"We Fabricate With Tons of Experience". With other CINCINNATI press brakes and hydraulic shears already in use, Hardwick Company, Inc., a job shop in Birmingham and Bessemer, AL, decided to expand its capabilities with larger machinery. Company President Bob Hardwick again sought CINCINNATI for help in maintaining his position as a leader in forming large metal plates.
"We purchased a 2,000-ton Form Master hydraulic press brake with a 30-foot bed and 20 feet between the housings," said Mr. Hardwick. "Some of the work we needed it for included forming high-strength, low-alloy plate in the thicker ranges. Without this machine, we wouldn't have been able to offer our customers these increased services.
"As a job shop, Hardwick Company is sought for specific tasks, but it strives to offer customers a range of additional options. The broader the range of metal forming machines the company has, the more services it can provide. "Sometimes a customer comes in for press brake work and asks about other capabilities," said Mr. Hardwick. "We also roll up to 44-inch-wide flange beams the hard way (x-x axis in metal forming terminology, meaning bending an I-beam on its side, which is more difficult than bending it upright), using the largest beam bender in the world."
Machines from CINCINNATI and other suppliers help Mr. Hardwick position his company as a "world-class bending" expert with unsurpassed large-piece fabricating capabilities in the region-and beyond. Hardwick Company rolls plate up to 6 inches thick and pipe up to 12 inches in diameter. It also has a 3,000-ton press for forming plate up to 8 inches thick.
Machine quality and after-sale follow-up service were key factors in Mr. Hardwick's decision to buy from CINCINNATI. "We know their reputation and service," he said. "That was as important to us as the dependability of the machine itself."
"We needed to get the press brake up and running as quickly as possible," he continued. "CINCINNATI sent a representative out to review plans for installing the machine. When the machine was delivered, he returned to supervise its installation and train our operators. It's also good to know we can call them any time for service. We just can't afford down time."
CINCINNATI's press brakes are engineered to exacting standards for years of reliable service.
Staying ahead of the competition
Hardwick Company now has yet another machine to set itself apart. The 2,000-ton CINCINNATI press brake is one of the largest in the region. The Bessemer plant, headed by business partner Gene Wilson and plant superintendent G.W. Parsons, houses the machine and other heavy-capacity bending and rolling equipment.
"Gene and I want to expand our business by offering capabilities unavailable from other shops," said Mr. Hardwick. "CINCINNATI is helping us do that. We expect the new machine to do the lion's share of heavy forming in our area and also bring customers in from across the country."
The company has been shipping parts formed on its new press brake for nearly two years. "It's perfect," Mr. Hardwick said. "We consider CINCINNATI to be the premier press brake manufacturer in the world."