Banner
Cutting Technology

Prepped & ready

By Gretchen Salois

Above: Hornet Cutting Systems’ high-performance CNC plasma pipe cutting machines are built for speed and accuracy.

A new customer expedites fabricator’s decision to invest in new equipment

July 2021 - In September 2020, while much of the world remained shut down and in limbo, Fab Tech Wastewater Solutions LLC invested in a new Roto Hornet 1000 CNC plasma pipe cutter to meet a new customer’s demand. “We have a new customer that is going to send a volume of pipes to work on—plus, [we wanted] a general upgrade as well,” says David Umphenour, administrative services manager at the Warrenton, Missouri-based fabricator.

Up until this equipment upgrade, Fab Tech Wastewater Solutions cut piping manually. “We [were already] using plasma technology and loved its application for our fabrication shop,” Umphenour says.

FFJ 0721 cutting image1

The Roto Hornet 1000 increased pipe cutting productivity at Fab Tech Wastewater Solutions.

After a two-week installation period and some initial training, the Roto Hornet 1000 was up and running. “There was not much of a learning curve since we already own a plasma table,” Umphenour says. “Cross-training has been smooth. We use one [operator] mainly for those processes.”

Immediately, Fab Tech Wastewater Solutions experienced reduced cutting time. “With the new Hornet cutting system, labor hours are greatly reduced and the final product is much cleaner,” he says, “which leads to very little cleanup and deburring.”

In particular, the ability to scribe part numbers onto the piping proved beneficial and an easy transition for Fab Tech Wastewater Solutions’ plasma operator since he was already well-versed in the cutting method. “We can now handle and complete much more volume in a reduced time frame,” Umphenour says. “We can go after larger jobs with less lead time and still complete everything on time.”

FFJ 0721 cutting image2

Multiple cutting technologies

The Roto Hornet 1000 is designed to increase productivity and improve accuracy. “Tubes and branches are easily created using parametric input,” explains Brice Turner, president and CEO of Hornet Cutting Systems LLC based in Valley Center, Kansas. “There is no 3D CAD experience required. Sidewall cuts can be selected from a list of predefined shapes or added from CAD.

“If needed,” he continues, “you can also import 3D CAD files for highly customized pipe cuts. The flexibility provided by the Rotary Tube Pro allows fabricators and manufacturers the ability to work efficiently, reducing costs and boosting productivity.”

Hornet recently launched the Mini Hornet, a new product designed for smaller shops and schools. It comes in 4-ft.-by-4-ft. and 4-ft-by-8-ft. options. “These sizes allow for a smaller footprint while maintaining the quality and precision Hornet products are known for,” Turner says.

The cutting technologies manufacturer also released the Hornet LTX. Its heavy-duty steel construction and footprint offer options for fabricators across all industries. “Because our machines cater to many different industries and processes, we customize training to give the customer confidence in their day-to-day operations, in addition to general machine training,” Turner says.

Hornet is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (from the Department of Defense initiative for veterans and service-

disabled veterans who own small businesses) and its products are 100 percent American-made. The company is also ISO 9001:AS9100D certified and is a Hypertherm authorized OEM and service center. Hornet pairs its equipment with efficient nesting software to optimize plate use and ease handling for the machine operator out on the shop floor. “Our CNC cutting machines are designed to be dependable and accurate,” Turner says. “The CAM nesting software is ideal for the metal fabricator, with robust features and options for plate cutting and pipe cutting machines, including our CNC plasma, oxy-fuel and waterjet cutters.”

Prospective customers that outsource metal fabrication often come to Hornet in search of ways to bring capabilities in-house as lead times and shipping costs increase. “For customers who haven’t owned a plasma table before, they often don’t know all of the questions to ask,” Turner says. “This isn’t an issue for Hornet, as we are able to tailor the machine build to support their business functions best. This isn’t an option for many of our competitors.”

FFJ 0721 cutting image3

The Mini Hornet is Hornet’s newest and smallest CNC plasma, available in 4-ft.-by-4-ft. and 4-ft.-by-8-ft. sizes.

Maneuvering obstacles

Hornet had to adjust to serving customers during a tumultuous pandemic as deliveries halted and on-site visits were put on pause. As a result, installations and servicing of Hornet’s machines were delayed. From these short-lived setbacks, Hornet pivoted to rethink how it could grow from the experience. “The rapidity and unpredictability of the change in the economy last year was a shock to us all,” Turner says. “We quickly saw that while fabrication and manufacturing slowed down, it didn’t stop. Our team worked hard to quickly adjust to the new reality of personal protection and travel requirements—because most of our customers were still in operation, too.”

Hornet took measures to travel and provide service to customers during the pandemic and continue to do so today, albeit using a different strategy. “While some things have changed, the fundamentals haven’t: relationships, service, communication and working hard to add value to our customers are as important as ever.”

Service techs are more skilled at troubleshooting remotely, Hornet’s sales team can virtually meet with customers more efficiently and overall, the team as a whole has grown closer throughout the process. “As tumultuous as this time has been, it has actually been a blessing for Hornet,” Turner says. “We were able to spend significant time investing in our team’s professional development and dug into our processes to make them better.

“Looking back a year later,” he continues, “we are grateful for the support we have received from our customers, employees and communities during lockdown.”

As the world continues to open up, Hornet is ready. “Looking back, I am also grateful for the perspective shift we were given an opportunity to embrace,” Turner says. “Remembering things that we may have forgotten in the bustle of life just a year ago—the value of maintaining a healthy work-life balance; spending time with your spouse, kids and family; having genuine relationships; and valuing our most important business asset—our employees.”  FFJ

Sources

Banner

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

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg