Press feeder is a feeding system that offers the work pieces for the press machine during the pressing procedure. Many press feeding processes are achieved by NC feeders. In the machinery sector, the term NC stands for the numerical control system. This system provides the automation regarding the operational machines, and reduces the reliance of manual operations.
These NC-based press feeders can be used for various machines, such as the productions of lathe or punching machines. Though NC is not as advanced as the CNC system with the total automatic technology, this kind of semi automatic control system is still popular. Such as for its specific industrial features that help onsite operators to handle it through easier route. In addition to the bar feeder as mentioned above, the press feeders are also compatible with sheet metals. The production of metal roof panels is one of the processes that take the advantage of the press feeders.
In the case of bar feeders based on NC system, an NC bar feeder is used for automatic drawing. This is usually for solid bars or rods, or round counterparts, on one lathe machine or turning centers. The machined part is cut off and new materials are fed into the machine continually on the production line.
Press machine is a type of forming machines that is used to form the given workpieces with the pressing mechanism. Hazards brought by manual method that continuously offers workpieces into the press machines may be a threat to operators’ safety. In contrast, with the NC system that realizes the automation of press feeders, it ensures not only the safety issue, but also the precise machining process.
In lathe operation, the NC press feeder automatically draws in materials from the clamping chuck under the surveillance of operators. Besides, in turning operation, they serve as a substitute for a bar puller on an NC or CNC lathe machines. Also, this is suitable for the application of forming machines.
The clamping chuck is fitted directly into the turret of the lathe or the bar holder for better stability. The classification of the feeding mechanisms depends on the exterior frame and the interior structure the machine has. Regarding these parameters, the feeding mechanism mat start from either X-axis or Z-axis.
In general, the housing and the body shell of NC press feeders can be made of iron, aluminum, or steel materials. The top jaws are made of case-hardened steel, in order to cope with the bar materials. However, if the bar is with specific components that are less durable or fragile, then the individual adjustment or the replacement would be necessary for the jaws.
Among all types of power supply for motion driving purpose, the pneumatic force is the most common one. Pneumatic press is one of the light-force press machines, which is renowned for quick response and fast movements compared to the hydraulic counterparts. Many industrial manufacturers utilize it in producing items for daily use, including printing, 3C consumables, automation, industrial transferring, etc.
The development of the press feeder began with the introduction of NC lathes in around the time of 1980s. What causes the appearance of the press feeder is that the NC system started to surpass the conventional method. In other words, the automatic feeding mechanism has gradually replaced the role of manual feeding with the fast speed and the excess production volumes.
At this time, lathes were changed to permit inexpensive and economical production of small or medium-sized lathes. Since the bar feeder serves for the operational machines to draw bars into the lathe without onsite operators as is required. With the introduction of CNC for the machine tool operation, it makes the individual operation processes even more reliable. These process include moving the turret to the materials, opening the clamping chuck, drawing in the material, closing the clamping chuck, moving the turret away with the bar puller.
Press feeder is part of the automation in the production line of machining processes. Due to the need of safer working environment and more precise production, the NC system is invented for assisting the feeding process. With this innovative technology, the achievements in precision and efficiency are no longer difficult tasks. Both lathes and turning machines can apply this device for facilitating smooth operation when manufacturing the related products.
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