Albina Co., Inc. is a family-owned business servicing the steel industry since 1939 and providing quality products that stand out from the competition. Located in Portland, Oregon, they serve all United States and Canada. Steel bending, steel rolling and steel fabrication are their bread and butter, since they curve structural steel members, various sizes of round pipe and HSS material, and plates.
With a big angle roll (MCP) and a 3 roll variable axis plate roll (MAV) purchased in the last two years, Albina started partnering with DAVI. This led us to the chance of talking with Brian Smith, President, and KC Lesch, COO at Albina.
For starters, Brian told us about the history of the company and the recent rolling needs. “Our first angle rolls were homemade and started us on our 81-year adventure as a bending company. After many years, when we started rolling plate, our equipment allowed us to bend small and medium sized material. Last year, then, we decided to take the leap and go into the large plate rolling market and purchased a DAVI MAV allowing us to bend 2 ½” x 10 ft wide plates”.
Then, Brian explained which criteria they use when they select a new rolling machine. Being downtime a schedule and reputation killer, quality is the first feature, since the equipment must be dependable and operational 24/7, as well as it needs to be innovative in some way. Secondly, an unmatched customer support, i.e. they look for a company wanting to team up and having longevity in the industry. Moreover, easy access to spare parts and tooling and, last but not least, price (reasonable and within budget).
“We felt like DAVI was an innovative company that was looking to bring something new to the table”, continued Brian. “When we first purchased an MCP from DAVI, we were bending 8” Sch40 pipe for a track and field stadium in Eugene, Oregon. We needed a specific machine that was not stock, since we had height special requirements: to meet our needs, DAVI redesigned a compact angle roll, moving the power unit outside the main machine frame. We finally purchased a customized machine in December 2017 and in May 2018 the angle roll was rolling in our plant. That was quick!”.
Two years later, Albina went for a DAVI again, choosing a 3 roll MAV plate roll at Fabtech 2019 and having it delivered a couple of weeks later. “Lead-time was a big determining factor in our purchase”, highlighted Brian. “DAVI and their team are always responsive to our needs and treat Albina as a valued member of the team: we do not feel like just another customer they are trying to sell to”.
With KC we went through some projects Albina carried out with DAVI equipment. “The two largest jobs we have processed with the MCP are the 8” Sch40 pipe for the track and field stadium in Eugene, Oregon and W8 x 40# bent the hard-way for a transportation project in Phoenix, Arizona. For the MAV, the most recent project is 1” A572 plates helically bent”. KC also told us DAVI angle roll does a great job in very large and high-profile projects. Albina tracks equipment efficiency and their collected data shows that the MCP is 125% efficient (time spent on the machine is 25% faster than previously established time standards). “The MCP is one of the most efficient rolling machines we own”, concluded KC. DAVI angle roll is equipped with the iRoll-Camera, an innovative radius-checking vision system allowing Albina to compare the radius of a drawing with the actual part. With iRoll-Camera, operators can make the comparison in real time, without removing material from the machine. Drawings can be imported to the CNC and, being the camera located above the operation and providing a bird’s-eye-view of the part, an overlay appears. Time saving and improved safety are the main outputs of the iRoll-Camera!
In conclusion, Brian defined both DAVI machines as solid, efficient and reliable, and the overall relation with DAVI very satisfying. “DAVI will have a shot at all our future rolling needs. They have proven to be a valued supplier and a key supplier to Albina”.