An Interview with Tony Wells
The old adage…”A plate roll is just a plate roll” could no longer be further from the truth. Today’s fabricators face the same challenges of other market segments, such as: reduced skill in the labor pool and the requirement for lower overhead and increasing productivity to compete with the ever expanding global market. At the same time, finished fabricated products are becoming more complex and automation requirements are now becoming mainstream solutions even in the world of plate fabrication. Tony Wells, Davi’s Business Development Manager talks about some of the advantages Davi rolls provide.
What factors should someone consider when investing in a plate roll?
Customers today should look for a plate roll that is: Easy to operate as the skilled labor pool continues to shrink, technological innovations – this demonstrates the builder will most likely continue to make advancements in the rolling equipment, the ability to add automation, whether today or in the future. Most importantly customers should look for a plate roll that is backed by a quality and reliable company with the support structure required to take care of the equipment for the life of the product. This is where Davi shines.
In 2006, Davi Italy created a division called Davi North America. The intent of Davi North America support customers, to date Davi North America has 14 employees, four Service Engineers, one Application Engineering-Plate Roller and a whole support staff. Davi North America is located just outside Rockford, Illinois where we also stock upwards of $500,000.00 in spare parts inventory.
Why would someone choose a Davi roll?
There are many reasons, ease of use, speed, and accuracy to name a few. However, two factors that help Davi excel at these disciplines are;
1.) Planetary Swing Guide Technology – this is the mechanical design Davi uses to raise, lower and tilt the side rolls of the plate roll. Customers can expect pre-bending flat ends 1-3 times the material thickness-improving seam conditions and in many cases doing away with the requirement to re-roll shells after welding or pre-bending plates in a press brake before rolling-reducing the number of operations required. Part “fit-up” such as end caps will be much more accurate as well.
2.) Roll-By-Wire– produces the most accurate parts possible. Because Davi tracks, compensates and maintains constant roll height and parallelism “in real time” parts are accurate throughout the entire range of the work envelope. There are far less digital components than the older analog technology, thus making the machine more reliable and easier to maintain.
Tell me about the new controls features and benefits.
Davi has been putting CNC Controls on plate rolls for more than 10 years. Today, Davi uses a PC based, Open Architecture hardware platform. With our software and control customers can download CAD data right to the plate roll machine which automatically generates a rolling part program. Our program assist feature allows the Davi CNC Control to automatically generate the rolling part program and calculate roll positions. The operator need only input the material type, plate thickness, plate width and lengths of flats and or diameters they would like to roll. The CNC does the rest. Even with all this technology, a plate rolling veteran can still walk up to a machine insert a plate and run the machine manually.
I hear you have a wind tower machine. Tell me about it.
Over 15 years ago, Davi formed a joint venture with a company called Vestas the worlds leading producer of wind towers. The goal was to take a stand alone plate roll and equip it with all the features necessary to not only produce the required geometry for wind towers but to do so with great productivity and decreased labor. The turn-key system Davi has developed allows our customers with 1 operator to roll 1 conical shell 10 feet wide x 2 inches thick x 16 foot diameter in under 15 minutes-which includes tack welding. This distinct advantage has allowed Davi to become the plate roll of choice with most every major player in the wind energy market place today.
What kind of training is included on the machine and software?
Every Davi machine is offered with complete factory personnel installation and training. Training is performed at the customers location and is tailored to his specific requirements and type of work. All Davi Service and Application Engineers go through at least 6 weeks training at the Global headquarters in Italy with follow-up training several times a year. This service goes hand-in-hand with the Davi goal of providing the best customer support and service in the plate rolling market today. At Davi North America’s headquarters in Love’s Park. Illinois, Davi offers extensive distributor training, plate rolling seminars, rolling demonstrations and seminars on technological advancements in the plate rolling industry at our 13,000 sq/ft Customer Technical Center.