Welding Design & Fabrication

Tanks a--lot! Indiana gas cylinder producer Manchester Tank and Equipment Co. improved its productivity and lowered its set-up times by installing new feed equipment on one of its stamping production lines.(Stamping)

Like the cylinders they produce, the manufacturing process at Manchester Tank and Equipment Co., Elkhart, IN, was under pressure. However, by replacing its outdated air feeds and coil handling equipment on one of its stamping press lines, the company reduced manpower, increased production, and slashed set-up times.

Manchester Tank and Equipment Co. was founded in 1945. It is the largest North American manufacturer of cylinders and tanks for propane, chemicals, and compressed air. Products produced at the Elkhart plant include Department of Transportation-approved steel and aluminum cylinders ranging from 1.4 to 28 gallons in size. Customers and applications include OEMs, gas grill producers, recreational vehicles, air compressors, forklift trucks, fire-suppressant systems, refrigeration equipment requiring chlorofluorocarbon recovery, and rail cars.

Manchester's line of aluminum cylinders, used primarily for forklift tanks, have an average production run (regardless of cylinder size) of about 300 per shift. Roughly 7,000 cylinders a day of all sizes are produced in two production lines.

Steel cylinder tops and bottoms are round blanked on a stamping press and drawn into larger cup shapes. The tops are assembled from two parts, and have multiple holes already stamped into the pieces to attach the valves in a later operation. …

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