Technical report

Selecting the right press machine

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Lina Klass

Presses are machine tools that are used to change the shape of a workpiece by adding pressure.
Presses are machine tools that are used to change the shape of a workpiece by adding pressure. (Source: Deposit Photos)

The press machine market will be experiencing an upturn, research predicts. Reason enough to take a closer look at latest trends and how to choose the right press out of the wide range of products by considering the characteristics of the process the machine is expected to perform in.

The global press machine market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of above four per cent from 2017-2021, according to Technavio’s market research report. Presses are machine tools that are used to change the shape of a workpiece by adding pressure. They are extensively used in the metal forging industry along with metal extrusion and sheet metal fabrication processes.

Various types of presses are available on the market, depending on the nature of the manufacturing process; one has to choose the most apt one. Some of the initial pointers that have to be kept in mind while selecting the right press includes the process that the press tool is expected to perform. For instance, will the press be used for metal forging, extrusion, impact extrusion or sheet metal working? Secondly, the press capacity required to perform the manufacturing process should be considered. This depends on the size of the work stock, and the type of process. Another important factor while selecting a press machine tool is the length of the stroke over which the press delivers force. Post this analysis; one should determine the best option.

Categories of presses

Presses can be segmented or based into four types: their mechanism (hydraulic, mechanical, or pneumatic), their function (stamping presses, press brakes, punch press, etc.), their structure (e.g. knuckle-joint press, screw press) and their controllability (conventional vs. servo-presses).

Hydraulic presses make use of a hydraulic cylinder to generate pressure and are commonly used for forging, clinching, moulding, blanking, punching, deep drawing, and metal forming operations. This kind of press is considered as the most powerful class of machine tools. Whereas, mechanical presses function with the support of a motor and are usually faster than hydraulic presses. These kinds of presses are mostly utilised in metal forging manufacture, and sheet metal working.

The stamping press is used to shape or cut metal by deforming it with a die. It uses precision-made male and female dies to dictate the shape of the final product. Press brakes are most commonly used for bending sheet metals. It is based on diverse parameters such as tonnage, working length, stroke or amplitude, the distance between frame uprights, and work height. One of the important factors driving the growth of the press brakes market globally is the increasing demand for fabricated metal products which are used extensively in the automotive industry, transport machinery, stamped metal products, ammunition, small arms, cutlery and utensils, fasteners, building products, building machinery, and other metal-based hardware.

Trend setter in the global press machine market

One of the popular trends gaining ground in the global press machine market is the increasing use of automation solutions. Customers are now demanding superior quality products and hence, companies are implementing automation in their manufacturing process. The contemporary technique also enables to reduce operating costs and increase productivity. Numerous small and mid-scale industries have already started using Numercial Control (NC) and Computerized Numercial Control (CNC) machines as they have realized that it will help them boost productivity and deliver improved quality products in a shorter period of time.

With industry 4.0 on the rise in the manufacturing space, the future looks promising for the global press machine market.

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