Metal is an essential material in today’s manufacturing processes used across all kinds of industries, from construction to beauty and everything in between.

The eight most common metals to be employed are gray iron, white iron, ductile iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, copper-based alloy, nickel-based alloy, and aluminum alloy.

Each has its own individual properties and is used to make different things. In the same way, there are all sorts of metal mechanical presses available. It very much depends on the process you’ll use it for as to which is best for your business.

Continue reading to find out more…

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Mechanical Presses

Before making any purchase, you should ask yourself the following three questions:

  • What process do you need your press to perform? Will it be used, for example, for metal forging, extrusion, or sheet metal working?
  • What press capacity’s required to perform that process? You should take into account the size of your work stock as well as the function you need the machine to fulfill.
  • Over what length of stroke do you need the press to deliver force?

It’s imperative you consider all three factors when making your decision.

Mechanical Press Categories

Presses can be sorted into four different categories according to:

  • Their mechanism (hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic)
  • Their function (stamping presses, press brakes, etc.)
  • Their structure (e.g., knuckle-joint press)
  • Their controllability (conventional vs. servo-presses)

Mechanical presses function with the support of an electric motor, and they usually work faster than their hydraulic counterparts, which use hydraulic cylinders to generate pressure. They are also used to manufacture different things.

Hydraulic presses are designed for clinching, molding, punching, etc., whereas mechanical presses are mostly used for metal forging and sheet metalworking.

Once you’ve determined that the latter is what you need for your business, how do you go about actually choosing one?

There are all sorts of makes and models of mechanical press out there—how can you be certain you’re buying the right one for your requirements?

Here are some tips to consider as you consider your options:

1. Know Your Needs

Before you even start looking around for a mechanical press, you need to know what you need it to do. We recommend that you write out a master list of routine jobs so that you can identify the specific processes your new press will have to perform.

This helps you narrow down your options, which—even just for a mechanical press—are many and varied. 

Types of Mechanical Press

As we’ve already suggested, one way of categorizing different types of presses is by function or process.

With mechanical presses, you still have several different options:

  • Press brakes: These secure metal between two plates and then bend them to the manufacturer’s needs.
  • Forging Presses: These apply pressure to hot and cold materials, depending on the size of the product.
  • Power Presses: These perform functions such as bending, deep drawing, curling, and piercing.
  • Punch Presses: These apply pressure to change the shape or size of materials.
  • Stamping Presses: These repeatedly stamp materials to change their shape or size. They’re used on all sorts of metals, including steel, brass, and aluminum.
  • Steel Presses: These work exclusively with steel, which is one of the most robust materials to manipulate.

 As you can see, there are lots to choose from!

2. Choose Flexibility

As you can see from the above list, each kind of press has its own specific function, but some are more adaptable than others; they are suitable for more than one process and can work with more than one metal.

Make sure you choose a press that can handle all of the jobs on your master list. There is no point in purchasing a steel press if you need one that can shape steel and brass, after all.

In that case, you’d be much better off going with a stamping press instead.

3. Always Opt for Advanced Tech

The newer the press, the better it will handle the more complex jobs on your list.

This isn’t to say you need the most up-to-date model every time, especially if your processes are relatively simple. Still, you want to purchase as much technology as you need to make those processes run efficiently.

4. Check Precision

Whatever you’re making, you surely want to end up with a top-quality product to keep your customers happy.

For this reason, it’s vital you find a mechanical press that is both precise and accurate so that the caliber of your stock remains unaffected by the purchase of a new press.

Choose a model with adjustable power features and slide controls for maximum balance and control. 

5. Choose Versatility

Again, you want to make the most of your press. Even if your current manufacturing process is limited, you may wish to expand over time. So, consider the pros and cons of a press with a single function vs. a versatile repertoire carefully.

6. Research Cost-Effectiveness

A second-hand press will be cheaper than one that’s brand spanking new, but make sure you go to a reputable dealer! For maximum performance quality, some parts may need to be cleaned or even rebuilt before use. 

Im-Pressed?

We hope you now have a better idea about how to buy the best mechanical presses for your business.

We provide the comfort of visiting just one facility located in Livonia, MI) for all your mechanical press needs, and offer press rebuild for all our metal stamping presses in as quick a time as you need them.

So, explore our current stock, or contact us—either via our website or in person for more information.