Author: Sonja Marshall

MG Plate Rolls vs the Need of Special Alloy Rolls

Special alloy rolls are necessary when there is a need to roll a relatively tight diameter on a machine where the standard roll is too large. The question is, however, should you really choose a special alloy roll or should you consider an option that gives you the benefits of the alloy roll but doesn’t limit the usage of your machine?

For an example, a 10’ X 3/8” roll should be used with a 10” roll diameter. Let’s say a person is looking for a roll of this size but has a requirement of rolling 13” diameters. He would have to by a smaller machine unless the power requirements called for the 10’ X 3/8” and in that case he would need a machine with a reduced diameter top roll. This roll would have to be a special alloy roll because it would be smaller yet still being able to do the work of a roll with more mass.

Once you have made the decision to use a smaller special alloy roll you have turned your machine into a very narrow usage machine. A special alloy roll can take more deflection without taking a set (warping) and still go back to it original position. However, a special allow roll still has the same characteristics as any other roll. If it has less mass it will deflect more. So, having a smaller roll – even a special alloy roll – will mean you cannot do the range of work you could with the standard diameter roll. You will have severe barrel defects if you work anything beyond the mid-range of the machine. For this reason it is always better to bring the most massive roll to what ever job you are doing.

MG rolls are capable of working to 1.1 times the top roll diameter at about 60% of its capacity by full length. Almost all other machines can only work to 1.4 or 1.5 times the top roll diameter by full length.

Example: a MG plate roll and a competitor’s plate roll; both with 10” diameter top rolls.

If a job requires a 13” diameter the competitor would have to quote a smaller machine or a 10’ X 3/8” machine with a smaller special alloy roll. MG roll, however, would be able to roll the part with no problem even if the job called out for an 11” diameter. It does this with the full 10” diameter without having to reduce the roll to an 8.6” diameter and reducing the effectiveness of the roll.

The reason why MG rolls can work up to 1.1 times the top roll diameter is their exclusive geometry. It is not a matter of power at all. In fact, MG’s geometry allows it to use less power for any given job making it the most energy-efficient roll on the market. MG rolls also use less horse power than the competitor.

If you are looking for a bigger machine to make a smaller diameter you can always choose a special alloy roll; however, if you want to get a smaller diameter part without sacrificing a broader range of rolling, your best choice is the MG roll.

Cary Marshall, CMF

Texas Manufacturing Activity Grows for Fourth Consecutive Month

The future new orders index rose to its highest level in four years.

Factory activity increased in December, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey released on Dec. 27. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, was positive for the fourth consecutive month.

Manufacturers’ six-month outlook continued to improve. The future indexes for production and shipments edged up further; more than half of respondents expect increases in these measures in coming months. The future new orders index rose to its highest level in four years, with all firms anticipating either increased or stable order volumes.

The future general business activity index advanced from 26 to 37, and the future company outlook index rose to 38, with 94% of firms anticipating similar or improved conditions six months from now.

Other indicators of current activity also remained positive, signaling continued growth in manufacturing. The shipments index held steady at a reading of 8, and the capacity utilization index rose from 10 to 15, with 29% of manufacturers reporting an increase.

The new orders index declined in December but stayed in positive territory, with more than three-fourths of firms noting increased or unchanged order volumes.

Measures of general business conditions remained positive in December. The general business activity index came in at 13, with nearly a quarter of respondents noting improved activity. The company outlook index edged down to 15, although the share of manufacturers who said their outlook improved rose to its highest level since May.

Labor market indicators improved notably this month. The employment index rose from 6 in November to 15 in December, reaching its highest level since early 2007. Twenty-four percent of firms reported hiring new workers, compared with 9% reporting layoffs. Hours worked increased again this month, and the wages and benefits index rose from 5 to 10.

The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity. Data were collected Dec. 14–21, and 96 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey. Firms are asked whether output, employment, orders, prices and other indicators increased, decreased or remained unchanged over the previous month.

Prices climbed again in December. Input costs remained on an upward trend, with the raw materials price index rising from 35 to 44. Forty-six percent of manufacturers saw an increase in prices paid for raw materials, compared with only 2% who saw a decrease. Finished goods prices rose for the second month in a row, although the great majority of respondents continued to note no change. More than half of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 37% expect higher finished goods prices.

Industry Week Dec. 27, 2010

Bendmak PRO100 Hydraulic Profile Bending Machine

  • PRO 100 rolls are driven by hydraulic motor + planetary gearbox and gears.
  • Machine body manufactured of st-52 special steel
  • Built in accordance with EU norms
  • Rolls and shafts are made of special steel (42CrMo4) — Induction hardened and grinded
  • Side guide rolls are in one direction manual adjustable
  • Vertical and horizontal working possibility
  • Hydraulic and electrical protection against overloading
  • Digital readout to display position of lower rolls
  • Torque limit device to prevent overloading during bending
  • Independent hydraulic up and down movement of the bottom rolls
  • One universal set of profile roll
  • Portable control panel with foot pedal in order to control material from required locations.
  • Manual lubrication
  • Detailed instruction manual

Fabtech 2010 Post Show Report


  • Attendance: 21,929
  • Exhibitors: 1,138
  • Square Feet: 370,400


  • 82% of exhibitors were satisfied or very satisfied with the QUALITY of attendees at the show.
  • 66% of exhibitors were satisfied or very satisfied with the QUANTITY of attendees at the show.
  • 77% of exhibitors were satisfied or very satisfied with the FABTECH show overall.

Source: Exhibitor Survey

Please click HERE to read the full 2010 Post Show Report

October Machine Tool Sales Drop 2.5%, but Factors Suggest Strength

Sales of machine tool sales to U.S. manufacturers and machine shops fell 2.5% during October, from $399.76 million to $387.13, according to data supplied by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Assn. (AMTDA) The information is based on actual data reported by companies participating in their monthly U.S. Machine Tool Consumption program, which includes information on a national and regional basis.

A separate source, IndustryInsight, indicates that sales of new machine tools in the U.S. totaled 1,215 units in October, which was an increase from September when it found 1,108 new units were sold. IndustryInsight also reports that October sales of used machine tools totaled 789 units.

The disparity between the two reports may be accounted for by the value of the machine tools sold during September, and/or by some differences in recording the dates of sales and deliveries. The USMTC September figures are somewhat anomalous in that they include data from sales of manufacturing technology during IMTS 2010, the industry’s biennial trade expo. Following that, the October USMTC results are considered strong, and represent a 154.9% improvement over October 2009 when manufacturing technology consumption totaled $151.86 million.

“Never in the history of the USMTC have we seen a post-IMTS October rival September so closely,” according to AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

Woods also said “increased Sec. 179 expensing” — a reference to an Internal Revenue Service allowance that businesses use to claim the cost of certain types of property as an expense, rather than a capital investment to be depreciated — “and 50% bonus depreciation enacted in late September helped offset the declines we normally see after a show.”

For the calendar year, the USMTC finds that January-October 2010 manufacturing consumption amounts to $2,477.06 million, an increase of 83.2% over the comparable 10-month period of 2009.

In regional sales, strong results from the Northeast and West offset the declines in other areas. October sales in the Northeast totaled $97.59 million, a 51% rise in manufacturing technology consumption from September’s $64.62 million, and a 277.5% improvement over October 2009. Year-to-date sales in the region amount to $461.40 million, up 75.9% versus the January-October 2009 period, according to the USMTC.

In the West, manufacturing technology consumption came in at $40.41 million for the month, 29.4% above the $31.24 million recorded for September and 78.6% above the October 2009 result. The year-to-date total for the region is $268.73 million, up 40.9% over the region’s January-October 2009 results.

The value of manufacturing technology in the Midwest was greater than in any other region during October at $116.66 million, but still represented a 3.3% decline from $120.67 during September. It was, however, a 147.5% improvement over October 2009 and it brings year-to-date consumption in the region to $349.01 million, a rise of 86.3% for the comparable period of 2009.

The Central region reported manufacturing technology consumption totaling $92.45 million for October, 18.7% less than September’s $113.72 million, but 167.7% better than October 2009 consumption. For the 10 months of 2010, the Central region has posted a total of $651.50 million, 101.2% better than the comparable figure for 2009.

October consumption in the Southern region amounted to $40.01 million, according to the USMTC, a 40.2% drop from September’s $66.92 million total but an improvement of 84.3% over October 2009. The region’s year-to-date consumption totals $349.01 million, 86.3% better than the regional consumption total for January-October 2009.

From American Machinist 12/15/2010

Graphs from AMTDA December 13, 2010 release “Manufacturing technology consumption up 83.2% year-to-date”

U.S. Factories See Stronger Sales, Spending in 2011, ISM Says

Manufacturers in the U.S. are more optimistic about sales next year and plan to ramp up spending on new equipment, signaling factories will keep leading the economic recovery, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management.

Purchasing managers at factories anticipate sales will grow 5.6 percent next year and business capital investment will jump 15 percent, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s semiannual forecast showed today. Sales and spending will increase at a slower pace among service providers that account for about 90 percent of the economy.

Manufacturers “are optimistic about their organizations’ prospects as they consider the first half of 2011, and they are even more positive about the second half,” Norbert Ore, chairman of the group’s factory survey, said in a statement. “While 2010 has been a year of recovery in manufacturing, our forecast sees improvements in both investment and employment.”

The gains in sales and investment exceed projected increases in payrolls, indicating the labor market will be slow to improve. Factory employment is projected to increase 1.8 percent in 2011, compared with a 0.3 percent rise at service industries.

A weakening dollar and demand for American-made goods in faster-growing markets such as China and Brazil are lifting growth at factories, driving the recovery. Holiday-season sales gains at retailers indicate services also are contributing to the expansion.

Revenue is forecast to rise 3.4 percent at service industries, while capital spending is projected to increase 3.7 percent.

More Optimism

Services “have a higher level of optimism about the next 12 months than they had last December for 2010,” Anthony Nieves, chairman of the group’s services survey, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, ISM figures for November showed manufacturing grew for a 16th consecutive month, and service industries expanded at the fastest pace in six months.

Even so, the world’s largest economy isn’t growing quick enough to bring down unemployment. The jobless rate rose to seven-month high of 9.8 percent in November and payroll gains slowed to 39,000 from 172,000 in the previous month, a Labor Department report showed on Dec. 3.

Today’s survey showed manufacturing revenue will post a 7.9 percent increase in 2010. Sales at service companies will rise 0.2 percent this year, the group said.

Retail sales rose in November by the most in eight months, led by Abercombie & Fitch Co. and J.C Penney Co., as shoppers took advantage of discounts, particularly during the Thanksgiving weekend. Overall, same-store sales at the more than 30 chains tracked by Retail Metrics Inc. increased 5.3 percent, beating analysts’ estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shobhana Chandra in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at

From Hammer To Spark

As we post here about the latest and greatest in metal fabrication machinery, and advances in technology, am I the only one who is drawn to the opposite pole?

I find it important to remember the past in order to better appreciate the technologically advance present.

I was taking a look at the Ironworkers, particularly the MIW Double Cylinder Machine and it got me to thinking.

Where did the birth of this technology really get it’s kick start?  All invention is born of need.  So where did the need really kick in?

Metal fabrication or working has been around before recorded time, but it wasn’t until the last couple of centuries (particularly WWI) that the overwhelming production of metal fabrication came to be.  I feel that it hinged on the ability to forge metals without having to beat them into submission with forge welding.  You know.  Hammer this metal into that metal over and over and over again until you had your weld.

Not very practical if you want to build an all steel battle ship huh?  And for that matter, the more rivets you have the more holes you have.  Not a real good idea when building a boat right?

In 1802 a Russian scientist named Vasily Vladimirovich discovered the arc.  Now that’s not to say he was the first guy to see lightning.  But as far as we know he as the first guy to create some, even if on a small scale.

Long story short, (I know I’m a writer, I’m supposed to tell the long version), using a voltaic pile, or battery of sorts, he was able to create an arc.  Very cool stuff, but he took it a step forward.  And that step is what really sealed his position in history.  He proposed the arc be used in the fusion of metals.  He even created the first small weld using that very voltaic pile.

In essence he was the first arc welder.

Now it wasn’t until a couple of decades later that the idea was expounded upon, but he was the first.

Of course arc welding from there on out had a limited success.  But like several inventions, it was war that brought it into full bloom.

Come World War I, the need for welding was dire and the rest is, well, history.

I believe the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.  I’m not sure how necessary war is, but the invention part of welding is much appreciated by mankind, more so than most realize.

So next time you working in the shop on your MG 4 Roll Hydraulic Plate Bending Machine, remember that we might even have had a reason to invent such a thing if it weren’t for Vasily and he his help in taking us from hammer to spark.

by Michael Graves

MH2550G – Plate Bending Machine

Cone test with a 4-roll bending machine.

  • Height: 1600mm
  • Thickness: 600mm d x 1600mm D x 25mm