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Bending/Folding

Davi Inc. angle roll equipment with radius-checking vision system helps Holloway Inc. provide perfectly shaped steel

By Lynn Stanley

Above: Davi’s MCP 24 angle roll equipped with its iRoll-Camera system allows Holloway Steel to process up to 8-in.-diameter pipe for shorter drops.

November 2018 - “Hitting the wall,” is a major concern for marathon runners when they reach the 20-mile marker. The phenomenon is best described as a sudden wave of fatigue. Tips for avoiding the wall are simple. Don’t deplete the stored energy in your muscles.

Holloway Steel Services has used a similar strategy to stay the course through economic peaks and valleys. “One thing my Dad, Gene, taught me [was to] conserve your resources,” recalls President Lynton Holloway. “If you can’t afford to pay for something in the worst of times, then don’t buy it. The reason we’ve survived is that we don’t owe anyone anything.”

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The camera is located above the operation to provide the operator with a bird’s-eye view of the entire part.

The Ft. Worth, Texas supplier also keeps its customers from hitting walls. Literally.  The second-generation owner concedes that the company has cut holes in the walls of its 53,000-sq.-ft. facility to roll 140-ft.-long I-beams. “We’ll do whatever it takes to accommodate the customer,” he says.

Holloway Steel’s 10-acre property has the capacity to store product until a manufacturer is ready for it. And its close proximity to a railyard helps to reduce shipping costs.

“The largest part of our business is word of mouth,” Holloway continues. “We’re known for what we produce. We stand behind our product. If it is wrong, we fix it.”

Intersection

Holloway credits that practice to his father, who founded the company in 1971 as a crane rental business before expanding into water storage tanks. In 1990, Holloway Steel acquired structural rolling equipment to process metal for its tanks. Today the company rolls structural steel and just about any other metal to form angles, square and rectangle tube, channel, T-beams, I-beams, wide-flange beams, flat bars, pipe and rail. Holloway Steel produces ASME standard vessels, fabricated tanks and custom cuts plate. Its customers represent diverse markets including aerospace, commercial construction, transportation and infrastructure.

Between 1990 and 2000, Holloway Steel purchased at least one structural rolling machine per year. The company has 11 angle rolls that can handle the smallest structural components up to 40-in.-wide I-beams weighing more than 300 lbs. per linear foot.

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Three generations of Holloways: Gene (left), Lynton and Hunter.

In 2010 Holloway Steel’s path intersected with Dallas-based Davi Inc. Headquartered in Italy, Davi specializes in plate and angle roll equipment. The 1-5⁄8-in.-thick by 10-ft.-long plate roll was the first purchase that has led to a partnership between the two companies. “They had the most cost-effective price point and their service technicians were just 30 miles from my facility,” Holloway says. In 2012, his company installed two more Davi plate rolls.

It didn’t take long for Holloway to realize that Davi practiced similar values. “Over the years Davi has taken care of me and they have stood behind their equipment and their service,” he says. “They have done what they said they would do.”

In October 2017, Holloway attended a master bender seminar held by Davi. “I didn’t go with the intent to buy anything,” he says but an angle roll machine featuring a radius-checking vision system caught his attention.

The iRoll-Camera allows manufacturers to compare the radius of a drawing or model with the actual part in real time without having to remove material from the machine. The camera is located above the operation to provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire part. Once a blueprint, DXF file or CAD file is imported to the CNC, it appears as an overlay. Benders can also draw shapes and radii directly on the screen to create a template.

At the same time it developed the i-Roll Camera, Davi redesigned its angle rolls to accommodate the technology because the camera, the CNC control and machine hydraulics must communicate with one another.

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Holloway Steel’s products include steel tanks and pressure vessels.

“I was very impressed with the iRoll-Camera,” Holloway notes. He soon decided to upgrade a 30-year-old structural roll with a Davi MCP 24 angle roll equipped with the iRoll-Camera system.

Shorter drops

The machine was installed at Holloway Steel in September 2018. Davi tailored the angle roll to the supplier’s  dies. “It saved me money,” the owner asserts. “I didn’t have to buy new dies. The angle roll allows me to process up to 8-in.-diameter pipe, which gives me shorter drops. Until now, I’ve had to roll 8-in. pipe on a larger machine.” One size larger than the machine it replaced, the MCP 24 can process square tubing and channels up to 10 in. diameter.

Because the iRoll-Camera minimizes the need to perform manual radius sweeps, it’s especially suited for jobs that require high volumes and large parts. Holloway Steel’s past projects include the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Rosa Parks Bus Station in Detroit, Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Casino, the United Nations in New York City and the Arizona State University Skyway. Most recently, Holloway Steel rolled seven railcar loads of 80-ft.-long pipe for the new Google headquarters being built in California.

“We’ll also be able to videotape our operations and extract still shots to show our customers,” he adds.

Good parts

Until now, bending elliptical parts meant the machine operator had to rely on touch and feel and his or her skill and experience. Templates consisted of a blank cut by a waterjet or, in the case of Holloway Steel, a plasma machine. Once the part was bent, it was removed from the machine and checked against the pattern drawn on the floor to verify whether or not it conformed to the required radius. Then the part was put back on the machine to adjust it to a perfect match. A bender might have to repeat this process multiple times before turning out one good part.

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Holloway Steel’s products include 8-in. heavy wall rolled pipe 85 ft. long.

“We bend and roll carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel,” Holloway says. “The MCP 24 angle roll and iRoll-Camera will help us provide product quicker, particularly elliptical bends, and hold closer tolerances.”

A bending machine operator can teach the iRoll-Camera what he or she wants it to do for a particular part, according to Mark Schwenck, Davi field service engineer. Schwenck installed Holloway Steel’s MCP 24.

“Digital signals send real-time data to the CNC control so it can monitor the angle roll’s electronic, mechanical and hydraulic components. These features help accommodate [a variety of] material [sizes as well as] inconsistencies due to hard spots and other variables,” says Schwenck.

Holloway’s son, Hunter, is learning the business from the ground up like he did. The difference is his exposure to technology like Davi’s MCP 24 angle roll and iRoll-Camera. The equipment with its all seeing “eye” is crucial for helping the company surpass its competition. But another key resource must be mentioned.

“Neither my Dad or myself would be here without our employees,” says Holloway. “Many of them have been with us for 20-plus years. In a family-owned business it takes your wife standing behind you and a good crew. Davi has become part of our extended family. They shoulder the high standard we set for them because they understand that if our machines go down we aren’t making money.” FFJ

Sources

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