Largest Expansion in Company History
Over ten years ago, the original footprint of the tube fabrication facility was 20,000 square feet. Today, there is over 160,000 square feet: the largest expansion in Lincoln Industries history.
“We currently serve 100 percent of the over-the-road heavy-duty truck manufacturers in North America,” said Lincoln Industries CEO and Chairman Marc LeBaron. “When we first entered the tube fabrication business, we were producing 1,000 tubes a week. Our current volume is 10,000 per week and will continue to grow with the increased nationwide demand for our products.” Lincoln Industries capabilities are extensive offering fabricated tube assemblies ranging from simple designs to complex multiaxis configurations for carbon and stainless tube from ⅜” to 8” in diameter and a full range of wall thicknesses. The process takes 20-foot-long steel or stainless-steel tubes and puts them through a series of operations including tube bending, end-forming, flaring, beading, expanding, swedging, brazing, and welding.
Lincoln Industries tube fabrication takes place in both its Nebraska and Minnesota locations. Minnesota houses eight small tube benders, while large tube bending is done on one of four machines in its newest Lincoln facility.
In 2006, a potential customer presented Lincoln Industries with a challenge they were facing. With governmental regulations and new environmental standards, they had thermal issues. A team at Lincoln Industries worked to design the product aiming to reduce the temperature and meet the new standards, while maintaining its highly cosmetic look. The final product worked as a diffuser, pulling air into the product to cool it.
This project opened the doors for Lincoln to get into the tube fabrication business. Over the last 10 years, Lincoln Industries has evolved from doing only highly-cosmetic work, to producing non-cosmetic functional tubing product for customers.
To improve capacity and launch new opportunities with customers, Lincoln Industries sourced a new bender from Schwarze-Robotec in 2018.
“This bender is the largest, all electric bender that Schwarze has produced and the largest, all-electric, stacking bender in the United States,” said Director of Engineering Tom Pryor. “It is quality and capacity, all in one bender and the team is excited to have it in our new facility.”
The new bender has the capability to bend every part that Lincoln Industries currently makes. Like it’s other benders, the operating systems are complex and require operators to complete between 12-18 months of training prior to being certified to operate the bender.
“Our capabilities are far greater now,” said Pryor. “When we are given solution-based opportunities, we work actively to solve customers’ challenges.”