Howick FRAMA™ technology deployed with the United States Navy

Our steel roll-forming technology is now serving in the US Navy

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Howick roll-forming machines are a staple part of the new age of the construction industry, but sometimes, our technology finds its way into more unusual roles. One of which now happens to be with the United States Department of Defense.

In 2019, Howick secured a contract to supply the US Navy with FRAMA™ 3200 roll-forming machines. As part of this, Howick partnered with leading US-based military equipment supplier, ADS Inc (Atlantic Diving Supply).

Beginning life as a specialist dive equipment supplier, ADS has been outfitting Navy SEAL teams since 1997.

Today, the company has more than 300 employees and manages over 3,000 supplier partnerships with over 50,000 lines of military gear and tactical equipment with a specific focus on serving the unique needs of government customers. More than a quarter of the ADS workforce has served in the military or held a federal, law enforcement, or first responder role.

The story starts with a chance meeting between Tom Reed, Howick’s Regional Manager, USA and Canada, and ADS representatives at a trade event some years ago.  ADS subsequently partnered with Howick on a GSA schedule and then ultimately to a contract award with the NAVAL FACILITIES AND EXPEDITIONARY WARFARE CENTER (EXWC) in PORT HUENEME, CA.  The benefactor of the contract award is the Navy Construction Battalion, known as the Seabees (CB), that is responsible for building much of the temporary and permanent infrastructure at U.S. military locations, humanitarian and disaster relief throughout their world theater. 

Fits into a 20-foot container for fast relocation

Seabees can construct virtually anything anywhere in remote or inaccessible areas where rapid construction and rebuilding is required. With access of steel coils on hand they can design, roll and build immediately and not worry about accessing other inferior materials that are not as strong, durable and light weight as steel.

Using Howick roll-forming technology, Seabees can rapidly fabricate and assemble buildings, such as framing for emergency shelters and hospitals for disaster relief or humanitarian aid operations.

The relatively compact FRAMA™ 3200 machine and decoiler can be operated inside a 20ft container, allowing framing to be manufactured in what is essentially a mobile factory. It is simply a matter of opening the container, running the machine, then closing the doors to secure the facility on completion. So far, we have supplied Seabees with six FRAMA™ 3200 machines, with a rolling contract to deliver more as required.

Howick’s software flexibility is a huge advantage

Software flexibility was another major factor in the decision to use Howick. Our open architecture works with every major design platform, using a simple CSV specification to write to the machine. 

Because the Seabees usually manufacture only simple panels they are able to use Howick’s own machine software, avoiding the need for expert detailers or complex software.

This also means that minor changes can easily be made on the fly. With no license fees for Howick software, there is no risk of the license expiring in the middle of an operation. Even the armed forces need help sometimes, so they have the assurance of Howick’s free lifetime phone support worldwide. 

Serving rapid build solutions for disaster relief organisations

Requirements for fast deployment and rapid build solutions in disaster zones are a feature of many relief organisations at both state and federal level. As a result of this partnership with ADS – and by extension with the US Navy – we are inspired to share this as an example of what can be achieved. 

Talk to us about how your emergency response organization may benefit from a similar alliance. Visit the Howick booth at the Disasters Expo in Miami in 2024.

December 2023   #News