Unfortunately with the demise of our original site, we lost access to our blog and all prior posts. We have since created another blog to carry on our active online presence, however, there is a post (actually a combination of posts) which we would like to add to this new blog.
Our Sales Engineer, Steve Fischer wrote a detailed whitepaper on The Cooperage Project. including the steps taken to design and manufacture special machinery. Although it was written on a specific job, it is worthwhile to note that pāco manufacturing® applies all these processes to every project, as warranted. In addition to the publication of Steve’s whitepaper, a webpage dedicated to the project was created in order to promote and centralize all the information collected during the project.
pāco manufacturing® was awarded the overall project to build (5) new pieces of equipment back in 2013 and completed this project in the Spring of 2014. The processes of designing and manufacturing these five pieces of equipment, ranging from the large Bilge Hoop Puller Machine down to the newly created ergonomic Barrel Cradle Station, by which pāco manufacturing® tackled this project encompassed:
- An Engineering Evaluation of the existing equipment in operation during cooperage production
- 3D Modeling a Conceptual Design for our Customer’s Approval to go ahead with the machine build.
- Converting our 3D CAD Conceptual Designs into the variousCAD Design Packages required not only by our shop for manufacturing the piece of equipment. Included were the 3D Mechanical Designs, Safety & Guarding Designs, Pneumatic & Hydraulic Designs, Electrical Control Designs, and the PLC & HMI Programming Code Files.
- Fabrication of Frame Structures utilizing MIG and TIG type welding.
- Machining of Components in our 5-axis CNC Milling and CNC Lathe machining centers, along with some selected parts being machined manually due to a specific need (yes, we have the talent within our plant to continue on with the traditional lathes and drills).
- Assembly of all the fabricated, machined components as well as all the purchased components from sub-assembly to final assembly.
- Assembly of the Electrical Control Enclosure Panels from machining the panels through the wiring process.
- Construction of the Operator Controls on the assembled machine.
- Dry Cycle Testing of the machine without product to set the sequence of all the machine operations.
- Complete Run Cycle Testing using cooperage barrels to Fine-Tune all the mechanics and controls, Optimizing the sequence and production cycle rate per the customer’s specs.
- In-House Testing for the Customer’s Approval.
- Installation of Equipment within the Customer’s New Cooperage Plant (an exciting event all on its own!) Including the installation of guarding and safety components.
- Rigorous FAT (Factory Acceptance Testing) with the Customer. The equipment is put through a rigorous review with barrels running continuously for hours; along with purposed cycle and emergency stopping.
- Training of Customer Operators and Maintenance Personnel.
- Final Acceptance (which with “very high compliments”, as stated by Steve Fischer).
The new plant is located in a new location where there has not been a cooperage. This involves the creation of new jobs and training a new generation of coopers. It involves a time honored tradition, but with access to state-of-the-art equipment. This has indeed been a tremendous opportunity for pāco manufacturing®.
As noted by Steve:
Now that we have gone through the learning curve of this new industry to our company, all of our employees have an even greater excitement to further our understanding and experience with The Cooperage Industry. We look forward to continue providing cooperage equipment that exceeds the customer and industry standards. We also look forward to entering other industries, implementing the same processes to manufacture equipment which can assist companies in bringing their production methods into the Twenty First Century emphasizing automation, speed and safety. [We are proud of this project and look forward to our next.]
Please take the time to read Steve’s whitepaper [click on the whitepaper image above] and visit the webpage [click on webpage image to the right]. There is a great deal of information contained in both which is not present in this post. The webpage also includes videos and images of the equipment.
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