Half a million dollar torching unit
Winnebago Manufacturing in Blue Earth just received a new tool which will help to boost their efficiency and overall productivity.
On Wednesday, May 30, the manufacturing plant, which specializes in heavy duty plate application, received a new torch system for cutting metal. The torch system, a Metal Master model, was purchased from Messer Cutting Systems in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
According to company president Daryle Pomranke, the factory’s previous metal cutting equipment was 20 years old. Pomranke believes the machinery upgrade, which carries a price tag north of $500,000, will allow Winnebago Manufacturing, and their staff of 40 workers, to remain competitive with other factories.
Like the old cutting unit, the new 10 X 20 unit is able to cut two sheets of metal simultaneously. However, vastly increased efficiency is the major difference between both pieces of equipment.
While the newer model has the capability of cutting 170 inches of metal per minute when working on half-inch thick material, the manufacturing plant’s old unit was capable of cutting 70 inches of metal per minute. As Pomranke explains, the added efficiency of the new equipment will allow the production plan to take on a much heavier workload.
“Our other torch system would cut up to five-eighth inches of metal plate, and that’s the thickest we’d go. This torch system will go up to four inches,” Pomranke says. “It’s going to be twice as fast in cutting, and it’s going to be three times as fast in terms of going from point A to point B to cut metal. It’s quite an improvement.”
Pomranke, a Worthington native, has been involved with Winnebago Manufacturing since 1999. Also on staff, Pomranke’s son, Matt, serves as the general manager for Winnebago Manufacturing. Meanwhile, Pomranke’s nephew, Travis, works in the sales department, and his wife Connie also helps out with business operations.
Pomranke shares the addition of the new torch system has been his company’s first major purchase in a few years.
“We got caught in the economy a little bit with the oil industry going down, so we really haven’t bought any big equipment for the last three years, so this is very exciting,” Pomranke says. “It’s important for the employees and the community to keep things moving locally.”