A Brief Intro to Press Feeders

Posted on Dec 16, 2020

Press Feeder

With simple installation, a press feeder can perform the feeding and positioning of press material as near as possible to the die. There are various types of press feeders, such as mechanical press feeders, servo feeders, and pneumatic feeders.

What Is a Press Feeder?

Press feeder is an automatic feeding device that is designed for a wide variety of machine presses. It is also widely called a press feed or automatic feeding machine. The main functions of an automatic press feeder include highly efficient and safe feeding, moving the proper amount of a large range of raw materials to the die in a press machine, and material changing. Press feeders are suitable for numerous materials, from metal, plastic to paper tape, also some heavy-duty applications. The available material shapes include round, triangular, and protrusion. 

With simple installation, a press feeder can perform the feeding and positioning of press material as near as possible to the die. There are various types of press feeders, such as mechanical press feeders, servo feeders, and pneumatic feeders which usually employ an actuate system and pneumatic or electrical remote control with a series of valves. In addition, to guide the appropriate amounts of raw materials into the press machine, the automatic feeder should be able to accurately position them from front to back, side to side, or square with the shaping tools.

Material Handling

To prevent any scratch and damage on the coils, the materials should be gently and precisely handled from the press feeder. The automatic press feeder has an operational accuracy of 0.05mm or less, which makes the device increasingly popular in the automobile, electrical, and gas fit industry. 

With the evolution of press feed technology, industrial manufacturers, stamping houses, and other shops all intend to achieve better press quality, better consistency, and efficiency during metal forming. To meet the requirements and also respond to the market, the press feeder should be flexible both in the material options and the operator-oriented control to optimize the processing speed.

:: Read More: What Is a Press Feeder?

Working Principle of Press Feeder

There are three keys that an ideal press feeder should achieve during press feeding:

Flexible Setup

The setup of the automatic press feeder should be simple and flexible in order to accommodate a wide range of modern metalworking applications. The press feed should also permit a full range of adjustments from horizontal to vertical and more to cover the setups with respect to the feeding length, the length and width of materials, the height of the dies, and also the feed and pilot release timing. These factors will be fairly restricted when the press feeder is used in a dedicated system. However, the press feed should accommodate numerous types of applications today.

Sufficient Precision

The accuracy of the press feed is the vital factor that determines the efficiency of the press machine that employs the press feed and also the quality of the products. If misalignment occurs, the slippage and strip buckling will lead to several problems like material binding, misfeeding as well as short feeding, resulting in poor parts and error and even damage to the dies. Therefore, it is essential that the feeding device should be firmly and critically mounted at the center which is square to the tool. Appropriate installation can ensure there is no movement occurring between the die and the press feeder.

Not only should the feeding process be accurate but also the tooling must be positioned with great precision. Many different registration devices like positive stops or keys on the bolster are used to assist the constant tooling positioning process. Regardless of the type of press machine and the press feeder used, the proper straightening and alignment and also ideal material should always be considered to achieve the best metal forming process.

Appropriate Pace

Last but not least, the press feeder is required to convey the materials at a proper pace. This is the vital factor that could considerably affect the speed of the pressing mechanism and operational speed in the press machine. The time that the press feed has to convey raw material depends on the amount of time of a full press or shear cycle and minus the time for the tool’s preparation as well as the stops of the press machine when a misfeed is detected. In a press feeder, when the die needs more time to be ready for the next cycle, or when the operational rate is relatively low, then there is less time for the press feeder to deliver the materials.

There are still other factors that can affect the effectiveness and efficiency of the automatic press feed, for instance, the amount of feeding time, the skill required for setups, the energy, and the energy consumption, and also how the press feeder interfaces with the entire pressing equipment system.

Improved Productivity in Pressing Operations

One of the strong advantages that an automatic press feed can provide the modern machine press is the consistent advancements in productivity. With the powered press feeder, the maximum feeding speed runs with the punch press can be up to 1400 strokes per minute. 

The fast setup and versatile adjustment make the feed a popular investment to enhance productivity via customizing the feeding rate depending on the types of materials and products. In order to increase the productivity further effectively, some servo-driven press feeders can store the jobs, the pertinent parameters in the previous setup to repeat similar operations. In this case, the stored value can be called up easily and quickly.

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