Company Profile: Angle Ring

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Company Profile On an upward curve Fifty years’ experience and an approach based on engineering principles has given Angle Ring unsurpassed versatility in the growing market for curved steel. David Fowler reports Angle Ring is one of the biggest curved steel are never really publicised, such as some company specialists in Europe and is proud to boast that in HQs,” says Mr Springthorpe. just over half a century of existence it has been Angle Ring started designing its own machines be- consistently responsible for its fair share of market cause nothing available on the market would satisfy innovations. its customers’ demands. “You can’t buy a machine Angle Ring Marketing Manager Paul Middleton today to match ours,” says Mr Springthorpe. “You puts this down to the fact that the company is can get one to do boxes, tubes and flats but not uni- engineering-led. The company undertakes both cold versal beams, and vice-versa. Ours do everything.” bending and induction bending, but in both areas, Angle Ring got into induction bending in an ef- he says: “We design and build many of our own fort to keep the company moving forward. Again, Top: The James Joyce bridge in Dublin is machines. We can make them do exactly what we it found the range of machines limited. They were one of the prestigious want them to do.” generally designed for bending tubes for the petro- structures for which That gives the company an extremely wide range chemical and offshore industries. “In those markets the company has of jobs it can tackle. “We can bend anything up to you usually want a 90° bend in the smallest space. If bent steel. the largest sections Corus makes,” says Managing the radius is 1m, 1050mm or 950mm it doesn’t mat- Director David Springthorpe. “People are often ter,” says Mr Springthorpe. “In the structural market Above: Bespoke surprised at our capabilities.” they specify a definite radius.” Again the solution polygonal sections are a new development. Started in 1951 and named after its main product, was to design a bespoke machine. “At the same angle section bent into rings as stiffeners for time we removed a lot of limitations that normally West Midlands manufacturers, Angle Ring now applied, such as a maximum radius. We developed finds most of its £8M turnover comes from the mechanisms for getting an accurate radius, and we construction market. Middleton points out that have additional machines to adjust the bend after- in the Victorian age, when cast and wrought iron wards if needed.” were the key construction materials, buildings with The majority of the company’s work continues to curves were common, because cast iron could be cold-bending, for which it has far more capacity. easily be cast into curved shapes. From around the “Induction bending is fantastic but does involve a turn of the century, as steel became more widely higher production cost than simple cold rolling. The available, buildings became essentially linear, machines are more complicated and need a lot of rectangular boxes. Since the 1970s, the aesthetic maintenance,” says Mr Middleton. He adds, howev- appeal of curves has led to a resurgence in demand er, that although induction bending machines need for curved sections. more attention, “because we designed and built Angle Ring has supplied curved steelwork for them and have our own maintenance department, prestigious projects from Wembley Stadium to most problems can be fixed relatively quickly.” Manchester’s B of the Bang sculpture, and the There is no clear dividing line to define whether James Joyce bridge in Dublin. Other jobs are less cold bending or induction bending is preferable well-known. “We do some fantastic projects that for a given project. Generally induction bending is 18 NSC May 2005


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