INGENIOUS hydraulic engineering by a major international heavy vehicle equipment manufacturer has nearly doubled the speed of stud pressing operations while enhancing workplace occupational health and safety.
Transpec Limited of Melbourne, assisted by production engineers AD Automation and high pressure hydraulics specialists Enerpac, has custom-fabricated a trailer wheel stud press to suit rotor-hub and drum-hub assembly press operations that previously took up to eight minutes an assembly.
A key to the enhanced efficiency of the new operation is automated dump valving incorporated by AD Automation into the controls of the air-hydraulic PATG 1102 Enerpac Turbo Pump deployed in powering the Enerpac RC55 five-ton single-acting cylinder used to press the studs.
Capitalising on the speed and efficiency of the Turbo Pump - which recycles its own exhaust gases to boost performance - the 5/2 valving (five ports, with two positions) saves further time by automatically returning oil to the pump after it has been used to extend the cylinder.
After the pump extends the RC55 to a pre-determined setting, diaphragm valving releases cylinder oil back to the pump so the spring-return cylinder can retract swiftly for the next pressing operation.
"It is ingenious engineering that allows simple and highly reliable off-the-shelf hydraulics to achieve outstanding production automation objectives. We estimate our pressing operations now save 40 per cent of the time taken previously by manual methods," Transpec product engineer Raj Mali said.
A safety feature of the new press is its failsafe, two-button, operation using a remote pendant. This means operators have to use both hands to operate the press, ensuring hands are withdrawn from the pressing area before it is hydraulically actuated. Applied Power 02 9743 8988.