A Look at Marlin Steel’s Wire Forming Machines & How They’re Used

December 6, 2017 | Robotic Manufacturing, American Manufacturing

The Rouselle 8SS40 Double Crank Straight Side Press on the Marlin Steel factory floor.As a company, Marlin Steel prides itself on providing “Quality, Engineered Quick®” by using a combination of highly-trained employees and advanced factory automation. The employees bring the engineering know-how to get the most out of Marlin’s wire forming machines, such as:

Rouselle 8SS40 Double Crank Straight Side Press

This piece of automated equipment is used to flatten, swage, pierce, and coin stainless steel wires for various applications.

One example is that a metal wire can have a hole pierced into it so another wire can be passed through it. Or, a wire can be flattened to make a weld joint larger—making it easier to join two wires securely.

At peak speed, the Rouselle 8SS40 can complete 75 strokes per minute, allowing Marlin’s production team to make up to 4,500 special wire shapes an hour on this one machine.

These results are far more regular and predictable than what could be achieved by manually grinding or crimping the wires with hand tools.

The Ultimat UMW-100

This is a combination wire forming and welding machine that Marlin Steel uses to quickly assemble custom wire forms straight from the coil—saving on extra processes and handling that would be required for doing the wire bending and welding separately.

The Ultimat excels at creating simple wire forms quickly—and is frequently used to make the larger frame pieces for Marlin’s stainless steel wire baskets and trays. In the video on the Ultimat page, you can see the machine at work creating both round and rectangular frames for baskets—with each one only taking a couple of seconds to go from unshaped coil wire to completed frame piece.

The welding tool on this machine is an MFDC (medium-frequency direct current) welder—similar to the IDEAL welder that Marlin acquired in 2014.


The IDEAL MFDC welder.Marlin Steel uses the IDEAL welder as a separate welding tool for manufacturing more complicated final assemblies. This MFDC welder can complete a weld in stainless steel in 2/1,000 of a second—minimizing the occurrence of spatter, blistering, and other welding deformities caused by excessive heat and weld time.

Because this welder is a direct current device, it uses a power inverter and capacitors to store an electrical charge for the welder to draw on. This actually makes the welder less susceptible to fluctuations from the power mains—ensuring each weld is a consistent quality even when the power grid is acting inconsistently.

This welder also has “3D” welding capabilities—the welding arm can move along the X, Y, and Z axes for full three-dimensional movement that allows it to weld together complex shapes without human assistance. This is why the IDEAL welder is used to complete custom wire basket welding instead of the Ultimat wire shaping machine.

Wire Bending Robots

Marlin Steel uses a variety of specialized wire bending robots to bend stainless steel wire into precision shapes. There are many of these robots with different functions and capabilities for getting specific kinds of bends in wires.

Some of these wire bending machines are robotic arms that bend one piece of wire one bend at a time. Others are large CNC press brakes that are used to bend already-welded together wires one basket edge at a time to speed up final assembly.

All of these machines are used by Marlin Steel to increase productivity and safety on the factory floor by letting workers manage a tireless machine rather than risking their own health and safety on manually cutting, shaping, and welding wires. Thanks to these robots, Marlin Steel has had one of the longest safety incident-free production streaks in the company’s history—going several years without a single lost-time safety incident.

Also, because these machines don’t get tired, bored, or worn out, they can produce wire forms with incredible consistency and speed—improving Marlin’s productivity and minimizing parts rejections from manufacturing mistakes.

However, Marlin doesn’t just rely on automation alone to deliver high-quality custom wire forms. Marlin’s production and engineering teams take advantage of years of experience in manufacturing, as well as computer programs that simulate the effects of specific stress factors (heat, humidity, chemicals, impacts, etc.) on a basket’s design to spot any design flaws so they can be fixed prior to beginning manufacturing.

Need a custom wire form for your own manufacturing process? Contact Marlin Steel today to get the perfect custom wire form for your needs today!

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