In various industries, hydraulic presses are essential in assembly, fabrication, and maintenance. They help users bend, fit and assemble sheet metal components, bearings, and equipment.
What Is a Hydraulic Press?
Hydraulic presses are tools used in fabrication, assembly, and maintenance that force out material. It uses pressure an engine creates to press the steel cylinder into an object at a certain amount of force.
The major components of a press are:
- A frame that holds the press in place and strengthens it, with various frame shapes used for various pressing applications.
- A table or bolster that supports the material while it is being pressed. It is frequently moved to align materials and press.
- A hydraulic steel cylinder, or ram, is extended to exert pressure to compress or separate the parts.
- A pump that utilizes hydraulic fluid to create pressure is then applied to the cylinder to create an exact force output.
Presses are employed in many places and situations where materials must be pressurized together or separated. Presses are usually employed to press two items together or to press two things apart, like bearings and shaft-fitted metal components, as well as to bend or straighten materials. Some smaller presses, for instance, C-frame presses, can be used to secure pieces together during assembly or to take apart components to perform maintenance.
How Do Presses Work?
There are numerous kinds of presses, and every hydraulic press operates similarly. They are powered by a hydraulic pump which could be pneumatic, manual, or electric, depending on the purpose and size.
Pumps generate a set pressure that determines the force the press produces, measured in tons. Once the pump is activated, the force generated by the pump causes the cylinder of pressing to expand. The cylinder comes into contact with the material pressing it against it using an amount controlled through the pump.
When pressure is released, The cylinder retracts back to its housing. The process repeats itself every time a press is used. When pressing is carried out on a larger scale, or when a press is used frequently, pumps could be operated by air or electricity to make it less necessary for a person operating the press to regulate the pressure using a hand. Operators can also simultaneously adjust the pressure and bolster and perform routine tasks without adjusting or re-aligning the press.
What Types of Presses Are There?
H-frame hydraulic presses are massive floor units that incorporate the steel frame, press cylinder, pump, and a movable back bolster that creates what is known as an “H” shape. They are used in various ways, such as in the repair or maintenance facility and on assembly lines in production. H-frame presses are often used with hand pumps in low-volume applications, with air pumps for facilities where pressurized air is readily available or equipped with electric pumps to ensure consistent operation. The cylinder size may also differ by the force needed and the use.
Similar to H-frame presses, roll-frame presses have tables a few feet wide to hold large materials. They are located on the lower end of the frame. Based on the model, the table or press frame can move to allow operators to create more precise presses while working with huge or intricate materials.
Similar to H-frame presses, benches frame presses include a cylinder press with an iron frame. Bench frame presses are less than H-frame presses, and they can be mounted to workstations or tabletops and usually have hand pumps and cylinders that can be removed. Facilities that are more prone to high-volume use Huber says Huber typically uses benches to quickly put together bearings and other components and save space compared to H-frame models.