by Michael Riehn
I was trying to get my 6 year old son ready for bed the other night when he asked me the innoncent question: “Daddy, what do you do at work?” Now I know he was stalling for time (he’s a normal kid and hates going to bed), but it was a great opportunity to teach him about how things are made.
I explained to him that my company makes big machines called “hydraulic presses”. We help people find the best way to make parts for things that you see every day.
From motorcycles or ceiling lights to airplanes, many parts were built using hydraulic presses. By taking a piece of metal (or composite) and applying force, hydraulic presses make some pretty cool shapes that last.
Obviously, there is a lot more to it, but that gave a 6 year old a concept of what a hydraulic press does (and helped me get him to bed in a reasonable amount of time).
While explaining many of the interesting products that we have worked with, it occured to me how we take for granted how flexible a hydraulic press really is.
From stamping a car door, to punching a light hole or drawing a tank, parts and press requirements can vary quite a bit by changing a few small variables.
Hydraulic Press Applications
A sample of the many applications a hydraulic press can do, shows its diverse flexibility: Blanking, Clamping, Coining, Compacting, Compression Molding, Drawing, Embossing, Forging, Flying Cut-Off, Forming, Heated Platen, Injection Molding (RIM, PIM, etc.), Pad Forming, Powder Compacting, Punching, Spotting, Stacking, Stamping, Steel Rule Die Cutting, Tank Head Forming, Trimming, Tryout, and more.
It sometimes seems like every press that we manufacture is different. That doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities. You may have two presses with the same force requirements and physical size that accomplish two very different things.
Speeds, stroke, control systems and ancillary equipment, (along with size and pressure requirements) are all important when engineering the most efficient press for your application requirements.
The application and tooling should focus the press specification, but your hydraulic press sales engineer can guide you through the process, and use their experience to help you make a better part more efficiently. By custom building the hydraulic press, you can cut down on a lot of wasted cost. You could make high tonnage presses with small beds or low tonnage presses with big beds, for example.
A good hydraulic press sales engineer can help you figure out which “bells and whistles” will make your job easier, with a greater return on investment. They should also find which options are overkill and don’t allign to your needs. Sometimes hydraulic press manufacturing is as simple as an explaination to a 6 year old. It’s about helping people make good parts that last.
by Michael Riehn
Powder Compacting is a compression molding process that shapes a product through the use of powder, with subsequent bonding of its individual particles. Many applications utilize hydraulic presses and are integrated with automated machinery. Powder Compaction is a flexible process that allows the end user to create a multitude of different parts at a variety of yield strengths for simple to complex shapes.
Hydraulic Presses are ideally suited for Powder Compaction applications. They can be designed with the ability to dwell under pressure, have variable ram speeds and provide high tonnage in a small area.
Additional features such as heated platens, double and triple action rams and part ejection systems can be incorporated into a fully integrated press system. Many hydraulic press companies can provide intrinsically safe powder compaction systems for use in explosive and combustible powder applications.
Pictured above is a 170 Ton Capacity Hydraulic Press used for compression molding with a leading Oil & Gas Company. The press is fully integrated by Beckwood Press Company for a Powder Compacting process