One of the hazards of producing sheet metal products is the sharp corners and potentially hazardous protrusions formed during cutting.
Not only can these be dangerous in their sharp and jagged forms, but also they are often time consuming and laborious to remove.
In response to the problem Melbourne metal engineering company John A.L. Mills and Associates offers a lightweight but powerful hydraulic tool that enhances safety by precisely and neatly removing the unwanted edges from cabinets, doors, signs and other sheet metal products.
Engineer from John A.L developed the portable (3.5kg) notching, trimming and corner-rounding tool cost-efficiently incorporating hydraulics components available from high-force tool specialist Enerpac.
According to Mills and Associates, the purpose-built tool operates more quickly and more neatly than hacksawing, grinding or filing, and can notch mild steel up to 4 mm.
A major feature of the notching tool in finishing applications is its portability.
The tool can be taken to the work, rather than the work being taken to it. The tool is not a factory fixture, which has to be positioned in a certain place consistent with its turn in the production line.
The user can fix it to a convenient bench, either in their production plant or when they want to use it in the field, even at building sites.
When fixed to a bench, the new tool can incorporate a pair of fences to locate the work positively.
The treadle operation of the unit’s hydraulic pump further increases handling flexibility, because the treadle operation leaves both hands to manipulate the work, it can be rapidly indexed.
Users find indexing of the workpiece can produce the radii on all four corners most efficiently, and cycle time is about 3 seconds.
One model of Mills, precision tool gets its working power from a foot-controlled Enerpac air/hydraulic PAT1102 Turbo Pump, which recycles its own exhaust gases to increase its operational capabilities.
Another version uses an Enerpac PA133, which is a self-contained air operated hydraulic pump.
The pumps (which can be detached from the cropping tool to power a wide range of other hydraulic tools) weigh, respectively, 6.4 and 5.2kg. Without the pump and hose, the tool weighs only 3.5 kg,
According to Mills and Associates, the basic, inexpensive, design of the tool lends itself to variants suitable for a wide spectrum of metal processing tasks. Also, because the Enerpac pumps are part of a widely used and versatile range, they offer a lot of options that enhance the tool’s versatility.