FIELD NOTES: 50-ton 50514-EC hydraulic ironworker
- March 29, 2019
supplier: Scotchman Industries
end user: Bennic Machine Inc.
When you do a wide variety of jobs for a lot of different kinds of customers —and especially when much of what you do is low-run, custom work—it pays to have equipment that can pivot easily from one assignment to the next, minimize setup and turn work around quickly, accurately and reliably.
Bennic Machine Inc., based in St. Joachim, ON, (near Windsor) does fabrication, welding and other kinds of jobs for customers in the light industrial, automotive, commercial and residential sectors. The assignments are highly varied—frames, racks, carts, piping, work for tool and die mould shops—and a lot of the jobs are custom work. Until last year it was mostly a matter of manual bandsaw cutting, says owner/operator Brian Reaume.
But last June, Bennic acquired a 50 ton Scotchman 50514-EC hydraulic ironworker from Brennan Machinery, a Canadian distributor for Scotchman Industries. The 50514-EC is capable of a wide variety of functions, including punching, bending, cutting, trimming, notching and more.
“It’s set up to cut quick,” Reaume says. “I build beer carts for one of my customers. It used to take four hours to do the cutting and bending on one of those, and now I can do it in 20 minutes or half an hour. It’s a huge time saver.” The notching is a big plus for Bennic, which does a lot of piping work.
Reaume can point to jobs, such as automotive fixture carts, where as much as 80 per cent of the labour cost has been taken out of the job. That time saving translates into cost savings that Bennic can pass on to the customer.
But Reaume says accuracy and repeatability are also crucial.
“The biggest thing is the repeatability. Think of a table saw and how you butt the wood piece up to a stop and cut it; it’s the same idea and principles with metal,” Reaume says. “Now I’m not measuring every piece to cut it. You have a stop, you put a piece in and you cut. You set it up once and just run. It’s taken a lot of the human error out.”
Reaume has a long history in the business and using similar machines over his three-decade career left him with a strong desire to get one of his own. “Last year, it was finally time,” he says. “The company has been growing and it was a piece of equipment that I’ve always wanted.” With the new ironworker, Bennic is now extremely busy with all the new work that it’s been able to take on.
“It’s like a Swiss Army knife for a metal shop. You can do a lot of different things in a short period of time,” Reaume says. “That’s how I’d sum it up.” SMT