Press Tool

What is a press tool?

A press tool is a device that is used for the fabrication of metals by creating different forms and shapes of holes on the flat sheet metals. The press tool utilizes the interaction between the punch and die on the device, which is achieved with one compresses through the workpieces following the shape of the other.

In the precision machining fields, making holes on the workpieces is a very common process. However, depending on the thinness of the workpieces and the methods to make the holes, there are some variation between these machining works.

For the thicker workpieces, if the manufacturers want to make deep holes on them, they would apply drilling, boring, or reaming, which are the procedures using rapidly spinning cutting tools to cut through the workpieces.

As for the thinner workpieces such as sheet metals, using the above methods are not a wise choice, since those methods are not efficient especially for the large scale of requirements.

In addition, if the volume of the works are high and require standardized works on each hole that is made, the press tools would be more suitable for performing these jobs. The machining work that is conducted with the press tools can be regarded as punching, which is a relatively faster way to produce holes with high volume on thinner workpieces.

How does a press tool form?

The press tool is mainly comprised of a bed, a ram, a punch, a die, a stripper, and the tool holding system. Depending on the types of the press tool, the configuration of each one of them may be slightly different.

● bed
The bed is set at the bottom of the entire device, which acts as the support of the other components above it. The bed should be sturdy enough to withstand the compression that the tool gives to the workpieces.

● ram
The ram is the upper part of the press tool, which is the upper support for tool holder and the tool, which is the punch.

Besides, the ram plays a vital role in transfer the energy from the mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic system to the kinetic energy for the tool to press on the workpieces.

● punch
The punch is clamped by the punch holder that is mounted on the ram, which acts as the tool to perform the punching of the workpieces. For the other tools that are used for making holes that rotate at a high speed and make chips through the workpieces, in order to produce the holes.

However, the punch doesn’t spin. Instead, it provides compressive force against the tensile force of the workpieces. Once the compressive force reaches the limit of the tensile force, the holes are made on the sheet metals.

● die
The die on the press tool is used for the contouring of the holes. The cavity inside the die allows the punch to press the workpieces onto, and the removing part would form the hole on the workpiece.

● stripper
The stripper is used to hole the workpieces in place when the punch compresses on them, which is the medium between the workpieces and the die.

This component not only withstands the compressive force from the punch when the punch tips passes through it, but also the tensile force from the workpieces when they are compressed by the punch.

● tool holding system
The tool holding system can be divided into the upper part and the lower part. The upper part of the tool holing system is in charge of the clamping of the punch, including the punch holder, the punch plate, and the back plate.

The punch holder is set under the ram from above, which holds the punch, the punch plate, and the back plate in place in order to stabilize the punch and facilitate the punching works.

The punch plate is under the punch holder and directly holds the punch in place, and the back plate supports the punch at the back, so as to receive the distributed intensity of the punch’s compression force from the punch holder.

As for the lower part of the system, it contains the bolster plate and the die holder. The bolster plate is between the bed and the die holder, which provides support to the die holder when the press tool works. The die holder, as the name implies, holds the die in place for receiving the force that is given from the punch.

How is a press tool operated?

As the above introduction has mentioned, the working principle of the press tool is that the punch provides compressive force onto the workpiece, which is held by the stripper, and penetrates through the workpiece following the contour of the die when it reaches the tensile force of the workpiece.

These procedures can not only be done with the operator maneuver the press tool manually, but also aided by the CNC system, which is responsible for the design of the product and the control of the press tool automatically. For the purpose of making the works more precise and standardized, the latter would be more commonly applied.

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