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Fabricating

A grill the length of Lambeau Field

By Nick Wright

This story has been updated for the July/August 2016 Top Webex issue.

How Badger Sheet Metal Works fabricated the hardware for record-setting bratwurst

October 2015 - For week one of the 2015 NFL season, it could’ve been any given Sunday. The Green Bay Packers rolled their archrival, the Chicago Bears, at Soldier Field, 31–23, on Sept. 13. Because it was a road game for the Packers, the parking lot outside Lambeau Field normally would have been empty.

Instead, fans gathered to watch people char a 120-yard bratwurst on a grill measuring about the same length. Fabricated by Badger Sheet Metal Works (BSMW), based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the 370-ft.-long grill was the centerpiece of celebration for concessions company Delaware North, marking 100 years of catering Lambeau Field. Johnsonville Sausage, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, supplied the meat.

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The grill was fabricated from 37 10-ft. sections of 16 gauge, grade 430 #30 stainless steel, says Samuel Thomas, vice president of operations at BSMW. “We made it long because Johnsonville made the brat long. They were concerned about shrinkage.”

Delaware North vetted several fabricators to make the grill but couldn’t readily find one that could satisfy every detail of the project. An employee at BSMW had a connection at Delaware North, so when “our name was brought up, we went in, made a proposal and they liked it,” says Thomas.

BSMW spent about 30 hours laser cutting and forming the grill. Designing the cuts for sponsor company logos in the grill took the bulk of that time. But once complete, the shop’s Amada FO 4020NT laser ripped the logos including those of BSMW and Delaware North into the steel. Its 242-ton, 14-ft.-long Amada HDS 2204 press brake made short work of bending. The grated sections upon which the sausage was grilled were made by shearing sections of perforated metal. BSMW did a test run of the process, making a 4-ft.-long sample grill for Delaware North to ensure it’s what the customer wanted. “They tried it and put charcoal in it to see how hot it’d be,” Thomas adds. 

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The grill was completed the Wednesday before the game, delivered Friday and fired up on Sunday. All told, it took a week to make. He credits Delaware North’s project management with getting the grill done smoothly and on time.

BSMW operates from a 120,000-sq.-ft. facility about 5 miles south of Lambeau Field. It’s on track to generate about $17 million in revenue this year, Thomas says. Most of the company’s stainless steel fabrication work is for the medical, bottling, food and dairy industries. Every project is custom. The shop can lifting 60,000 lbs. with an under- hook crane lifting height of 22 ft. “We’re capable of large, intricate stuff.” 

That goes for 370-ft. sausage grills, too. Organizers indicated the Johnsonville brat would be an unofficial record because the Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t sanction specific types of sausage. The official record for longest sausage is 39 miles. FFJ

FFJ 1008 webex sausage image

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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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