This technical information has been contributed by
McKey Perforating Co., Inc.

Perforating Finds Home in Architectural, Construction Applications

Perforating Metals Plastics

Process also Sourced by Medical, Automotive, and Cleantech Product Manufacturers

NEW BERLIN, Wis.--Utilizing capabilities that include roller-feed CNC presses, a custom tube mill, and slit coil processing equipment, McKey Perforating Company, Inc., produces complex, perforated parts from various metals and plastics up to 1-inch thick. Customers depend on McKey to provide custom perforating for everything from architectural panels and screens to exhaust systems, tractor grilles, roof decking, and computer housings. The company specializes in material thicknesses from 0.008 inch to 1 inch, and holes to 12 inches in diameter.

McKey Vice President Jim Thurman says that the company's strengths include its design and technical support, as well as a diverse set of fabrication processes that support its core competency of perforating. Thurman describes perforating as an operation in which materials are cold-punched to create varying patterns of holes, intended to satisfy customer requirements for weight, filtration of air and light, and aesthetics. McKey supports this specialty with processes such as welding, leveling, forming, shearing, slitting, rolling, and lasering--all performed to meet specific project requirements.

"Our customers choose McKey because of the high quality of our products and our excellent reputation--we're a 150-year-old operation," he states proudly. "We're ISO 9001:2000 certified, and our customer support is the best in the industry."

To help customers reap the full benefits of perforated materials, parts, and panels, McKey offers design assistance and a tool-making team that works closely with customers' design teams to produce custom tooling when needed. Its use of complex tool gaging allows McKey to manufacture parts that are customized to clients' requirements for shape and hole configuration. The company's late-model perforating presses enable it to produce what the company calls "an infinite variety of hole patterns" that meet precise positioning and tolerance requirements.

McKey ( has invested in the design and engineering of specialty coiling equipment that has increased efficiency and precision in the recoiling process, according to Thurman. The company partnered with an equipment manufacturer that worked with McKey's design engineers to develop what Thurman called "a unique piece of equipment for extra large recoiled coils."

Achieving a high level of quality in perforating isn't possible without being able to resolve the inevitable technical challenges. Thurman says that the precision of the perforated pattern is essential, for example, when using a roll forming process to produce roof deck material. Because the materials are moving through the equipment at a high rate of speed (the typical punch rate is 400 times per minute), it's critical that the perforation doesn't roll over onto the sidewalls. Another challenge is cambering--or oil canning--of the material, which occurs when working with long strips or sheets of metal. "In order to compensate for this, we run the materials through leveling equipment to stress relieve the material and make it flatter," he explains.

In addition to serving manufacturers in the architectural, construction, and agricultural markets, McKey Perforating performs work for customers in the mining, medical, automotive, and electronics industries. Greentech (cleantech) applications, ranging from water filtration equipment to green building, are another market that's showing great potential for McKey. By combining welding, lasering, and a host of other fabrication capabilities with the ability to process materials up to 1-inch thick, McKey is able to process crusher screens and shakers used in recycling and pollution control operations.

The company has two manufacturing facilities: a 75,000-square-foot plant in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and a 20,000-square-foot facility that houses a custom tube mill and equipment for coil and slit coil processing in Manchester, Tennessee.

This technical information has been contributed by
McKey Perforating Co., Inc.

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