A four column hydraulic press is a type of press that the motion of the machine is driven by the hydraulic fluids. The four column hydraulic press has four columns as the skeleton, and is able to perform various works, such as stamping, drawing, punching, bending, flanging, forging, cold extrusion, or straightening, etc.
For the requirements of forming the sheet metals, metal strips, or coils, a press is the machine that would be usually applied. Forming refers to the process that shapes the workpieces by offering the compressive pressure on them, either through the hydraulic fluids, compressed air, or the electric motor as the media.
Unlike the general metal machining techniques, which remove the materials from the surfaces or through the bodies of the workpieces, in order to create holes or slots with different shapes, widths, and depth, forming with a press is less likely to produce chips, which are made when applying other techniques.
Instead, if producing with the optimal accuracy and precision, the products that are produced with the forming processes would be more valuable, since they would be relatively more stable and sturdy, and thus prolong the lifespan of them longer than with other machining techniques.
The presses come in different forms, and each one of them may differ from the design and the motion driving systems. For the different design of the presses, the single column press and the four column press are the most common and similar types.
As for the variation between the motion driving systems, these presses can be driven by hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric forces, which have their own advantages and drawbacks respectively. The reasons why the four column hydraulic presses are widely applied lie in the flexibility of constructing small or large parts, the compatibility with a variety of metal and non-metal materials, the precision that they can achieve when being in combination with the computerized systems.
A four column hydraulic press consists of a hydraulic cylinder, a fuel tank, a hydraulic fluid pump, a motor, beams, four columns, valves, a pressing plate, and a bolster plate.
● Hydraulic cylinder
The hydraulic cylinder is used to transfer the hydraulic fluid from the hydraulic fluid pump to the motor, which provides the motion driving force to the pressing plate, in order to perform the pressing works on the workpieces.
● Fuel tank
The fuel tank stores the hydraulic fluid that is supposed to be pumped out from the hydraulic fluid pump, which serves as the device that offers the power source for the press.
● Hydraulic fluid pump
The hydraulic fluid pump facilitates the flowing of the hydraulic fluid from the fuel tank to the cylinder by increasing the pressure of the fluid when the pump receives it from the fuel tank.
The motor is driven when the hydraulic cylinder transforms the hydraulic pressure into the kinetic energy, and it would further deliver the kinetic energy to the pressing plate to perform the pressing works.
The beams are used to support the four columns as well as other components on the four column hydraulic press, which may come in three-beam or four-beam types.
● Four columns
Since the presses work by giving pressure or compressive force to form and shape the workpieces, the accuracy, precision, and pressure distribution all determine the success or failure of the forming processes.
The four columns that are equipped on this machine play vital roles in the distribution of the pressure. Once the pressure is equally distributed, the accuracy and precision can be managed as the requirements, and the deformation of the products can also be avoided.
● Pressing plate
The pressing plate is the device that performs the pressing works after receiving the motion given by the motor.
The four column hydraulic press can be operated with manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic forces. For the manual operated press, the operators can manage the machine with the manual control valve and the pressure gauge that are equipped on the side of the machine.
The semi-automatic operation refers to the permission for the operators to adjust the working pressure and the pressure speed, etc. As for the fully automatic operation, the adjustments can be done when the machine automatically detects the requirements.
To operate the four column hydraulic press, the hydraulic fluid pump delivers the hydraulic fluid from the fuel tank to the hydraulic cylinder. At that time, the hydraulic cylinder transfers the energy to the motor, and thus drives the pressing plate.
Once the pressing plate receives the energy from the motor, it presses on the workpieces with the downward and upward orientations. Through the adjustment of the different working pressure and speed, the required geometries can be successfully formed on the products.
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