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Precision spring compressor from John A.L. Mills and Associates

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A Melbourne metal engineering company has given new meaning to the term high-speed manufacturing by designing, fabricating and delivering a precision spring compressor within two working weeks of the initial inquiry.

John A.L. Mills and Associates combined its computer-aided metal design and fabrication experience with high-force (700 bar) hydraulic tools from Enerpac’s distributor AD Automation to produce the five-ton capacity compressor used to speedily remove and replace wear pads on Pacific National railway wagons.

The constant contact side bearers fitted to many of Pacific National’s wagons are involved in an ongoing programme of pad replacement for which a custom-built tool was required to do the job swiftly and safely.

Brett Appleby and Mike Considine of Pacific National maintenance and field services met with Mr John Mills and Enerpac Territory Manager Arnold Mazur at the end of March to show them the bogies involved and discuss the range of potential solutions to their needs, which included a stroke of about 125 mm and 1.5 tonnes of force.

Modeling and documenting their proposal on Autodesk Inventor, Mr Mills and his son Laurence Mills presented a concept model within a working day. The concept involved an Enerpac RC59 long stroke (232 mm) hydraulic cylinder coupled with an Enerpac V66 manually operated check valve to permit prolonged load holding and allow controlled release of load.

This equipment was contained within a steel bed and light but rugged frame custom-fabricated to provide the stability, safety, precision and repeatability required by Pacific National.

“Although the 1.5 tonne force required was relatively low, the advantage of the high force tool selected was its fine control of speed in both advancing and retracting under load.” said Mr Mills. “Also the cylinder gave us the ability to hold the load without losing position.”

An Enerpac PATG1120N Turbo II air-hydraulic pump was chosen to power the apparatus because of its compactness, reliability and ease of operation. The Enerpac PATG1120N Turbo II air-hydraulic pump, which can be actuated by hand or foot is designed for low air consumption and operating costs while reducing noise levels to 75dBA to minimize operator fatigue.

The Enerpac PATG1120N Turbo II air-hydraulic pump’s operating air pressure (1.7 – 6.8 bar) enables it to start at low pressure.

Enerpac has supplied a major selection of (700 bar) cylinders in hundreds of models with capacities from 5 to 1000 tonnes for compact high-pressure power in lifting, pushing, pulling, bending and holding applications.

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