales for Ermak USA. “Richard put his faith in our equipment and made the purchase.”

The CNC HAP 10-ft., 130-ton press brake produces metal components exclusively for Hasty-Bake’s proprietary grill line. “When we brought our fabrication in-house, we began to subcontract our services to the oil and gas, aerospace and roofing markets to optimize the capacity of our equipment,” Alexander says. “But the press brake is largely dedicated to fabricating our products.”

Depending on the model, a Hasty-Bake grill has 14 or 15 metal components. These parts include legs, ash pans, heat deflectors, front work tables and lift mechanisms. The base unit is made up of four different components. A grill begins as flat stock, 5 ft. by 10 ft., that is laser cut before being loaded into the press brake. Parts are then welded, assembled and shipped to retail stores or individual customers. The ability to produce accurate parts with the press brake is crucial for downstream manufacturing processes. Welding and assembly can become problematic if a part’s bend is off by even a degree, Alexander explains.

Hasty-Bake Grills primarily performs air bending to fabricate its parts. “Most are 90-degree bends but we also perform a lot of multi-stage bends,” Alexander says. “A typical part can have as many as seven bends. The press brake’s 10-ft. bed gives us the flexibility to set up different stations so that we can complete parts requiring multiple bends in one stroke.”

ffj-1126-webex-press-image2

Growing capacity

Hasty-Bake Grills recently received a large retail order that prompted the company to purchase a second Ermak press brake. “Our capacity has grown, creating a bit of a bottleneck in our manufacturing work flow,” says Alexander. “When we got the order for 1,000 units, we decided to purchase a second Ermak 10-ft., 135-ton press brake.”

The new press brake is nearly identical to the first Ermak machine, but has been designed and built with some performance improvements. “We’re really happy with the reliability of the press brake and I wanted something as close to the first press brake as possible, for ease of training,” Alexander said.

The configuration of the new press brake has been enhanced with several additional features. “We’re continually looking to improve our technology,” says Varisli. “The new press brake is faster, has larger openings and offers a larger stroke for bending deeper boxes. We’ve introduced the model under a new name: PowerBend. The three-axis design features a closed-loop servo hydraulic system that works in conjunction with two linear scales to support repeatability and a tolerance of 0.0004 in.”

Alexander adds that he bought the faster model to speed production. “The reliability we get for the price point is a real value-add,” he says. “The press brake has done everything we’ve asked it to do. We turn it on and it works—day in and day out.” FFJ

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Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


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