It’s not every day that a New Zealand rollformer manufacturer gets repeat orders from a subsidiary of a multinational steel company to supply a key part of a complete technology package.
When Melbourne-based BlueScope Steel’s ENDUROFRAME® framing business was sourcing the manufacturers of equipment to make their proprietary steel house framing system, there was a very wide field to choose from in Australia, Asia and New Zealand.
However, specialist Canterbury rollformer manufacturer Angus Robertson Mechanical had a CV packed with impressive references from clients – “quality, ability to think outside the square, innovation, professionalism, best in the country” – and won the contract for the first machine.
The Enduro rollformer is part of the ENDUROFRAME® building system, a light gauge steel framing system used to design, detail and manufacture steel frames and trusses for residential and light commercial markets.
EnduroCadd® is another core component of the ENDUROFRAME® technology package. It is the result of more than 20 years of light gauge steel R&D and construction feedback from projects around the world. It is also the only steel framing package in Australia that can self-certify roof trusses for non-cyclonic and cyclonic regions, eliminating the time and costs of external certification.
Smartlink is the link between the ENDURO™ rollformer and the ENDUROCADD® software. It schedules orders and optimises production and fabrication. The program increases manufacturing efficiency, and schedules orders to optimise material flows. Since manufacturing that first ENDURO™ rollformer, Angus Robertson Mechanical Ltd has supplied several machines to ENDUROFRAME® and these have gone to Asia, Africa and Australia. The latest ENDURO™ rollformer from Angus Robertson Mechanical was on display at the recent SouthMACH show in Christchurch.
“ENDUROFRAME® came to us with a product, and what they wanted from that product,” says Angus Robertson Mechanical designer Patrick Morris, “and we designed and manufactured to achieve that result. The first machine took us 26 weeks to complete, but now we have got them down to an 18-week turnaround.”
The rollformer has been designed to be an all-in-one machine, capable of producing all steel sections required for steel trusses and wall frames, using 550MPa high tensile TRUECORE® steel in both a ribbed C section and an unribbed U section. It is available in two options – 75mm and 90mm, and the latter is capable of manufacturing frames and trusses for all wind speeds from N1-C4.
The ENDURO™ rollformer has been designed for high-speed rollforming, with multiple punching stations and a heavy duty 1.5 tonne SWL tilt-up uncoiler, eliminating the need for overhead cranes. The uncoiler also means coils can be loaded faster and damage can be reduced. The machine can use coil from 0.55-1.2mm thick. It comes standard with a proprietary Human Face Industrial, touch screen PC which means the machine can be operated by one person. The operator station is at the back of the machine, beside the 12-metre run-out table. Control is through an ethernet, via a PLC.
There have been modifications to the hydraulic shear to enable very flimsy sections to pass through the rollformer. Only five minutes is needed to change profiles.
The ENDURO™ rollformer produces a ribbed C-section which is used for studs and trusses, as well as an unribbed U-section used for plates and nogging. The ribbed C-section increases the strength of studs by more than 20 percent compared to unribbed sections, meaning less steel can be used in frames and trusses. It is also asymmetrical, which allows it to be boxed for additional strength when required. The U-section is slightly larger than the C-section, allowing the C-section to snap into the boxed section without swaging.
BlueScope Steel is a steel producer with operations in Australia, Asia, New Zealand, North America and the Pacific Islands. It was spun out of BHP Billiton in 2002 and renamed BlueScope Steel in 2003.
BlueScope has 17,500 employees, and is the largest steel producer in Australia and New Zealand, with manufacturing plants at Port Kembla in New South Wales and Western Port in Victoria, and Glenbrook near Waiuku.
Its brands include COLORBOND®, ZINCALUME® and AXXIS® steels. ENDUROFRAME® is part of the BlueScope Steel Global Cold Form Solutions business which develops software for many types of steel building solutions.