Red Steel takes First Impressions to the NEXT LEVEL

The best thing about travel is that you get out of your comfort zone and you get to see how other people live and operate, and if you have your eyes and ears open, you learn a lot from those new experiences and observations.

The black beaches of Napier, New Zealand

About two years ago, Bob Hawley of Red Steel in Napier, New Zealand had started building his new fabricating facility, and purchased an Avenger PLUS from Ocean to position his shop ahead of his competition. This past trip I had the privilege of seeing Bob in his new state-of-the-art facility, and I got to see how he is positioning his business for future growth.

Red Steel – Napier, New Zealand

From the minute you arrive at the shop you can tell that Bob has tremendous pride in appearance, and the striking charcoal and red color scheme that greets you on the outside of the building, is carried through the entire facility. First impressions are important in business and Red Steel offers one of the most compelling first impressions you will ever see, and not just in the steel fabrication arena.

Red Steel’s front lobby

But it’s not just about appearances. Bob fully understands that the strength of his company is dependent on attracting and retaining the best employees and the effort and expense that he has put into the facility to cater to his employees is immediately apparent. A large, fully-appointed break room leads outside to an attractive covered barbecue area, protected from the cold winds that are common in New Zealand. And most importantly for a coffee connoisseur like myself, visitors are offered a range of gourmet espresso options and Bob has turned out to be quite the Barista!

Impact Machinery’s Robby Clark with Bob in the large break room

Covered outdoor employee break area

Bob and Ocean VP Danny Steyn enjoying some espresso at the Avenger PLUS

This level of detail is carried through to the fabricating facility, where every single fabricator is in control of his own crane, ensuring that he is fully productive. Bob tracks real time productivity with a range of software programs and I really enjoyed seeing the man-hour/ton variations across the massive range of work that Red Steel undertakes.

Every fabricator is in control of their own crane

Peddinghaus HSFDB being installed

And while I was there the Peddinghaus factory technician Rob Ganzer was installing Red Steel’s new fully loaded HSFDB plate line. All in all, a very impressive facility and one that will set itself apart for years to come. Thanks for the tour Bob!




Not your typical beam line!

Yes, the Ocean Avenger is known for drilling holes in beams and columns and adding layout marks for welded attachments, but it does so much more!

We have one customer who is using their Avenger to drill holes through both walls of 1.5” pipe. Have fun trying to do that with a mag drill!

Avenger drilling 1.5″ pipe

Another customer used to process all their flat bar on an iron worker, it worked, but it was an inefficient and labor intensive process. Now they put a 20 ft piece of flat bar on their Avenger and drill all the holes and add layout pop marks to indicate where to shear it, saving valuable time, money and man-hours.

The extreme versatility of the Avenger allows you to process all profiles up to 40” high. The possibilities are endless!

Drill and layout channel for stair stringers



Base Plate

And so much more!




Pump and Steel Supplies, Bulawayo Zimbabwe – Transforming for the future!

Pump and Steel Supplies – Bulawayo ZimbabweIn the heart of Bulawayo Zimbabwe, a young couple, Eugene and Agnes Jackson, have created an amazing company called Pump and Steel Supplies, and in a few short years have grown it into a powerhouse of productivity, and now employ more than 300 personnel. They manufacture everything from Structural Steel to roofing materials to door and window frames, and everything in between.

Roofing manufacturing lines at Pump and Steel Supplies

Roofing manufacturing lines at Pump and Steel Supplies

They currently operate from a 300,000 sqft building, previously the railways workshop building, and have started to transform this facility from an essentially manual operation into a state of the art CNC automated manufacturing facility.

Peddinghaus 210AD Ironworker from 1971

Peddinghaus 210AD Ironworker from 1971

One of the older machines in their floor is their trusty Peddinghaus 210AD Ironworker built in the Peddinghaus Germany factory back in 1971, and this machine still performs as well as it did when it was built, more than 46 years ago. This machine will now reside across from their most recent installation, a line featuring a dual column Terminator Band Saw and the formidable Ocean Avenger PLUS CNC Drill Line. And just across from the drill line is their new Ocean Clipper CNC Angle Line.

Recent installation featuring a dual column Terminator Band Saw and Ocean Avenger PLUS CNC Drill Line

Recent installation featuring a dual column Terminator Band Saw and Ocean Avenger PLUS CNC Drill Line

One senses that not only is Pump and Steel Supplies about to rewrite structural steel fabrication in the country, but the entire country of Zimbabwe is poised for a massive bounce as soon as investment capital rolls in. While the departing president Robert Mugabe might have been reviled, the one thing he really did well was invest in education of the citizens, and the talent and skill in Zimbabwe is ready to make their mark on the continent of Africa.

Left to Right – Ray Chellew (SKOK salesman), Eugene Jackson (Managing Director – Pump and Steel Supplies), Ndaba Mhlanga (Technical Director – Pump and Steel Supplies), Sean Devenny Skok Installer

Left to Right – Ray Chellew (SKOK salesman), Eugene Jackson (Managing Director – Pump and Steel Supplies), Ndaba Mhlanga (Technical Director – Pump and Steel Supplies), Sean Devenny Skok Installer

Ray Chellew and Sean Devenny of SKOK Machine tool in front of the Ocean Clipper CNC Angle Line at Pump and Steel Supplies Zimbabwe

Ray Chellew and Sean Devenny of SKOK Machine tool in front of the Ocean Clipper CNC Angle Line at Pump and Steel Supplies Zimbabwe




Ocean Avenger Repairs a Bulldozer

So, what do you do if a bulldozer has an untimely contact with a tree that destroys a vital ventilation screen?

Simple really, contact a steel fabricator that has an Avenger drill line! This is what happened to one of great customers, Gary Hobbs of GH engineering in Palmerstone New Zealand.

Damaged bulldozer screen

Damaged bulldozer ventilation screen

Gary looked at the original screen and said, “yeah mate, we can do this”, and put a 16mm thick steel plate on the Avenger table and let this versatile machine work its magic. Because the Avenger would have to drill more than 840 holes  each 26mm (1”) in diameter, Gary reduced the feed rate of the machine, so as not to overheat the hydraulic fluid that would be continuously working,

Despite the reduced feed rate, his Avenger still completed this unusual job in only 2hours and 12 minutes, proving yet again just how versatile this amazing machine is.

We love seeing these great stories and inventive uses of our Ocean Avenger, so if you have an interesting story or project, please send them to us – email to

Avenger making new vent screen

The versatile Ocean Avenger making replacement ventilation screen




Welcome to Zimbabwe – prepare to be entertained and educated!


Welcome to Zimbabwe - Joshua Nkomo International Airport Bulawayo

Welcome to Zimbabwe – Joshua Nkomo International Airport Bulawayo

One of the most valuable things you can do in this journey through life is continually challenge your assumptions and beliefs. Preconceptions are such dangerous things and we are all prone to them, myself included. To many, the African continent is considered a 3rd world economy and with it follow a whole host of prejudices, judgments and mindsets about what you are likely to see there.

Well I have news for you all. Soon you will be joining Ocean on a safari pilgrimage to Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular, not only to see the abundant African wildlife in its beautiful natural habitat, but also to see how industrious and ingenious the local fabricators are when tackling their daily production.

Enter Eugene and Agnes Jackson, two of the loveliest, most welcoming people you will ever meet anywhere in the world. Both are local Zimbabweans and have embarked on an amazing journey in steel fabrication, overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles and setting even more improbable targets. But Eugene and Agnes are fueled by a vision of what IS possible.

Fifteen years ago, after the birth of their son, Eugene decided he wanted to start his own steel merchant business in the town of Bulawayo, population 800,000. He started, like most of our customers, renting modest facilities, in their case a 2,000 sqft building. As he progressed and secured more work, he extended the building, eventually outgrowing it completely as he added more manufacturing products to his line.

Eugene Jackson (left) - founder of Pump and Steel Supplies, along with Ray Chellew of Skok Machine Tool in the original 2,000sqft building where the journey started

Eugene Jackson (left) – founder of Pump and Steel Supplies, along with Ray Chellew of Skok Machine Tool in the original 2,000sqft building where the journey started

As a fabricator in a small town, Eugene knew he had to be versatile, and while his core business originated with structural fabrication, he started to diversify and manufacture door and window frames and a whole host of metal products that he could supply throughout the country, through distribution.

Four years ago, despite many of his colleagues calling him completely insane, Eugene rented a dilapidated 200,000 sqft building with 5 long 330ft x 75ft bays, almost 100 times the size of his original premises. His crew rehabilitated the building, adding cranes and installing a whole host of equipment.

Today Pump and Steel Supplies is a 300-employee behemoth, manufacturing an entire range of steel products, supplying the building, mining and retail trades. Within the current local business climate, forex is tough to obtain, so they have built their business mostly on the back of ingenuity, dedication, hard work and a range of used equipment.

They utilize several hundred machines of all types, from rolls, to press brakes, ironworkers, punches, radial arm drills, and more recently CNC machining centers. Their machines are impeccably maintained by maintenance manager Ndabezinhle Mhlanga and his team. The machines are spotlessly clean despite their high utilization, and when you enter the premises, you are instantly accosted by the wonderful sound of money being made.

Pump and Steel Supplies - Building Products Division

Pump and Steel Supplies – Building Products Division

Pump and Steel Supplies - CNC Machining Centers

Pump and Steel Supplies – CNC Machining Centers

The production processes are overseen by two bright young Zimbabwean industrial engineers, Melusi Ndlovu (Production Manager) and Adrian Mtyida (Contracts Manager) who utilize time and motion study methods to optimize the flow between machines to the extent that it looks like a beautiful choreographed dance! Just watch the video below.

In all my years of traveling amongst thousands of fabricators worldwide, I finally found production nirvana, and it lives in a small town called Bulawayo Zimbabwe. Talk about shattering all preconceptions. I feel privileged to have met Eugene and Agnes, people with whom I will be friends for life. The next chapter of their story is about to be written and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.

Danny Steyn, VP Ocean Machinery

Pump and Steel Supplies - Roofing Material Division

Pump and Steel Supplies – Roofing Material Division

Pump and Steel Supplies - Building Products Division

Pump and Steel Supplies – Building Products Division

More than 2,000 holes per sharpening on Ocean Penetrator drill bits at Cousins Steel in South Africa

It is always gratifying to visit our customers who have embraced our CNC solutions and have carved out a successful place for themselves in the competitive world of steel fabrication.

Danny Steyn with Cousins Steel machining specialist Jody de Bruin

Danny Steyn with Cousins Steel machining specialist Jody de Bruin

On a recent trip to South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, Ocean Machinery’s Vice President, Danny Steyn met with several customers including Cousins Steel who is one of the premier Kwazulu-Natal based steel fabricators located in Pietermaritzburg.

Cousins Steel implemented the Ocean Avenger and Ocean Clipper CNC solutions in 2011, and it was pleasing to see just how well the machines are maintained, despite the heavy usage.

Ocean Clipper, Cousins Steel - South Africa

Ocean Clipper – Cousins Steel, South Africa

Cousins Steel’s machining specialist Jody de Bruin, who meticulously maintains and operates the machines proudly showed us the Avenger, Clipper and Rejuvenator drill grinder. Steyn remarked to De Bruin that it was possibly the cleanest and best maintained drill sharpener that he had seen in almost a thousand installations.

When Steyn asked De Bruin how the Avenger had been performing he replied that apart from one recent valve issue, the machine has performed flawlessly for over 6 years, and stated that he was getting over 2,000 holes per sharpening on the standard Ocean Penetrator Drill Bits.

Cousins Steel - South Africa

Cousins Steel, South Africa

These are the stories that we love to share with our customers, dealers and prospects. Nothing makes us more proud than to see machines working hard in our customer’s shops.




Step-by-Step Integration of Ocean Products

Integration of the Ocean Terminator Saw with the Avenger Drill Line

Integration of the Ocean Terminator Saw with the Avenger Drill Line

All Ocean products are designed to be fully-functional stand-alone machines that exhibit amazing productivity and versatility in their own right, and are designed to fit into very compact spaces since most of our customers are pressed for space.  However, they are also fully capable of being integrated into fully-functional systems for those customers who have the space to implement them.  This can be done at any time in a step-by-step approach as needs require and as funds become available.

We are finding more and more customers using the Avenger (and Avenger PLUS) drill line to not only drill and layout their beams, but also to measure the beam for cutting to length and coping.  We often see our machines in a system layout where the Avenger drills, lays out and measures, and the Terminator cuts to length.

Ocean Liberator integrated with Avenger Drill Line

Ocean Liberator integrated with Avenger Drill Line

But for those customers who have a significant percentage of their work that also needs to be coped, an Avenger or Avenger PLUS in tandem with the Liberator CNC Coper is even more versatile.  These customers use the drill line to place the location reference marks and then use the Liberator to not only cope the beams, but also to cut to length.

Just outside Fresno in Northern California, Steve Bradford of Bradford Steel started off with an Avenger and then subsequently added a Liberator to cope and cut to length.  He installed cross transfers to facilitate loading the Avenger and added idler rollers to the drill table, making it easier to feed the beams into the coper.  His future plans include additional cross transfers integrated with the outfeed of the Liberator to further speed up production, and the integration of an Ocean Blaster to further reduce costs and improve profitability.

Material handling integrated with Avenger Drill Line

Material handling integrated with Avenger Drill Line


Ocean Machinery provides full CAD layout drawings of an entire system in your location, showing you how the various products can all be integrated in the future.  This step-by-step modular approach to machine integration means that you never have to invest too much at one time; just add machines as needed.

Call us today toll free at 1-800-286-3624 or at 1-954-956-3131. We look forward to helping you create a customized fully functional integrated system for your shop.



Can your Beam Line do this? – Drilling Pre-Welded Assemblies

one of our Avenger PLUS customers drilling this large pre-welded assembly.

One of our Avenger PLUS customers drilling a large pre-welded assembly.

There are situations that occur in fabrication that necessitate the pre-welding of an assembly and then the subsequent drilling of that assembly. This is normally due to one or more concerns that if the holes are drilled prior to welding, that:

  1. The contraction and distortion of the material as it cools down from welding, might cause the hole-to-hole accuracy to be compromised, and
  2. The actual welding of the pre-drilled components might not be perfectly aligned, thus compromising the hole-to-hole accuracy

The Avenger and Avenger PLUS machines, by virtue of the static work-piece and moving processing column, allow fabricators to position and drill pre-welded structures on their machines.

This is not something that you can even consider on a typical multi-spindle drill line or coping robot.

We would love to see other photos of our customers drilling pre-welded assemblies – please email them to




Ocean Machinery was honored to have participated in this years’ XIV Symposium International of Structures Steel, sponsored by IMCA (Mexican Institute of Steel Construction), and NONACSA.

NONACSA - Merida, Yucatan

NONACSA – Merida, Yucatan

NONACSA is one of the largest fabricators in the Yucatan, with the help of their Ocean products they are certainly making a difference and building a better community. They played a major role in supporting the Conference by inviting attendees to tour their plant with featured demonstrations of the Ocean Avenger beam drill line and Liberator beam coping machines in action.


NONACSA is one of the largest fabricators in the Yucatan.


NONACSA is a full service company.


NONACSA can proudly boast a well known clientele

It was a great show, we can’t wait till next year – thanks to all who attended!





High School project

This Ohio High School project was completely fabricated and erected by Adena Corp.

The Adena Corporation is located in Mansfield, OH, and with over 200 employees is a very large general contractor that does it all – carpentry, building foundations, masonry, concrete work, steel fabrication and steel erection. The steel fabrication side of the business, North Central Fabrication, fabricates for many different industries including: commercial, industrial, institutional and healthcare, they recently made the decision to add automation to the shop in order to be more competitive and win more jobs. They needed to increase production while maintaining low overhead costs, after weighing all options from Robot Plasmas to Single and Multi Spindle Drill Lines they concluded Ocean Machinery was the perfect fit, and ultimately chose the Ocean Avenger Drill Line and Ocean Terminator Band Saw.

It sure has changed the manner in which we put product out the door. We went from fabricating 100 tons per month to 100 tons within the first week of having the Avenger
– Mike Hall, Division Manager – Adena Corporation

Ocean Avenger

Putting the Avenger directly in line with the Terminator saw minimizes the use of overhead cranes.