A hydraulic press is a press machine that uses hydraulic pressure, or fluid pressure, in order to exert force on an object. This Blog discusses hydraulic press applications, industry news and terms while breaking down issues in manufacturing and new hydraulic press technology.
The hydraulic press continues to be the press of choice for today’s modern manufacturers. The advantages of the hydraulic press versus mechanical presses is being realized and utilized by more and more manufacturers.
Today’s modern hydraulic presses provide; Performance, Reliability, and Unlimited Capability in almost any application. Stamping, Punching, Blanking, Drawing, Bending… All standard press designs and circuits can be configured to match even the most non-standard press requirements.
A hydraulic press is powered by a hydraulic pump to a hydraulic cylinder or cylinders that drive the slide. Hydraulic presses allow for job parameters such as travel distance, force and return position to be easily configured for a variety of jobs within a single press.
Various levels of sophistication are available from simple mechanical switches to digitally programmable control. This flexibility yields a hydraulic press’s greatest advantage.
Full Tonnage Throughout The Stroke - The hydraulic press has the ability to deliver full pressing force anywhere in the range of stroke, unlike mechanical presses which can only develop full force at close to bottom of stroke. This significantly adds to the inherent flexibility of hydraulic presses.
- Customization - Whereas most mechanical presses are offered in standardized bed size and tonnage relationships, it is easy to design the hydraulic press to meet the customers’ specific requirements. Users that require large bed sizes but little tonnage can get just that. Conversely, customers that require high tonnage be applied to a small work area, can get a machine that is designed to handle point loading and reduced deflection for the concentrated load.
- Flexibility - With a hydraulic press, you are able to adjust tonnage and maximize cycle time for each job. You can be more efficient with your application by eliminating excessive ram movement, changing pressure and/or varying or maintaining ram speeds throughout the cycle. This can maximize cycle time when you customize the options for each job.
- Dedicated or Multi-Functional - The hydraulic presses can be designed to any level of sophistication. Whether the need be a simple dedicated cell press or a fully integrated multi-purpose system, hydraulics are cost effective and easily modified for the task at hand. Their flexibility is further enhanced by additional stroke capability for simplifying die changes and reducing set-up time. Multiple dies with varying shut heights can be run efficiently in a single press.
- Lower Up Front Costs / Fast ROI - In regard to presses, hydraulic presses are the most simple in basic design and often utilize standardized, proven hydraulic components that are readily available. The basic components to mechanical presses, such as crankshafts, clutch and brake systems, etc…, are expensive and often custom built components which serve to add machine cost. hydraulic presses are often much less expensive up-front and in long term operation.
- No Design Limitations - The principles of hydraulic force allow for creative engineering. Presses can be designed for traditional down-acting, up-acting, side-acting and multi-action operation. Power systems can be placed above, below or remote from the press and force actuators. Large bed presses can be designed for low tonnage applications and small bed presses can be designed for high tonnage requirements.
- Over-Pressure Protection - The incorporation of hydraulic relief valves into hydraulic circuits provide built-in overload protection. A press’ force cannot exceed the pressure that it is allowed to build, thereby limiting the maximum pressure attainable controls maximum force.
- Unlimited Control Options - The hydraulic press can be controlled in a variety of ways ranging from basic relays to more sophisticated PLC or PC control systems. Operator interfaces can be added to press systems to facilitate ease of job set by storing individual job parameters for each die. Presses can be controlled for precise pressure and position; including pressure holding, speed control and dynamic adjustments to realtime operating variances. Ram force and speed can be controlled in any direction with various levels of precision.
- Condensed Footprint - Hydraulics allow for generation of high pressure over small surface area. This ability reduces the overall structure required for support of the force actuators. When compared to mechanical presses, hydraulic presses consume almost 50% less space for the same tonnage capability. This size advantage results in lower manufacturing costs and a faster return on investment by requiring less long term overhead expense.
- Part Accuracy - A hydraulic press’s control over forces and motions empowers the press to provide greater overall quality of a manufactured part than many other types of presses. Control of lateral slide movement caused by off-center or unbalanced loads helps achieve tight tolerances and improves part quality.