H&J HOWELLS OPTS FOR SWEBEND POWER AND ACCURACY
H&J Howells – the South Wales-based, one-stop shop for precision engineering and sheet metal processing – has invested in additional section bending capacity from WJS Machine Tools, a subsidiary of Water Jet Sweden UK Group. The new plant equipment – a sophisticated three-roll section bending machine has been purchased to ramp up the company’s fabrication capabilities and output, while opening up new business opportunities.The company – a first port of call for petrochemical, agricultural and defence enterprises in the UK provides a complete manufacturing service that includes profiling, forming, welding and machining – has invested in a 60cm3 capacity SweBend SB3 105S machine, which features hydraulic guide rolls with rotational, longitudinal and height adjustment.The one-touch, hydraulically-manipulated, SweBend SB3 machines are the most powerful on the market featuring a unique geometry and support system – coupled with a powerful planetary gearbox – that facilitates fast, accurate, twist and deformation-free rolling.The wireless, Bluetooth-controlled machine purchased also includes SweBend’s Bluetooth control system, with the positions of each bending roll displayed digitally on the wireless operator pendant; this means the operative can walk around the wide working area to see each part of the section being rolled and make fine adjustments on the fly. Prior to taking delivery of the SB3 machine, the company had relied solely on two Swedish Roundo R3 and R6S machines for section bending which – although 20 years-old now – continue to churn out the kind of high quality work for which the Howells enterprise is renowned.But following uncertainty caused by the Kajrup family’s sale of Roundo in 2016 – which was subsequently exacerbated by a disruptive bankruptcy and further disposal – the South Wales engineering concern needed little persuading to switch its allegiance to SweBend and sole UK supplier WJS Machine Tools.In addition to manufacturing its own range of section, plate, tube and forming machines, the company – set up in Hässleholm, Sweden, by former Roundo managing and technical director, Peter Nilsson, along with ex-Roundo senior engineers, designers and technicians – also specialises in Roundo upgrades, spares and support services.Carl and Rhys Howells visited the Hässleholm facility to undergo a familiarisation and demonstration on the model SB3 105S which gave them ample time to watch the SB3 machines in action, plus the state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly processes.
“We’d done our homework before placing the order and were well aware of the amazing torque delivered by the planetary gearbox,” said Carl.”But to see how easily the SB3 105S machine was able to roll large angle section without a hint of twisting or deformation was a real eye opener. We were pleased to have followed Swebend’s recommendation to have the hydraulic pushing roll; its support of angle sections against the top roll virtually eliminated any twist as would normally be a problem with these operations.”It confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt that we’d made the right decision. It’ll give us increased capacity, improve the accuracy of our manufacturing, save on material wastage, speed up production and make life so much easier for our operatives.
“Add to that the continued support for our old Roundo machines offered by SweBend and WJS Machine Tools and it was a complete no-brainer. We now look forward to a welcome return on our investment.”WJS Machine Tools Gavin Bell added: “Without a doubt SweBend has taken over the ground monopolised by the old Swedish Roundo until its eventual exit from Sweden in 2016. Their products are of the highest quality which coupled with the new generation technology they employ provides our customers with definite competitive advantage.”H&J Howells are witness to this. It was amazing to see how quickly Carl was rolling large angle sections without deformation using the hydraulic pushing roll and with fine manipulation of the hydraulic guide rolls. Through Swebend we are able to offer retrofit of the same BlueTooth control and reading scales to their Roundo machines which removes the risk of obsolescence and gives compatibility across the facility.”
“Our business succeeds on the Worldwide market by delivering quality parts, on time and at a competitive cost. Often, our major structural contracts are won on capability to deliver against challenging designs in a world of ever more complicated geometries. Working with WJS Machine Tools and their partners has allowed us to develop machines for this purpose”