Vale, South Dakota
Prairie Industries is one of just a few U.S. manufactures producing aluminum bumpers which has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004.
When their old press brake broke suddenly, the company turned to JMT for fast service. Today, Prairie Industries relies on their 12 foot, 242-ton JMT ADR model press brake to keep up with demand for its popular Truck Defender products.
Company owner Dean Johnson invented the Truck Defender after his wife hit a deer and damaged the family pickup. Johnson designed a light-weight grille guard out of aluminum that could be mounted on the front of trucks to protect them from damage when driving in open spaces. Johnson’s Truck Defender design quickly caught on since they can be installed on semis, emergency vehicles and pickup trucks made by Chevy, Ford, Toyota, GMC and Dodge.
Prairie Industries purchases aluminum sheets cut to pattern on a plasma cutter. Blanks are formed to shape on the press brake then assembled and finally polished to a No. 8 mirror finish. Bending accuracy is critical for the efficiency of the entire assembly process.
Parts for the Truck Defender are air bent with curves ranging from 30 degrees to 180 degrees. "We have to be dead-on when we bend,” says Johnson. “We want our bends accurate to 0.003 or 0.004 inches."
JMT press brakes have exceptionally large strokes, daylights and throat depths for efficiency in production of simple to complex shapes. The JMT-ADR press brake has an accuracy rating of 0.0004 inches (the width of a human hair). “The accuracy and efficiency of the JMT press brake has increased our production by 30 percent,” Johnson says. “We’ve seen our biggest improvements in faster fit-up and assembly times.” According to Johnson, higher throughput, accuracy and quality allowed him to recoup his fabrication equipment investment in less than one year.