Cellular Manufacturing and Quick Die Change.

Air powered means greater portability, move the tool to the job if necessary or store the power source with the tool when not in use.

By building Multicyl® into the tool the user may enjoy the benefits of "instant tooling", combining the tool and press in a single unit. Eliminate downtime by incorporating Multicyl® into the die design.

The Multicage system of frame design results in lower manufacturing costs and shorter manufacturing lead times.

Multicyl® may be used for just about every kind of die operation, either in Unitized Tooling or Multicage applications.

Multicyl® is easily expandable for future needs

Today's needs but can quickly and economically add to system as tonnage requirements increase. It's easy as this: for increased tonnage, many Multicyl® can be used together operating from a single control.

Multicyl® helps improve productivity.

With production tooling permanently set-up, a high level of quality may be maintained from a less skilled work force. Fast set up cuts downtime considerably on job changeover. Ease of operation (and safety) helps workers become more productive by providing a safe, simple set up which may be quickly remounted on other tools.

Multicyl® is a proven energy saver.

Two-stage action tailors output to suit the requirement of the job. The tool advances under low pressure to meet the workpiece, then Multicyl® automatically changes over to high pressure just when the extra force is needed to complete the operation. Multicyl® uses no energy when it's not in operation. A punch press or hydraulic power pack runs continuously, even during load/unload time. With Multicyl®, you use less energy and pay less for it.

The simplicity of Multicyl® extends even to its selection for a hole punching operation. Since Multicyl® is pre-engineered, tonnage output and stoke are the main two factors to consider during cyl selection.

Multicyl® Work Stations.

There may be many individual Multicyl® Work Stations performing various metal working tasks throughout today's semi-automated plant. To adhere to Just In Time (JIT) inventory control systems fast interchange of tooling is essential to maintain synchronized arrival time of parts demanded by the production line. The goal is to produce enough parts for one day ahead of the line, with inventory turned over many times during the year. The same tooling is used on the MulticylŽ workstation as is used on the traditional Punch press.

By storing a "family" of dies at a Multicyl® Work Station, unnecessary movement may be eliminated. The tooling on this type of random-order machine may be interchanged in minutes, sometimes seconds. Compare this with the one hour using a fork lift and add the duties of a set-up man and supervisor to re-allocate the production worker.

With dedicated tooling the work-flow is smoother with the worker more productive in an automated environment. One survey by a Toronto steel door manufacturer revealed an annual saving of $1000,000 in a press shop of 20 people by switching to quick change or dedicated tooling.

Door Hardware Manufacturer Uses Air/Oil Instead Of Punch Presses.

To reduce costs and remain competitive in today's economy, one company, Mag Engineering based in Los Angeles, Ca. have taken a whole new approach to sheet metal parts production. Previously their shop looked like any other press shop with ten conventional presses punching out door security products.

After the initial blank was produced several pierce, trim and bending operations were performed in stainless steel and brass material up to 22 gauge thick.

This process involved storage of semi-completed parts as parts transfer between presses was usually difficult. This involved lots of "Work in Process" along with the associated inventory costs.

The usual high capital costs of mechanical presses along with high safety and maintenance costs prompted the company President, Howard (the Hotshot) Allenbaugh to look for alternatives.

"My objective," states Allenbaugh, "was to arrange the work flow from raw material to finished product in a logical fashion rather than having to work around the limitations of existing machine tools. I wanted to eliminate the space provision for parts storage and material handling for "Work in Process". To achieve continuity I needed to integrate work cells where several operations were done in sequence. The physical size of conventional presses made it difficult if not impossible."

The introduction of air/oil intensifiers allow several changes to take place :

1) Space requirements were dramatically less. The large presses were replaced by smaller workstations positioned in-line on regular workbenches. The smaller size permits closer location to secondary operations such as shearing, forming and packaging. From raw material to boxed, finished goods the total work over is reduced dramatically.

2) Existing tools were slightly modified to spring-returned so that the overall stroke was reduced to less than 1/4" so that no safety hazard was presented to the operator. For additional security transparent plastic guards were fitted around the die which is the only moving part.

"We modified our tooling not only to be spring-returned but also to be an integral part of the press frame design", quotes plant manager Marty (the Marvel) McQuade. "The reduced work envelope resulted in close groupings of similar components and families of parts."

In the event that material thickness or tool height varies working height self adjusts to produce its power stroke anywhere of the overall stroke. This feature eliminates fine tuning in the event of a die change or sharpening.

3) Air/oil power is a convenient user friendly power source which creates a quieter, safer work environment. The noise and activity of a conventional press shop is replaced by an almost laboratory atmosphere with very few moving parts.

Unfamiliar or new workers are as productive as trained press operators as there is little training required for the air/oil presses.

4) Power alternatives - a hydraulic workstation could be used for the same job but the constant motor hum is not desirable in today's workplace. Also the transfer of oil between the power pack and the cylinder via an external oil connection is not necessary with a self-contained air/oil system.

The Multicyl® air/oil intensifier is very competitive when compared to a hydraulic power pack. Installation costs are usually much less as there are no electric or hydraulic valves involved. Engineering time is almost eliminated as selection is reduced to choosing the cyl with the most suitable stroke and tonnage requirements. Cycle times of one second are hard to follow by any comparable power source.

Dedicated Machine Benefits.

A "dedicated" machine such as this has several benefits over a "random use" machine, which may be used for many varied operations.

For example:

1) Set-up time is eliminated. EOQ (Economic Order Quantity) may be implemented as batch size should not influence the decision to run the machine. With dedicated tooling such as this, large inventories are becoming a thing of the past in the modern plant. Eliminating warehouse space frees additional capital, reduces material handling manpower and machines and prevents damage to parts.

2) The reduced space requirement of a smaller machine creates a new concept for tool storage. With powered die-sets, the tooling may be stored in a production ready situation, taking up little more space than normal tool storage area. The Multicyl threaded body facilitates quick removal for repositioning from one tool to another if required.

3) Running costs are substantially reduced due to many factors i.e. the initial capital expenditure is many times less than the alternatives, resulting in faster return on investment; related coil handling and feeding equipment is smaller hence less expensive to purchase; total energy consumption is very low as smaller more efficient equipment is used.

Flexible Manufacturing Cells are a logical extension to the semi-automated factory outlined above, where individual work stations are integrated into a larger computer controlled system, incorporating multiple machine tools, with material handling sub-systems controlling the flow of work to and from the work cell, Whether random order or dedicated, the main objective is to constantly load individual work stations and machine tools to the maximum with non-productive time kept to a minimum.