Company profile and business area of Viking SupplyNet and Fabrication Services:
Viking SupplyNet and Fabrication Services is a supplier of components for all things related to fire protection. The company is part of Viking Group, Inc. which is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. The Viking Corporation manufactures critical components such as sprinkler heads and valves. Viking SupplyNet is the distribution division which sells the components to contractors who subsequently do the installation and maintenance of the fire protection systems.
Need for more safety and quality:
The pipe fabrication division of Viking required a more robust machine able to handle the rough fabrication environment in which the machine operates.
Viking’s primary objective centered around improved quality and consistency from its grooving machine to support the heavy volume of roll grooving in the fabrication shop.
With this focus on consistent quality, the company sought a solution which would modernize and update their machines. Improved safety conditions surrounding the grooving process was an additional requirement, as safety is a primary objective at all levels within the Viking organization.
Finally, Viking prioritized finding a solution which would help increase the production volume rate to keep up with growing customer demand.
The combination of the modernization of the PLC-driven system and the consistency that the machine provides made the Groove Master the best solution for Viking.
The Groove Master gives Viking the ability to adjust the programs and optimize the machine to fit their needs which already has been a great advantage. Since the use of the Groove Master within Viking’s business process, the company has been a lot more consistent in its quality.
With the addition of the Groove Master to Viking’s fabrication facility, the operation process of Viking has become easier and safer. The machine has a two-button start and it allows the operator to place the pipe in the machine, engage a clamping cycle and step away while it is performing the grooving process. There is no need for closely interacting with the machine during the grooving process.
The Groove Master improves the production volume of Viking. The tooling is an important factor here; the tooling is easy to change and therefore it has a short change over time between different diameter ranges. Hence, the downtime is reduced.
Project delivery and training:
The service delivered by Copier has been experienced as rapid and adequate. Due to travel restrictions, the training had to be given online, however, the video calls with the CEO of Copier Machinery was still a good way of providing the training to Viking. The training has been experienced as beneficial in the start-up.
There were some initial issues with the programming of the machine, which is normal when acquiring a new machine that is custom-programmed. The technical team immediately helped to change the programming accordingly to Viking's needs.
“Copier did a great job by helping us change the programming of the machine to fit our needs, which was a great benefit. Since then we have been a lot more consistent in our quality. We have the Groove Master running for over 6 months in a couple of locations and we’ve not had any issues with the grooves in the field.”
Lucas Crumley, Engineering manager at Viking SupplyNet and Fabrication Services