Banner
Laser Technology

G forces

By Lynn Stanley

Above: The Roadster Shop can engineer, prototype and manufacture complete one-off vehicle builds and one-of-a-kind street machines.

Equipment combo helps car builder cut clean parts and fuel production

March 2018 - One G is equal to the normal pull of earth’s gravity on the body. Acceleration, deceleration and turning represent forward, negative and centripetal G forces. A fighter jet can pull up to 9 Gs while the Space Shuttle generated only 3 Gs. High speeds and tight turns at Texas Motor Speedway produce forces of nearly 5 Gs. That means a NASCAR driver experiences 60 lbs. to 70 lbs. of force pulling his or her head to one side.

Looking to accelerate yield, bring tube and sheet cutting in house and produce cleaner parts, The Roadster Shop is pulling some Gs of its own with its new ERMAKSAN Fibermak Momentum Gen-3 G-Force. The Mundelein, Illinois-based custom hot rod and muscle car builder sourced the fiber laser cutting machine from Ermak USA Inc. distributor Mac-Tech. The Milwaukee metal fabrication equipment distributor serves the Greater Midwest region for sheet metal processing machine manufacturer Ermaksan and its North American headquarters.

FFJ 0318 laser image1

The Gen-3 G-Force processes 5 ft. by 16 ft. sheets

Over the last two decades The Roadster Shop established a reputation for designing and fabricating high-performance chassis and turnkey vehicle builds for customers who assemble their own street rods and muscle cars. It has teams that will also engineer, prototype and manufacture complete one-off vehicle builds and one-of-a-kind street machines within a 30,000-sq.-ft. shop. The company performs on-track, real world testing and development.ermak

“The Roadster Shop was using a CNC plasma cutter to process parts but the finishing requirements were high due to burrs and slag,” says Mac-Tech Sales Manager Adam Quoss. “They wanted to cut clean parts. They also wanted to boost production. The [existing] plasma cutter did not have the capacity to support growth.”

The fabricator was looking for a machine that could provide flat sheet and tube cutting capabilities. Mac-Tech offers standard table sizes up to 10 ft. by 60 ft. but can quote and build any custom configuration within those parameters.

A second generation, family owned business, The Roadster Shop found Mac-Tech and Ermak to be like-minded in their commitment to customer service and their drive to think outside the box.

FFJ 0318 laser image2

The Gen-3 G-Force processes up to 2-in. by 6-in. tube and pipe to produce chassis components and frame rails.

“They were familiar with Mac-Tech, but had not purchased any Ermak equipment before,” says Quoss. “We took them to a couple [nearby] Mac-Tech/Ermaksan customers so they could see the machines perform in the field. The successes these manufacturers were experiencing convinced The Roadster Shop to make the purchase.”

A ERMAKSAN Fibermak Momentum Gen-3 G-Force coupled 5 ft.-by-16 ft. flat sheet processing with an 8-in.-diameter tube cutting capability and was installed at The Roadster Shop in 2017.  “We tailored the fiber laser’s table size to meet their material requirements and gave them a machine that could cut both flat sheet and tube,” adds Quoss.

The Roadster Shop was able to bring its tube and sheet cutting in house and raise production from three frames a week to six frames a week. “The cost of sourcing out the additional tube cutting would have been prohibitive,” Quoss says. ”They were able to eliminate secondary finishing steps and gain control over delivery deadlines because they were no longer depending on third party sources to provide parts. The fiber laser provided higher feed rates and cutting speeds when compared to their plasma cutter.”

A table smaller than that of the plasma cutter was engineered to support higher throughput at speeds up to twice as fast as the plasma cutting system. “All of these factors—a hybrid machine that supported in-house sheet and tube cutting, faster processing speeds and ability to control shipping timeframes—tied directly to profitability and an upward growth trajectory,” according to Quoss.

The Roadster Shop runs the ERMAKSAN Fibermak Momentum Gen-3 G-Force about eight hours a day. Mild steel sheets 0.135 in. thick and 2-in.-diameter by 6-in.-long mild steel tube is fed to the fiber laser to produce chassis components and frame rails.

FFJ 0318 laser image3

Better edge quality improves part fit-up which enhances downstream applications and ensures the high-end vehicles The Roadster Shop is known for.

Clean parts allow The Roadster Shop to eliminate secondary grinding and finishing steps prior to welding. “Less grinding and finishing means less weld which reduces costs,” says Quoss. “Better edge quality improves part fit-up which enhances downstream applications.”

A pallet changing table allows operators to cut one sheet while another is being loaded. “When you cut a full 5 ft. by 16 ft. sheet, you can eat up a lot of time if you have to wait to load a new sheet,” Quoss notes.

Mac-Tech’s service and support includes the ability to remotely connect to the ERMAKSAN Fibermak Momentum Gen-3 G-Force’s CNC control and perform a full diagnostics panel. “The machine is Industry 4.0 capable,” Quoss notes. “We can use software to collect performance data and conduct analysis of real-time feedback.”

Roadster Shop Co-owner Jeremy Gerber says that complete in-house design capability is “essential to delivering not only what the customer wishes to see, but allows us to advance our own ideas and push forward independently with our own parts development and vehicle concepts.

“We want to create industry trends instead of following or reacting to them,” Gerber says. “Tools like the Fibermak Momentum Gen-3 G-Force help us do that.” FFJ

Sources

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg