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Cox Lumber unveils rebar-bending marvel-machine

Front Pages 20 Jun, 2022 Follow News

Devin Clark, Joe Shetler and Doug Dodds are very proud of the new machine.

Employees at Cox Lumber assemble the rebars, saving time onsite

An employee demonstrates how the rebar can be bent into complex forms, in just seconds

By Christopher Tobutt

Hurricane-Proof Cayman is made of concrete and steel. Now Cox Lumber has brought a state-of-the-art computers and an impressive new machine to help in bending steel rebar to any specification required in a building’s plans, cutting onsite construction times by up to half.

The huge new bright orange machine, housed in the Cox Lumber Center off Sparky’s Drive in George Town, takes the big rolls of rebar, bending Rebar of sizes 3,4,5, and 6 to any configuration in a matter of seconds. What is even better is that Cox Lumber is able to take the final plans for a project, and their computer will work out exactly how much rebar is needed, where it will go, and how it will be bent. 

“This machine because it will be a game changer for Grand Cayman,” said Joe Shetler, Senior Vice President of Cox Lumber, “it will allow anybody to go into a project knowing the exact cost for their project, and get it done quickly with engineered drawings that have been approved by the Planning Department.”

“Our old machine could only do hoops and stirrups, that is, circles or squares, and then only with the smaller size 3 and 4 rebars, whereas this new machine is able to bend sizes 3 to 6, (up to about ¾ of an inch) which accounts for about 95 percent of residential construction, and around 65 percent of larger project construction.”

Bending rebar onsite is time consuming and difficult, especially for the smaller residential builder who doesn’t have access to the expensive, specialized machinery needed to do it efficiently, “With this machine, literally in about five seconds you get everything you want made. nobody else on the island can do that,” said Cox’s George Town Manager, Devin Clark, “They give us their fully detailed plans, and then we make new plans out of it telling where to put the rebar, and how much they need. We do it all for them. I send it to the detailers, and the detailers put all the rebar together on it, and they send back a whole other statement that tells you how each piece goes, so it is like you are seeing it in 3D.”

Marketing Director Dough Dodds said, “Local builders seem to be excited about it, especially about the shorter turnaround times.”  There is so much demand for the new machine, and the team that makes it all happen, that Cox Lumber has put machine operations on two shifts, with a total of eight workers, to clear the backlog of orders.

But it isn’t just residential where this machine will be a huge help. The managers at Cox say that they anticipate it to greatly speed up construction times with some of the larger, high-rise projects which are on the horizon, too. Pointing to all the smaller rebars bent into circles, which hold the long lengths of thicker rebar together for big projects,  Mr Shetler said, “This saves about 50 percent of the time onsite. Those (circles of rebar) are coming out every five seconds and there’s 41 of those, so we can make all those little hoops in probably less than 2 minutes.”

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