A pressing operation creates a basic cube

Dishwasher inner housings are now being formed from a single sheet of stainless steel

Considerable cost savings have resulted, we are told, from the introduction of an automatic process for forming dishwasher inner housings from a single sheet of stainless steel. The breakthrough has been pioneered by Fontijne Holland of Vlaardingen using Parker Hannifin heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders.

Traditionally, appliance manufacturers had to form the typically, 600mm by 601mm stainless steel cube inner from two sheets of material, welded together in separate operations in an earlier stage of production. This is not a particularly efficient method of producing the cube inner, and now Fontijne says it has cracked the problem with its new machine design. The machines are already producing up to 3000 inner housings each day – from two shifts – from a single 0.4mm sheet stainless steel.

At the heart of the automatic production line is a double forming expander which carries out the complex pressing operation to create the basic cube. Parker Hannifin 2H hydraulic cylinders supply the motive force to a central cone operating the expander’s eight jaws, and also actuating four tools which carry out a folding sequence. A second expander, which preforms the front part of the appliance, also uses 2H cylinders to draw out an expander table.

At a further stage in the process, again utilising 2H hydraulic cylinders, a horizontal press punches and forms the bottom section of the cube, before moving on the third stage, where a hydraulically actuated punch forms all the screw holes. 2H cylinders are again used at the fourth and final forming station to supply the force required by units which fold the front side in two directions to produce the upstanding portion of the housing.

Parker Hannifin Tel: 01923 492000