Case Histories

Staying Competitive Name of the Game for Marion Die & Fixture: Working at the Mercy of Suppliers No Longer “Cuts” It

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HBP430A Metal Cutting Saw

HBP430A Cuts D2 tool steel up to 17″ in diameter quickly and accurately.

As part of The Bradbury Group’s union of five manufacturing companies, Marion Die & Fixture (Marion, Kansas) designs the roll tooling to meet customer specifications in the metal building industry. To stay competitive, it became a top priority to purchase a saw, which would enable the company to meet all job specifications in-house. If Marion wanted to continue to take pride in meeting tight deadlines, the company needed to manage its own turnaround times. Working at the mercy of suppliers would no longer “cut” it.

Marion made a decision to buy its first-ever Behringer HBP430A (USA), in particular, to cut difficult D2 tool steel at up to 15 inch diameter. Despite the hardness and toughness of this material, this automatic bandsaw with a blade size of 19’0”x 2 x .063, cuts right through it. Previously, this 35-person company sent most D2 saw jobs outside its 25,000 square ft. manufacturing shop. With the HBP430A, the company now saws all tool steel to manufacture roll tooling, which produces shaped steel used as support for the metal building industry, roof sheeting and red iron sections.

While best known for its tooling work in the metal building industry, Marion’s other work includes decking panels for bridges, and roll tooling for the automotive industry – for example, corrugated flooring in mini-vans and pick-up trucks as well as seat tracks for cars. Residential and commercial garage doors are also among the finished products for Marion’s customers.

“Prior to Behringer, we used another saw brand with an inch and a quarter blade for several years. We could cut 12 inch diameter, but we seldom did because it wasn’t accurate or reliable enough. Plus, it was too labor intensive. It was just faster and easier to send these jobs out,” said Rodney Richmond, plant manager. “However, the downside is that we had to work around our supplier’s schedule and not our own. It’s a lot more difficult to manage deadlines this way.”

“I had heard about Behringer’s HBP430A saw, so I went on the company’s website for more information. After reviewing time studies verifying how fast this saw could cut D2 material, I was sold,” says Richmond.

HBP430A Features programmable length measuring and cutting.

The HBP430A can saw up to 16.93 inches round and rectangular shapes up to 16.93 inches wide x 16.93 inches high at cutting speeds from 55.77 – 360.89 sfm (surface feet per minute). With quick change connections, the saw has a horizontal clamping range from 6.3” – 12.6” and a vertical clamping range from 4.33” – 8.27”.

Marion Die & Fixture makes a saw cut every 42 minutes for jobs requiring 15 inch diameter D2 material with its HBP430A, taking a total of only 37.8 hours to saw an entire job. Controlled by a DC-Terminal and SPS Control System, the HBP430A can work through the night with minimal operator intervention for several combinations of cut length and batch. It offers integrated multiple feed control, zero positioning, working hour size, and the ability to record cutting times.

“With the programmable feature, we can program any length needed. There is no comparison. The speed is considerably faster,” Richmond says. “We run only one shift, so at the end of the day we set the saw to run through the night. If we had to man it, we’d need someone in here for a week straight. Now, we can do more with less people.”

And, with the construction industry not showing signs of slowing down and with government incentives available, Marion Die & Fixture relies on speed to get the job done. “When companies decide to spend capital dollars for cost reductions, they like to implement this reduction as soon as possible,” Richmond notes. “So, companies like ours need to have the abilities and capacities to assist them. Without this saw, it would be much more difficult for us to meet these requirements.”

According to Richmond, the saw has paid for itself in just two years, opening a lot of new business for the company. “We’re saving time and material across the board when cutting a range of jobs – not just D2. With the ability to saw material quickly and accurately, we’re saving .125 to .150 inches of material per saw cut.” Plus, Marion Die & Fixture reports decreased labor costs and time savings of more than 60 percent.

“It’s truly an excellent piece of equipment,” Richmond says. “We were trained in just a couple of days, yet the company continues to drop by our facility to see if they can assist in any way and to see how everything is working. It’s nice to know that they are here for us.”

“Behringer lives up to its customer commitments,” he continues. “Now, we can offer the same commitments to our own customers. If you want to produce quality work, you need to buy it. And, we wanted quality that would last.”