Many multi-storied commercial and residential projects are clad using facade panels. These panels built from light steel framing allow the rapid installation of the building envelope, in many cases including not only the cladding, but also the windows. The factory assembled panels are trucked to the site ready to be installed. Reducing the need for site work and scaffolding saving costs and time. The panels are lifted into position and secured to the building, once in place, the internal building fit out can be completed.
On the project in the image to the right, the team at Howick was commissioned to provide one of our framing machines to a customer with some additional holes for attachment. Upon finalising the specification for the holes, we discovered that the customer was welding heavy plates into position around these holes to increase the capacity of the mounting connection to the building.
The major downside of the welded solution is that the positioning is only as good as the welder, and the welding process damages the galvanised protective coating. Keen to find a solution, the Howick research and development team developed a custom pressed plate production and installation system.
The system included custom press and tooling to make the plates and install them into the top and bottom racks.
Punched blank and formed plates.
Plates installed in the bottom track and top track positions.
Once installed in the top and bottom tracks, the panels can be assembled and clad ready for installation.
The slot and hole configuration allows the panels to be aligned side to side and in and out, keeping the panels aligned up the building as the special mounting bracket connects the top of one panel to the bottom of the next.
The slotted hole in the bottom track sets the side to side position, while the hole in the top track sets the in and out position.