What is An Automatic Press Machine?

Posted on Nov 30, 2020

Automatic Press Machine

The automatic press machines that are incorporated with a CNC system are made for heavy-duty pressing operations in which precision is required.

Press Machine

In general industrial manufacturing, a press machine is used to exert high pressure onto or against the workpieces or the manufactured parts to change the materials into a desired shape or form. The pressing process is mostly done for metal materials since the malleability of metal allows the materials to withstand the pressure without breaking apart.

In CNC manufacturing or engineering, the pressing operations are conducted with automatic press machines which are usually hydraulically powered or mechanically powered.

CNC stands for computer numerical control. The automatic press machines that are incorporated with a CNC system are made for heavy-duty pressing operations. In a heavy-duty pressing operation, the production is bulky and precision is required.

The computerized control unit is needed to make sure every step in the process is carried out correctly and the quality of the production is guaranteed. As a result, in the CNC pressing processes, automatic press machines are used instead of manually operated press machines.

The pressing operations that are done with the CNC automatic press machine can be divided into several operations such as forging, reshaping, fabricating, extruding, or bending, etc. These types of pressing are professionally known as cold working.

The cold working process refers to the pressing operations that involve only high pressure and time to deform the workpieces in contrast to the pressing operations in which heat is also involved. The cold working operations are also called cold forging. Either way, an automatic press machine is needed in such processes.

The other common use of the automatic press machine is to create holes in the workpieces. In this case, the press machines are used not to form metal workpieces but to cut or to punch them.

Though punching and cutting are another way to reshape the workpieces, the way it works between punching a workpiece and forging a workpiece is in fact quite different from each. That being said, these operations are all carried out by the dies or molds on the press machines.


:: Read More: Understanding CNC Hydraulic Press Brake

Cold Working

Cold working, or cold forging, is the process that forges metal workpieces with a gradual exertion of pressure onto the pieces. This process is made possible by the malleability of metal materials. When a piece of metal is pressed with a force strong enough, it deforms and reshapes itself in response to the pressing force.

In order to control the amount of pressure, the pressing time, and the deformation of the metal workpiece, the automatic press machine is included as the key element to the cold working process.

Cold working is preferred in some manufacturing processes due to certain advantages. The first advantage is that the cold forging process is simpler in nature since fewer elements are included; heating is not required in such a process.

In addition, the cold working process provides a better surface finish to the workpieces. What's more, the dimensional control of this method is better and the contamination problems are minimized. Therefore, it is applied when both precision and fine finish are required.


The Components of Press Machine

A press machine, either the automatic press machine or the manual press machine, is also known as a forming press that is used in the modern manufacturing industry to deform a workpiece. This type of machine comes in with numerous styles and configurations, yet the anatomy of the press machines is similar.

They all share the same basic components to function. A press machine has a bolster, a ram, and dies. An automatic press machine has an additional power system to control the movement of the machine.

The bolster is the bed or the bottom base of the machine. This is where the manufactured parts or the workpieces are placed. In other CNC machining operations, the workpieces are secured on the faceplate (the base of the machining center) by clamps, vises, or chucks. On a press machine, the workpieces are secured on the bolster by the bottom die or mold.

In the pressing process, the workpieces stay stationary in the bottom die to be forged.

The ram is also called the upper die. It is the movable element in a press machine. The ram moves upward and downward on the press machine to press the workpieces. The ram descends to the bolster until the upper die and the bottom die are completely engaged.

Once the two halves of the die seal together, the workpieces in between are deformed in accordance with the configuration of the dies. The ram will be raised to its previous position when the pressing is done.


Automation of CNC Press

To control the movement of the ram on a CNC automatic press machine, either a hydraulic cylinder or a mechanical system is applied. The mechanically powered press machine is the most widely used throughout the industry.

Whichever power system is applied by the CNC press, the power output is controlled by the computerized units. Since precision is required in CNC machining, the pressure, time, and every factor possible is monitored and managed by the computer.

With the computer control system, the whole working process from feeding the material to the release of the manufactured parts is highly automatic. Human personnel is included only when the system needs to be adjusted or when the machine needs to be maintained or repaired. The aim of implementing the automatic press machine is to minimize the errors or mistakes that are caused by human factors.


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