Out with the Old, in with the New...
As part of a series of improvements scheduled throughout 2019, we are proud to welcome to our factory in North Wales, a new 100 Ton Butterley Machine Press! Introducing new equipment is always an exciting and challenging time, but even more so when it weighs in excess of 12 tons and stands over 3.5m tall.
To “press” is the act of applying pressure to flatten, soften, shape or smooth and is one of the stages many ISC products will go through during the manufacturing process. We take 3-6mm 6/7000 series Aluminium plate in its annealed (heat treated) form and using a “pierce and blank” tool (die), apply pressure to cut out components ready to be used during production.
The new press is capable of repeating this process at a rate of 300 pieces per hour, whilst delivering a maximum press weight of 100 tons. This will be run alongside our 70 Ton Press, to keep up with manufacturing demand during peak times.
Installing such a large and heavy piece of machinery is not without its challenges, first we had to make some room. This involved the decommissioning of a much smaller and older Press, allowing us to reconfigure the Press Shop layout and releasing a suitable space where the new press would live.
Once the old press was disposed of, we turned our attention to bringing in the new machine. Weighing in at a hefty 12 tons, this wasn’t going to be easy, but thankfully we could rely on the expertise of professional machine installers J.H. Kemp Ltd.
Using a specially adapted forklift truck fitted with a hydraulic lift attachment, the new press was lifted clear of the trailer. Notice how the rear of the fork lift has an extending chassis to add additional (and much needed) ballast during transportation. The total transit weight now approaching 25 tons!
The next stage was to navigate this colossal weight across the car park towards the Press Shop, located at the rear end of the factory; a distance of around 100m. The surface of the route was carefully surveyed for any undulations which may upset the balance of the fork lift and lead to a catastrophe, something we obviously didn’t want to happen.
Having successfully completed it’s journey down to the Press Shop, the next challenge was access. The margins were tight, the Press Shop door providing only 2 inches of clearance, we all watched on with bated breath…
Thankfully Garry (Press Shop Supervisor) was spot on with his measurements and the Press was finally inside. With some skillful maneuvering, it was lowered into position, establishing itself as the pride of the ISC Press Fleet!