A mechanical press is a type of press machine that uses an electric motor to transmit power to the moving components on the machine. Mechanical presses are suitable for large-scale productions since the design of construction makes efficient procedures that these machines can achieve. Once there is sufficient electric energy, the mechanical presses are ensured to perform consistent and productive pressing works following the requirements.
Similar to the principle of whatever kind of press machine, a mechanical press is used to deform workpieces by applying pressure against them. Depending on the need for production, specific shapes or holes are left on the parts where the press machines on.
What makes mechanical presses different from other types is the way the power is supplied to the moving parts of the machines. Compared to the other two common types, pneumatic and hydraulic presses, which require a compressor or a pump to store the media of power, hydraulic presses are relatively cost-saving and cause less waste, as all they need for power transmission is electricity.
To drive mechanical presses, there are four main types of drive mechanisms. All of them receive the kinetic energy from the electric energy of the motor but cause different results due to the variation of construction.
As the name implies, a screw press uses a screw to push and release the ram of the press but results in relatively slower motion transmission. During operation, a friction disk and flywheel help transmit power from the driveshaft to the head of the screw, which drives the screw-up and down in order to accomplish the procedure.
The design of a knuckle joint press is like the joints between human fingers, which are movable but stable enough to support the movement of the entire parts. A drive shaft crank rotates to transmit power from the motor through the links, so as to facilitate the movements of the ram.
Rack and pinion presses can be regarded as having the simplest construction among all. They not only ensure the firmness of the mechanism by directly meshing the gear with the driveshaft but also efficiently transmit the required motion as the gear rotates.
Both eccentric and crank presses have a connecting rod that attaches to a rotating shaft and the ram from the two sides. The former uses an eccentric shaft that makes the drive center stable but changes the positions of the overall center when it rotates. The latter facilitates a rotating joint through the rotary movement of the crankshaft.
No matter what type of drive mechanism is applied, the general construction of a mechanical press consists of an electric motor, a flywheel, a drive shaft, and a press slide and ram.
The electric motor serves as the source of power for a mechanical press. When the motor is turned on, it would actuate the transmission of electric energy. Once the electric energy is delivered through the mechanism, it would be transferred into kinetic energy for facilitating the movements of the flywheel and driveshaft.
The flywheel is engaged by clutch and brake, which rotates and stabilizes the drive shaft as electric energy is transmitted from the motor. Sometimes the flywheel would coordinate with the gear mechanism, which allows for better control of the moving parts on the mechanical press.
As mentioned above, there are several types of mechanical presses, including screw presses, knuckle joint presses, rack and pinion presses, and eccentric/ crank presses. The variation of the drive mechanism determines the type of press being applied.
The press slide is attached to the drive shaft, which receives the kinetic energy as the machine is actuated. The ram is held on the press slide and moves up and down on the pressing components on the bed.
A mechanical press can be recognized as a power press, which receives power from the electric motor through the rotating flywheel and driveshaft. As the ram on the press slide moves downward, the workpiece is pressed against the dies on the bed. When the ram is retracted upward, the workpiece is ejected back. These procedures allow the mechanical press to perform various pressing techniques, such as curling, piercing, bending, or deep drawing, etc. By using the cost-effective and high-productive mechanical press, the metal end products are enabled to be used for a variety of applications in different industries.
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