Collaboration at its best – Herr-Voss Stamco and Almac Industrial Systems
Project: 80,000 lb steel handling system (coil and flat)
Pennsylvania-based Herr-Voss Stamco has been in business for over 100 years, and is a leading manufacturer of coil processing equipment for metalworking industries worldwide. Known for advanced technology and reliability, they design and build high-productivity, heavy-duty lines that maximize productivity and product quality for metals producers, service centres, toll processors and OEMs. Their offerings include cut-to-length lines, multi-blanking lines, slitting lines, tension level lines, process lines and rebuild and retrofit.
Herr-Voss Stamco’s coil processing equipment uses conveyors, but because they are not a core competency, the company outsources their design and manufacture. The US-based operation typically uses local suppliers to provide the conveyor components for their coil processing systems. However, in 2013, they started looking for a company that could provide the same level of quality and communication as their current partners, but at a lower price. So they decided to cross the border in search of a dependable solution for a cut-to-length project for Samuel, Son and Co., a service centre that processes raw coils. One of the key challenges of this particular project was that the system had to fit into a relatively tight envelope.
Almac designed a series of conveyors to move packs (stacks of metal sheets) between Herr-Voss Stamco-designed machines. In order to accommodate the tight fit, the two engineering teams worked closely on innovative options and modifications to ensure the machines coordinated perfectly. Once the equipment was ready, Matt Weil, Herr-Voss Stamco lead project engineer, came up to Toronto for an inspection, then had the system installed by a third-party contractor.
Weil dealt with Mitch McPherson throughout the process, and was impressed by Almac’s open communication with Herr-Voss Stamco engineers.
“Everything Almac does is custom,” says Weil. “They were able to fully customize their conveyors to our needs. Together, we were able to create flexible solutions that fit the space and met every client need. The Almac component coordinated well with the neighbouring equipment; the first time we started up the line, there were no issues. Working with Almac, there really were no challenges.”
Weil also appreciated the ease with which his team was able to collaborate with Almac.
“They were very good at communicating layouts, design modifications and calculations,” he says. “The process was very transparent as far as design, any issues that came up, where they were in the process, that sort of thing.”
The result is a robust, fully customized system that has operated without a hitch from day one. Herr-Voss Stamco has already brought Almac on for further projects – the most recent one was another tight-fit solution that also required some innovative thinking. Like the Samuels system, the second project had unique space requirements; Almac modified their conveyors so the system wasn’t driving all the rollers, and roller space was maximized without compromising speed or functionality.