The sophistication of punch presses and roll forming equipment today
allows fabricating shops to do a tremendous amount of work on one
machine. However, plenty of shops don’t require such sophisticated
machines; they simply need a versatile tool that will allow them to efficiently and consistently punch out holes in their parts.
The Toro Group of Companies is one such business. This Toronto-based organization develops and manufactures aluminum products for
high-rise condominiums, office buildings, and hotels throughout North
America. These products include balcony railings, entrance systems,
window and door frames, prefabricated shower doors, and curtain walls.
For a variety of jobs, Toro simply requires that a hole be punched at
the end of a preformed profile.
“If you only have to make one hole, you can do this on a CNC machine,
but that’s like using a big gun for hunting a small animal,” said Eugene
Boyko, CET, research and development coordinator for Toro. “To make
one hole it is faster to use a different tool.”
Since 2003 Boyko has been using air-over-oil presses manufactured by Bolton, Ont.-based
Multicyl Inc. for such jobs.
The patented design of Multicyl’s cylinders is relatively
straightforward: You put air in
one end using a regular air valve,
and you get hydraulic power out
of the other end of the cylinder.
The element that has been patented is the “flow-by” principle, which
allows the two-stage pressure intensifier to self-adjust anywhere on the
overall stroke. This means the cylinder will stall when it meets resistance
greater than the force on the advanced stroke.
For the user, this equates to lower air consumption, as the power is produced only when needed—the cylinder comes down slowly until it meets
with resistance. This also means that there is no need to set the tooling to
a precise height (as is necessary with a mechanical press), as the hydraulic
action just “bottoms out” whenever the resistance is greater.
The compact cylinder can deliver up to 40 tons of pressure more quietly than a hydraulic station, Boyko reports. And it offers the ability to
create a high variety of punching stations.
“They designed and made for us a very complicated punch which ac-
tually I did not even think would be possible to do,” said Boyko. “We
needed a punch to punch out from the inside of a tube a certain dis-
tance from the end of a profile. This was to assist with water drainage in
the final product. Multicyl delivered this to us and we have been using it
for five years.”
He also noted that when he wants to adapt a punch to work on a dif-
ferent job, the variety of cages available makes the switchout simple.
“The beauty is, you can take the punch out and put in a different one
for different jobs,” he explained.
Aluminum products manufacturer
right-sizes press needs
with air/oil-based system
» The Toro Group of Companies develops
and manufactures aluminum products for
office buildings and high-rise condominiums
like these towers in Mississauga, Ont.