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Sawing/Cutting

A gainful cut

By Colin Linneweber

Above: Johnson was steadfast in his desire to research and implement new technologies to minimize lead time and maximize efficiency in the Felling Trailers plant.

Marvel band saw makes trailer manufacturing operation much more efficient

December 2016 - Mark Johnson, a supervisor at Sauk Centre, Minnesota-based Felling Trailers Inc., was dismayed after observing how the two horizontal saws his colleagues were compelled to use were insufficient to the task.

Felling Trailers, a family owned and operated business established in 1974 by Merle Felling, manufactures more than 4,000 trailers a year from a 250,000-sq.-ft. facility in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Felling’s product offerings, distributed across the globe, encompass 220 trailer models ranging from 3,000-lb. utility trailers to 120,000-lb. hydraulic gooseneck trailers. Despite Felling’s impressive output, Johnson remained steadfast in his desire to research and implement new technologies to minimize lead time and maximize efficiency in the manufacturing plant.

“We had two small horizontal saws that would only move to 45 degrees in one direction,” says Johnson, a four-year Felling employee who previously worked at AGCO, a farm machinery manufacturer, in Jackson, Minnesota. “None of these saws were automatically indexable. The shuttle devices were not, and are not, accurate and this caused us to manually measure and jog to reach the measurements required. We had to flip on end for end parts with angles on both ends.”

FFJ 1216 sawing image1

Felling's menu of trailers consists of 220 models, ranging from 3,000-lb. utility trailers to 60-ton hydraulic gooseneck trailers.

Johnson and his team almost immediately decided that Marvel Manufacturing of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was the vendor that would best fulfill their needs. Founded in Chicago in 1904, Marvel Manufacturing manufactures and distributes band saws. Johnson contacted Ross Hartwig, a national sales manager for Marvel, to discuss the possibilities. Although Hartwig essentially sold Johnson on the Model 2150A-PC3S-60 Vertical Tilt-Frame Miter Cutting Band Saw, Johnson wanted to continue shopping before finalizing a purchase. Accordingly, Johnson attended Fabtech Chicago in November 2015 to learn about the attributes and capabilities of comparable saws.

It became readily obvious to Johnson that Marvel’s equipment would ideally suit Felling Trailers’ manufacturers. Shortly after the convention, Johnson bought the Marvel saw.  

“[The] Model 2150A-PC3S-60 Vertical Tilt-Frame Miter Cutting Band Saw offers the simplest operators control features with icon based software that provides literally a six-second programming,” says Hartwig.

“It controls both feed speeds and forces with constant feedback through the ball screw. It positions with a standard 4-foot by 48-inch bar feed with dual ball screws and offers the longest bar feed options in the business at 8 ft. by 96 in., 13 ft. by 156 in. and 18 ft. by 216 in.,” he says. He claims the workhorse also provides “the fastest, most accurate positioning for both long and short lengths.”

Hartwig detailed how this equipment augmented Felling’s efficiency and productivity.

“Felling purchased our equipment to improve efficiencies and to speed up production,” says Hartwig. “What they gained was a whole lot more. They eliminated three and a half saws and reduced labor hours, while gaining more floor space in the shop with three fewer saws.”

FFJ 1216 sawing image2

The mitre-cutting band saw provides the fastest, most accurate positioning for both short and long lengths.

Johnson describes the ways in which Marvel’s saw improved Felling Trailers’ manufacturing process. “The Marvel that we selected can automatically index both ways to 60 degrees,” he says.

“The shuttle vices are accurate up to 99 times. It has replaced those two small saws and one operator. In the future, it may replace a third. We can produce more parts, more accurately, with half the staffing. From a savings standpoint alone, the saw paid for itself in less than a year. This band saw does what three saws can do.”

Hartwig credited Marvel’s horizontal saw and ironworker partners and emphasized the importance of creating a quality product while constantly looking to refine it with technical innovations.

“One of our steel service center customers who has purchased numerous machines over the years from many other saw builders once told me that, ‘When we have problems with a machine or operational need, we know Marvel won’t walk away from the issue. They run toward it! That’s why we do business with you.’”

Johnson also lauded the efforts of another Marvel employee, District Sales Manager Nick Grose.

“Nick (Grose) from Marvel was just extremely helpful,” says Johnson. “He really, really knows band saws. I met Nick before Fabtech Chicago, but we got to talk and get to know each other better there at the convention.”

Almost a year following their transaction in The Windy City, Mark Johnson and Felling’s saw operators are thrilled the company invested in the mitre-cutting band saw. FFJ

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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