What Is a Press Feeder?

Posted on Dec 10, 2020

Press Feeder

The process of press feeding is the type of industrial processing which requires the proper amount of the materials to be moved into the tool and be positioned accurately into the die. It is very important for the process of press feeding to make sure that the materials are correctly fit into the die from the front to the back, from one side to the other, and fit with the tool. A Press Feeder is invented to take on such a job.

Before we start to discuss what a press feeder is, we need to first understand the mechanism by which the press feeder works. The process of press feeding is the type of industrial processing which requires the proper amount of the materials to be moved into the tool and be positioned accurately into the die. It is very important for the process of press feeding to make sure that the materials are correctly fit into the die from the front to the back, from one side to the other, and fit with the tool. As the technology for the process of press feeding continues to evolve, equipment such as the stampers is now possessing the ability of increased processing speeds, improved processing flexibility, easier setup, better quality, and reliability. 

In general, the process of press feeding has several advantages and it must meet three main conditions: 

● Flexibility: First of all, it is important for the setup of the process of press feeding to be flexible. 

● Precision: Secondly, the process of press feeding must possess the ability to deliver the materials into the tool and die with great precision. 

● Timing: And most of all, the process of press feeding must possess the ability to feed the materials at the correct time. In order for all the processes to work, the setup of the feed needs to be flexible. 

This way, the system will have the capacity to host the full range of applications that will be run on the line. The feed must also permit several adjustments to be made, such as the feed length, material width, and gauge, and die heights, as well as feed and pilot release timing so that the system can cover all setups. Besides, the feeds must also be capable of adjusting themselves to suit a wide range of applications. Then the feed will accurately deliver the material into the tool.
 

:: Read More: Why You Need a Punch Press Servo Feeder

What Is a Press Feeder? 

Now that we know about the mechanism of press feeding, we can now talk about what the press feeder is. There are currently several types of press feeders available in the industry. Their primary function is to send in the materials at the right speed and path, and also making sure that the materials fit perfectly into the die, so the process can go smoothly.
 

Press Feeder Varieties

Each type of these press feeders has its own features:

● Press-driven Roll Feeder
For example, there is one type of press feeder called a press-driven roll feeder. The press-driven roll feeder is the type of press feeder that has the ability to synchronize itself with the rotation of the press. The beginning of the motion of the feed is at a predetermined point in the press cycle. On the other hand, the finishing of the motion of the feed is at another predetermined point. The press speed and the die engagement have no influence on the beginning and the finishing of the motion of the feed. This feature of the synchronization makes the press-driven feeds the type of equipment that is suitable for industrial processes such as high-speed indexing, and in-die transfers. The press-driven roll feeder is also suitable for other applications which require the movement of the feed to be tied to the rotation of the press, so it can prevent a collision. 

● Servo-driven Roll Feeder
The other type of press feeder is called a servo-driven roll feeder. This is the type of press feeder that utilizes the closed-loop positioning drive, such as the servomotor, to aid in the control of the index position of the feed rolls. Within the servo-driven roll feeder, there is a servo-powered unit that will begin its motion when it receives the signal of the press. 

● Gripper Feeder
There is another type of press feeder called gripper feeder. The gripper feeder is the type of press feeder which is considered as the low-cost option when compared with the other types of press feeder. The gripper feeder utilized linear motion as the means to move the strip. Within the gripper feeder, it is also equipped with a pair of clamps. One of these clamps is a stationary clamp which can sometimes also be referred to as the retainer, and the other clamp is called the gripper, which is designed to move the infeed and return the strokes. Both the gripper clamp and the retainer clamp can be either the air-powered cylinder or the hydraulic-powered cylinder. Both clamps can also utilize the one-way roller mechanisms which entail holding the strips in one direction while rolling them freely in the opposite direction. If the press feeder is equipped with cylinder-powered clamps, it is very important to have the accurate timing of the clamp and release. If the timing is not correct, the strip can be free at times to fall back, which will result in the consequence of having short feeds.
 

Limitation

As mentioned earlier, it is very important to make sure that the materials are positioned perfectly into the die during the feeding operation. If the misalignment of the materials were to occur, it would cause several undesired repercussions, such as slippage and strip buckling. These could in turn lead the system to several malfunctions such as material binding, miss feeding, and short feeds. If a situation such as the short feeding was to occur, it would possibly result in bad parts and broken dies. That is one of the reasons why proper installation is so important. It can make sure that no additional movement can take place between the tool and the feed. The timing of the feeding process is also important. Because this can help the system or the equipment to keep up with the speed of the operation.

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