A successful partnership builds base rail carriers – and better business
Location: Canada and the US
Project: Commercial A/C unit base frame automated handling system
Toronto-based Samco Machinery Ltd. designs and manufactures high-speed roll forming and custom metal forming equipment for commercial applications. Their services include consultation, equipment design and installation, training, maintenance, support, and parts supply. They serve a wide range of industries, building custom solutions for appliance manufacturing, automotive, HVAC, office furniture, shelving and racking, steel stud framing, lighting and more.
Samco’s business model is one which has them partner with dependable manufacturers to deliver quality equipment solutions. They have been working with Almac for over 15 years, leveraging Almac’s deep materials handling knowledge to provide innovative options for their clients’ needs; Almac’s challenge with every project is to help create a seamless team with Samco to provide a turnkey automated solution for the end client.
“Instead of the customer having to go somewhere else or having to struggle with something outside our core competency ourselves, we bring in a team with the ability to execute the end-of-system solutions we need, like stacking and transfer”, says Bob Repovs, Samco CEO.
Samco was involved in projects for two top HVAC manufacturers, manufacturing huge base rail carriers for commercial air conditioning units that go on building rooftops, displacing the load across the weight of the entire roof. They designed and built the upfront system for roll forming and punching; Almac was tasked with building a transfer system running between the Samco-built components to allow materials to travel seamlessly through the manufacturing process.
The biggest challenge was the varied size of the products being made; rails ranging from 10’ to 50’ long had to be accommodated on a single production line. The system required tremendous flexibility, integrating all the disparate pieces into a single, seamless system that would take a coil of steel and process it to an almost-finished product.
“We partner with Almac because they’re specialists in materials handling and transferring finished product” says Repovs. “They’re a company that has proven they can help us efficiently manage and manipulate products off the end of our line.”
Samco prefers to partner with suppliers during the up-front proposal process; they pair teams from both companies together to come up with solid concepts and solutions.
“Having the right people and the right ideas on your team is how to win these projects.” says Repovs. “Almac helps us do it cost-competitively, which is one of our greatest challenges.”
Together, Samco and Almac accommodated the size challenge with a part run out conveyor, and a 90-degree part transfer. From this 90-degree transfer, Almac’s over head pick and place gantry moved the three meter long steel rails into the Samco framing machine. Once formed into the square or rectangular air conditioning base, a second overhead pick and place unit provided by Almac and stacked on a pallet for transfer to the next operation picked up the new part. This created a smooth, fully integrated system that fully met the needs of both HVAC manufacturers.
“The solutions for these two particular projects were about integration and figuring out how to best maneuver the different part sizes”, says John McGough, Almac’s Senior Mechanical Engineer. “Working closely with the engineers at Samco, our team helped create flexible systems that can interpret and manage all those parts at the touch of a button.”
Almac engineers were involved with every step of the process, from design and estimation to final testing and the “final handshake” between disparate pieces of equipment, which ensured all electrical and pneumatic systems were up and running, and any challenges were addressed.
“They always work with us to ensure integration is seamless”, says Repovs. “The final testing phases are always where everything really comes together. The folks from Almac are always there to see things through to the end and ensure it all integrates perfectly, so we can deliver on our promise to our client.”
The result was a custom system that met every challenge and every client need. Almac’s innovative solutions, collaborative approach, expertise and dependability gave Samco the ability to provide Lennox and Trane with A to Z turnkey solutions. They delivered two systems that accommodate all possible lengths, weights and materials, and allow Lennox and Trane to manufacture their products efficiently – all at a cost-efficient price.
For more details on the base rail system, watch Samco Machinery Video.