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

IMG_3452

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.

 

 

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: J&C Steel Fabricators

One of Ocean’s newest Avenger Drill Line customers, J&C Steel Fabricators, in Brooklyn, New York, is extremely pleased with what the Avenger Drill Line can do. It has also drastically lowered production costs, minimized shop floor errors and shown an immediate return on their investment.

J&C Steel Fabricators

Cesar Velesaca, President J&C Steel Fabricators (center) with members of his crew and Tom Doyle of Doyle Structural Solutions

They neatly placed their machine against the wall where the steel supply truck backs into the bay to unload parallel to the Avenger.

Avenger Drill Line

Avenger Drill Line positioned so trucks can unload parallel to table

Avenger

The position of the Avenger makes loading and unloading on the truck easy

Avenger Drilled Beams

jc_steel_fabricators_0003

 

 

 

Stop coping by hand and become more PROFITABLE!

These days it is almost impossible to be competitive using a slow manual approach to fabricating, especially when manually measuring & laying out copes, then burning them by hand. Plus there is additional grinding and cleaning of the cope adding additional costs to the process.

This means you have way too many man-hours in each cut or cope. What you really need is a more economical, and more accurate solution that does your coping and notching cleaner and much faster, ensuring you make a larger margin on your bids.

Learn how the Ocean Liberator can make you MONEY by coping your pieces significantly faster and cheaper than doing it by hand or with a robotic plasma coper.

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: Adena Corporation

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.

 

 

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: Standley Batch Systems

Standley Batch Systems in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is a leader in design and fabrication of concrete batch processing automation systems for new and existing plants, including conveying systems, storage bins and silos.

Avenger operator

Robert Holzum, Salesman and, Scott, their Operator, beside their Avenger Drill Line installed in 2014

The Avenger Drill was installed in 2014 and production has benefited from improvements in layout and drilling  times, as well as more accurate field installations and fit-up.  In the photos below they demonstrate their custom modification; air-actuated pistons which assist in moving the profile to the Avenger’s datum line for processing.

Air-actuated pistons

Air-actuated pistons assist in moving the profile to the Avenger’s datum line

air-actuated piston

Air-actuated piston

Avenger drill ine

The Right Way to Fabricate Steel

Ocean is fortunate to have a great new partner, Cayarga SA de CV Constructora, from Torreón, Coahuila, México.

Javier Cayarga Izaguirre of Cayarga SA de CV Constructora with Ocean's Luis Pena

Javier Cayarga Izaguirre of Cayarga SA de CV Constructora with Ocean’s Luis Pena

Javier Cayarga Izaguirre is an Architect who loves the construction and structural steel industry so much that he decided to get fully involved. And this is how he is going about it. Brand new building, two long parallel 200 ft. bays, with cranes soon to be installed. And to do the work efficiently, he ordered a new Avenger to do the laying out and drilling of holes, directly from the Tekla detail drawings. This my friends is the right way to get into the game!

We were fortunate to be on site when the truck bearing the new Avenger pulled into his new fab shop, and Javier watched like an expectant father as the machine was being unloaded from the truck. I have the feeling that this is going to be in an interesting story to watch unfold.

Javier Cayarga Izaguirre watches as his new Avenger arrives

Javier Cayarga Izaguirre watches anxiously as his new Avenger arrives

Cayarga SA de CV Constructora  From Torreón, Coahuila, México

Cayarga SA de CV Constructora – Torreón, Coahuila, México

Ocean's Luis Pena unveils their new machine

Ocean’s Luis Pena gives his approval on the delivery

Peddinghaus and Ocean rebuild Christchurch

The 22nd of Feb 2011 was a terrifying day in Christchurch New Zealand. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake decimated the city, killing 185 people and destroying over 170,000 buildings.

Following the earthquake, and eleven months of more than four hundred 4.5 magnitude and higher aftershocks, the former picturesque city of Christchurch was no more. Most of the buildings in the city center collapsed, and those that remained standing had to be condemned.

February 22, 2011 earthquake - Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake - Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake - Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake - Christchurch, NZ

February 22, 2011 earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

And so a long hard project of rebuilding from the ruins was put into play. Steel Construction New Zealand, (SCNZ) the governing body of the steel industry, set about revising their building code, and steel became the building material of choice for the rebirth of Christchurch.

Through the hard work of our great partner, Impact Machinery, both Ocean Machinery and Peddinghaus set about installing the massive fabricating capacity that would be needed throughout the island, and in so doing, we have been instrumental in seeing the skyline of New Zealand change in front of our eyes.

John Jones Steel - Christchurch, NZ

John Jones Steel – Christchurch, NZ

Darren Harmsworth (Impact Machinery) with a 24″ x 24″ column being drilled on the Avenger

John Jones Steel - Christchurch, NZ

Ocean Avenger at John Jones Steel – Christchurch, NZ

Five years later, the skyline has changed and we are proud to have been part of this amazing journey of rebirth. Thanks to our partners, Impact Machinery, Peddinghaus and especially our New Zealand Fabricators.

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ using the 24″ x 24″ columns drilled by the Ocean Avenger

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The rebuilding of Christchurch, NZ

The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

The sales model of the Plasma Robots, such as the Python X, Ficep, Voortman, Daito and others, relies on the seductive promise of having one machine do the work of multiple machines, essentially eliminating the need for a saw, drill line and a coper. While in reality this never actually materializes (witness our Saw, Drill and Angle Line sales to existing Plasma Coping Robot users), and there is one further aspect that is never mentioned in the plasma robot sales pitch.

And that is just how sloppy the cuts and copes become within a very short time. This means that instead of eliminating labor, the user often has to hire additional labor to grind and clean the dross and slop from the cuts.

control-cabinet

This has propelled the Ocean Blaster into the limelight as it is the most economical and efficient blast cleaning machine on the market and makes quick work of automatically cleaning the dross from these plasma cut parts. Just take a look at the before and after photos below.

The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

BEFORE – The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

AFTER – The Ocean Blaster Cleans Up behind Python-X and Plasma Robots

The Ocean Blaster is a very compact, ruggedly built Shot Blaster featuring twin bucket elevators keeping the overall height so low that it can fit in any fab shop without the need for a pit. The hyper efficient turbines ensure that it has the lowest operating costs of all blasters on the market, and makes it the perfect machine for existing Python X and other Plasma Robot users to clean their steel.