Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02.doc C02.

PDF David Alkire Smith, 530 Hollywood Drive, Monroe, Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19, 2005

A mechanical power press is a machine used to supply force to a die that is used to blank, form, or shape metal or nonmetallic material. Thus, a press is a component of a manufacturing system that combines the press, a die, material and feeding method to produce a part. The designer of the manufacturing system must also provide proper point of operation guards to safeguard pressroom personnel. Each of the components of this manufacturing system is important and will be discussed in turn later in this work. A foundation for understanding the system is acquiring a working knowledge of the press.

There are over 300,000 presses in use in the United States and many more worldwide. Mechanical presses fall into two predominant press types: gap frame and straight side types. The frame types used in mechanical presses are similar to those used in many hydraulic presses. Here, we will limit our discussion to mechanical presses. The drive systems, clutches, brakes, counterbalance systems, die cushions, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic features are similar in both the gap frame and straight side types. The type and size of press selected is mainly determined by the work to be done.

Gap Frame Presses
Figure 1 illustrates one type of gap frame press. The principle feature of gap frame machines is the C-shaped opening. For this reason, gap frame presses are also referred to as C-frame presses. In press force capacities up to approximately 250 tons (2,224 kn.) and larger, gap frame presses are less costly than a straightside press having the same force capacity and control features. In the 35 to 60-ton (311 to 534 kN) force range, they may cost approximately half as much as straightside press. The C-shaped throat opening has the advantage of permitting access to the die from three sides. This enables pressworking operations to be carried out on the corners and sides of large sheets of material. The open back is also accessible for discharging finished parts and scrap as well as feeding stock. The open accessibility from three sides facilitates quick die change with simple equipment. The ease of access is also useful for trying out and repairing dies in the press.


Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02.doc C02.PDF David Alkire Smith, 530 Hollywood Drive, Monroe, Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19, 2005

Open Back Inclinable (OBI) Gap Frame Press

Figure 1. A typical gap frame open back inclinable (OBI) mechanical press. Verson Corporation The main disadvantage of gap frame presses is that there is an unavoidable angular misalignment that occurs under load. Limiting the amount of angular misalignment requires very robust construction, which adds to the weight and cost of the machine.

Straightside Presses
Straightside presses derive their name from the vertical columns or uprights on either side of the machine. The columns together with the bed and crown form a strong housing for the crankshaft, slide and other mechanical components. The housing or frame of most straightside presses is held together in compression by prestressed tie rods. Some straightside presses have solid frames. Generally a solid frame straightside press is less expensive than one having tie rods. However, tie rod presses are easier to ship disassembled and have better ability to withstand overloads.


motor and flywheel mount on the crown of the press. The crankshaft end bearings may be contained in the columns or crown. Typically.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. brake. 2005 Freedom from angular deflection under load is one reason for choosing a straightside rather than gap frame press for work involving close tolerance dies. The crown serves many functions depending upon machine design. The gears shown in Figure 2 may be open having only a safety guard designed to contain the gear in the event that it should fall off due to a failure such as a broken crankshaft.doc C02. the clutch. 530 Hollywood Drive. The bed is the base of the machine. and have gibs attached which guide the slide. Monroe. A straightside mechanical press having double end drive gears and two connections. The part dimensional accuracy and number of hits between necessary die maintenance often improves by a factor of three or more. Smith & Associates Straightside Press Constriction Figure 2 illustrates some of the principle mechanical components of a straightside press having double end drive gears and two connections. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Basic Straight Side Mechanical Press Nomenclature Figure 2. The columns support the crown. 3 .PDF David Alkire Smith.

Direct Drive Mechanical Press Applications Nongeared presses find widespread application in blanking. First. The separate gear housing and lubricant bath system serves to lessen noise and insure long gear life. SME Technical Paper MS76-285. The pitman. 530 Hollywood Drive. the flywheel is mounted on the end of the crankshaft. N. Fisher. The author. the design is simple. The latter are often supplied from a recirculating lubricant system. connection.800 for short stroke high-speed operation. Energy is transferred from the motor to the flywheel by several V-belts. Enclosing the gears in separate enclosures from the rest of the machine permits using a heavier viscosity lubricant than that used for other machine parts such as the bearings. Speeds range from under 100 strokes per minute to over 1. “Principles of Mechanical Power Presses”. Fisher.doc C02. updates the material for public presentations. the gears are fully enclosed and run in a bath of lubricant. 1 Figure 3. Directly driven presses are capable of much higher operating speeds than geared types. Types of Mechanical Press Drives In nongeared or direct drive presses as they are also known. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. The tie rods hold the housing assembly in compression. high-speed production and shallow forming operations. There are few bearings and no gears to wear out. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers. They have several major advantages over all other press types. N.PDF David Alkire Smith. Michigan.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. bolster and other parts have similar functions in both gap frame and straightside presses. The flywheel is motor driven by means of a belt drive. Monroe. 2005 In modern designs. In addition. © 1976. 1 4 . Dearborn. frictional losses are lower than that of mechanical geared and hydraulic presses. A nongeared drive illustrating a double-throw crankshaft directly driven by the flywheel through a frictional clutch.

060-inch (1. A combination of good basic design and careful maintenance make long trouble free service life possible. The high operating speeds provide much greater productivity than that of geared presses. First. which is mounted on a pinion double end gear presses. Single gear reduction presses typically operate in the speed range of 16 to 200 strokes per minute (SPM). typically 0. Some single gear reduction presses have main gears mounted on both ends of the crankshaft.PDF David Alkire Smith.doc C02. the full rated force of the machine is only available very close to the bottom of the stroke. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Note the Eaton variable speed drive motor mounted on top of the machine. 5 . The machine still meets original specifications for alignment and bearing clearances when regularly inspected. A second disadvantage is that the ability to deliver rated forces is substantially reduced if the press is operated at less than full speed. The nongeared press illustrated in Figure 4. It is equipped with an Eaton variable speed drive adjustable up to 300 strokes per minute. The direct drive press is very popular for precision progressive die and high speed perforating operations.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Monroe.524 mm) from bottom dead center. the flywheel is mounted on the backshaft and the power is then transmitted through a pinion to a main gear mounted on the crankshaft. 530 Hollywood Drive. Two main factors limit the application of the direct driven press. An example of a direct drive straightside press showing the flywheel and clutch in a metal enclosure. 2005 Example of a Direct Drive Press Figure 4. built by the Minster Machine Company has been in service for approximately 25 years. Single Gear Reduction Presses In single gear reduction presses.

Monroe. The error will be made worse if the largest load is placed on the side of the press opposite the driven end of the crankshaft.) or more and bed sizes of 204 inches (5. The result is that the side of the ram nearest the driven end of the crankshaft will reach bottom dead center before the other end. A single end drive single gear reduction press system is illustrated in Figure 5. Angular Misalignment Due to Crankshaft Twist Figure 6 illustrates how an angular misalignment proportional to the torque transmitted through a crankshaft with two throws occurs in single end drive presses. 530 Hollywood Drive. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19.000 tons (8. 2005 Single Gear Reduction Single End Drive System Figure 5. However. more flywheel energy can be provided for a given flywheel weight than in a nongeared press. This greater amount of flywheel energy provides greater torque capacity. thus making the single geared press better suited for drawing and heavy forming operations than a direct drive press. Some larger machines are built with force of 1. Single gear drive presses are often built in larger sizes than direct drive presses. A machine of this type is excellent for high throughput blanking operations. A single geared drive illustrating a double-throw crankshaft driven by a single end gear and frictional clutch the flywheel drives the crankshaft end gear by means of a smaller pinion gear. single end drive presses can be used for precision high-speed presswork by using a very large and rigid crankshaft in comparison to the machine force capacity.896 kn.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Because these presses utilize a gear reduction. 6 .doc C02. Presses having driving gears on each end of the crankshaft are often specified for heavy presswork. with the flywheel on the high-speed backshaft.PDF David Alkire Smith.18 M). The amount of ram tipping will be approximately proportional to the force delivered by the machine if the ram is uniformly loaded.

PDF David Alkire Smith. These crankshafts have very low amounts of torsional twist. Double Gear Reduction Presses Presses having two gear reductions from the flywheel to the crankshaft are termed double gear reduction presses. These machines normally achieve a speed range from 8 to 30 SPM. Monroe. 7 .Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. there is more accurate left to right ram to bed alignment under load than is the case of the single end drive system. It is important that the machining and timing of the gears. 2005 High-speed press crankshafts have short stroke lengths. keyways and crankshaft be accomplished in a precise manner in order to avoid binding and ensure smooth operation. Because the shaft diameter is large compared to the stroke length. Crankshaft Misalignment under Torsional Load Figure 6.doc C02. By driving the crankshaft equally on both ends. Figure 8 illustrates one type of clutch and gearing arrangement. 530 Hollywood Drive. Large transfer presses also frequently employ double gear reduction. these are termed eccentric type crankshafts. Many of the terms apply to both mechanical and hydraulic gap frame and straight side presses. These presses are used for difficult applications such as heavy deep drawing. cold forging and flanging large parts such as truck frame rails. Press Terminology and Component Identification The following terms are used to describe some of the principle characteristics and specifications of power presses. Twin End Drive Presses Figure 7 illustrates a single gear reduction twin end drive on a press having a crankshaft having two throws. Angular misalignment proportional to the torque transmitted through a crankshaft with two throws occurs in single end drive presses. This factor results in a ram tipping alignment error.

This distance. determines the range of closed heights of the dies that will fit into the press.doc C02. This is a poor practice. The minimum and maximum amount of vertical open space between the ram and bolster must be known in order to know if a die will fit the press. When a die must be put in an existing press. It is always measured with the press shut or at bottom dead center. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Shut Height The space available between the press bed or bolster and the slide or ram is called the shut height. It is illegal to overload a stamping press. the distance from the top of the bolster to the bottom of the ram is the figure that should be used. the force capacity is very important.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. specified with the screw adjustment at maximum and minimum values.PDF David Alkire Smith. It may be specified as the vertical space between the ram and either the top of the bed or bolster as illustrated in Figure 9. 2005 Single Gear Reduction Twin End Drive Press Figure 7. 8 . The bolster is needed to stiffen the bed and spread the load evenly. Some shops have removed the bolster and fastened the die directly to the press bed. Terms that describe the bolster size determine the maximum size die shoe that can be accommodated in the machine. Providing a driving gear on either end of the crankshaft avoids the angular misalignment under load illustrated in Figure 6. 530 Hollywood Drive. Monroe. Of course. At times. more shut height than that which can be accommodated with the press bolster in place is needed.

Example of shut height measurement taken (A) from ram to the bed. Example of Shut Height Measurement Figure 9.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 2005 Double Gear Reduction Twin End Drive Press Figure 8.doc C02. Smith & Associates 9 . Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Monroe.PDF David Alkire Smith. A typical style of clutch and gearing arrangement used on double gear reduction presses. and (B) from ram to the bolster. measurement (B) is the one that should be used when determining the allowable maximum die shut height. Figure 9 illustrates two example of shut height measurement. Since the bolster is needed to add stiffness to the press bed. 530 Hollywood Drive. Measurement (A) is taken from ram to the bed and measurement (B) from ram to the bolster.

in some cases. 6. 4.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. The flywheel. 530 Hollywood Drive. which stores the energy. to permit the die to be fastened in the press. Gears where used to reduce the speed and increase the torque delivered by the flywheel through the clutch.PDF David Alkire Smith. Monroe. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. In addition. Press Frame Members The strength of the parts that make up the framework or housing of presses determines the force capacity of the machine. supplied by the motor. The clutch which transmits energy from the flywheel to the crankshaft or eccentric drive. the die shoe is designed to overhang the press bolster in an area where little or no work is done. The motor which furnishes energy to the flywheel. This practice is highly undesirable and greatly complicates legal machine guarding. The die is inadequately supported. This is done to balance the load to avoid ram tipping in progressive die operations. In some cases. T-slots permit dies to be changed quickly and fastened in the press more securely than tapped holes. 2005 Bed and Bolster The bolster adds stiffness to the press bed and has tapped holes. which transmits the motion of the crankshaft or eccentric drive to the slide by means of the connection. The most important bolster measurement is the left-to-right and front-to-back dimensions. 3. 2. or preferably T-slots. safe die clamping to protect the operator may not be possible. Occasionally. Moving Press Parts The moving press parts store. This is a very poor practice. a shop will place a die in a press that overhangs the edges of the bolster.doc C02. Heavy frames limit deflection and help damp harmful vibrations. through reduction gearing. 5. The pitman(s) or eccentric strap(s). This determines the width and length of die that can be accommodated. The brake used to stop the press and hold the slide and attached mechanism in place. The principal components are: 1. 10 . control and transmit the energy supplied by the motor to the die and workpiece.

upper die and attached linkage. The clutch is a mechanism used to control the coupling of the flywheel (or gear on a geared press) with the press crankshaft. 8. Historically.doc C02. these features are required by law for most applications. 2005 7. it cannot be disengaged until the crankshaft has made one complete revolution. The slide or ram to which the upper die is fastened: it is guided by gibs attached to the machine frame or housing. The adjusting screw located at each slide connection point. which connects the pitman(s) or eccentric strap(s) to the slide through a bearing. Otherwise. The Clutch's Role in Safe Operation Correct clutch and brake action is essential to safe press operation. The counterbalance to counter balance the weight of the slide.PDF David Alkire Smith. Most modern presses are equipped with an air friction clutch and brake arrangement that is commonly called a partial revolution clutch. The partial revolution clutch permits improved operator safety. 10. The ability to transmit torque in either direction in the event the press must be reversed for any reason.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. better tooling protection and versatility of press use by permitting: 1. brake monitors and electrical control systems having anti-repeat features. The connection. Mechanical Press Clutches and Brakes Virtually all mechanical presses have a means to transmit the energy stored in the flywheel to the press by means of a clutch mechanism. 4. 2. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. When a full revolution clutch is activated. the press is stopped and held by a brake. 9. advances in control reliability have been achieved by adding redundancy to control systems such as dual solenoid clutch actuating valves. the press would cycle continuously whenever power was applied to the flywheel. 530 Hollywood Drive. Monroe. Many older presses utilize a mechanical clutch. 3. When the clutch is not engaged. Today. Rapid dependable engagement. Emergency stopping capability in mid stroke. 11 . The partial revolution clutch can be disengaged at any point in the stroke before the crankshaft has completed a full revolution. Long term reliability. which is a full revolution type.

Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Since the clutch cannot be disengaged before a full revolution is completed. Figure 10 illustrates an example of a full revolution clutch installed on the crankshaft of a small press. Many full revolution presses cannot transmit power in the reverse direction. Most full revolution clutches are of a simple mechanical design that operates by means of engaging one or more rolling keys or pins. Monroe. E. hydraulic or electrical solenoid devices. 2005 Example of a Full Revolution Clutch Figure 10. Bliss Company Full Revolution Clutches The simplest type of clutch maintains engagement for the full revolution of the press once actuated.PDF David Alkire Smith. 12 . misadjusted or lack of maintenance. 530 Hollywood Drive. The engaging mechanism may be actuated manually or by means of pneumatic. a positive means such as a physical barrier guard is required for protection of personnel in the area. An obvious disadvantage is the inability to stop the press before top of stroke in the event that a misfeed is detected. W. Few new presses are built with such clutches. low in cost and reliable provided that they are not abused by overloading. Such clutches are simple. This should be considered in the event that the motor should need to be run in the reverse direction to free up a press that has become stuck on bottom of stroke.doc C02. The engaging means is determined by safety requirements and the type of operator safeguarding provided. A full revolution clutch mounted on the press crankshaft.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02.

T. Air Piston Actuated Combined Clutch and Brake Figure 11. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. J. 530 Hollywood Drive. In addition. more reliable operation by retrofitting improved clutch and brake systems. Veilleux. Michigan © 1984. F.doc C02. Usually. Such systems are available from several suppliers. pages 5-35 to 5-37. Dearborn.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 2005 Upgrading Existing Presses Older presses can often be upgraded for smoother. 2 13 . can be replaced. Wick. Verson Corporation 2 C. Benedict. which may no longer meet current safety requirements. the electrical controls.PDF David Alkire Smith. “Tool and Manufacturing Engineers Handbook”. Monroe. This work is the source for Figures 10 and 11. R. Volume 2 Fourth Edition. Single piston actuated combined clutch and brake system. the most satisfactory way to retrofit the press is to install a complete new control package especially designed for the application.

Large eddy current drives such as the Eaton Dynamatic ® units have electromagnetic coils contained within the flywheel assembly. the safe reliable functioning of the air valve still requires clean filtered air and may need an air line lubricator. The design insures that the clutch must release before the brake can be applied. The combined unit is simple for a trained technician to service. Since the inertia of the moving parts is low.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. it is a drum attached to the crankshaft having a metal band lined with frictional material attached to the press frame. Most mechanical power press brakes are applied by spring pressure. Such brakes are rarely used except on small presses having full revolution clutches. A spring with screw adjustment is used to apply constant braking action to the drum. the braking action required is minimal. 14 . 530 Hollywood Drive. Monroe. The tube does not require lubrication and is leak free throughout its useful life. The main advantage of a combined clutch brake is simplicity and lower cost compared to that of a separate clutch and brake. If the Dynamatic drive unit also incorporates an electromagnetic brake. the majority of the stopping action is accomplished by electromagnetic attraction between stationary and moving parts of the brake in the eddy current drive. Presses having eddy current drives such at the Eaton Dynamatic ® require a separate air released spring actuated brake.doc C02. In its simplest form. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Brake Separate from Clutch Very large presses or machines designed for rapid stopping may employ a brake that is a separate unit. Figure 12 illustrates the pneumatic piping tanks and controls installed on a straightside press which has a separate clutch and brake mounted on opposite sides of the press crown. One design uses a fabric reinforced circular rubber air tube rather than a piston to accomplish the function of air actuation. 2005 Brakes A brake serves to stop and hold the press crankshaft or eccentric drive stationary when the clutch is not engaged. Figure 11 illustrates an example of such a system.PDF David Alkire Smith. Eddy Current Clutches and Brakes Clutches that are actuated by electromagnetic attraction are termed eddy current clutches. which depresses the springs holding the frictional surfaces in contact. Electrical eddy currents occur in electrical conductors subjected to a changing electromagnetic field. Piston actuated brakes are often combined with a friction clutch in an integral package. However. The brake is released by applying air pressure to an air cylinder. Here. the mechanical brake is called a holding brake.

Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 15 . The amount of slip or difference in speed is controlled by the amount of DC current supplied to the coils.PDF David Alkire Smith. Many applications are found in non-synchronous automotive tandem press lines. The same principle may also be used to arrest the motion of the press with a set of brake coils using eddy current action. This provides a useful way to slow the press speed during the stroke while the flywheel runs at essentially full speed. 530 Hollywood Drive. The eddy current drive system is extensively used on large presses that are single stroked. Monroe. 2005 Air Piping. This type of drive is called a constant energy system or (CES) since full flywheel energy is available at any point in the stroke.doc C02. Tanks and Controls on a Straightside Press Figure 12. This feature finds application in large presses where the slow down function is useful to assist in deep drawing operations or to reduce moving die member impact problems. Pneumatic piping tanks and controls installed on a straightside press that has a separate clutch and brake mounted on opposite side of the press crown. the frictional holding brake dissipates very little energy. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Verson Corporation The clutch is engaged by applying a DC electrical current to the rotating coils through slip-rings. The eddy currents set up in the clutch member attached to the press rotary driven shaft produce a magnetic field that permits torque to be transmitted from the flywheel to the driven shaft with very little slip. If everything is functioning properly.

Electrical limit switches are used to detect the application and release of the holding brake. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. The amount of torque that a clutch can transmit before slipping is often given in inchpounds or Newton-meters.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. frame construction and can be placed on a workbench.doc C02. Almost without exception.08 to 5. Direct drive is also used on screw driven hot forging presses. Air actuated clutches range in torque capacity from under 25. a term which is done by applying the three phase current source in a way to tend to reverse the motor’s direction of rotation. Clutch and Brake Specifications Power press clutches and brakes are rated in several ways. it is very important not to exceed the manufacturer's recommended maximum values for production applications. Simplicity is a major advantage of a direct drive press.PDF David Alkire Smith. Once the motor is at or near zero speed. This rapidly slows the motor. However. To start the press at top of stroke. these presses are of double gear reduction drive construction. Therefore. long life and safe operation. However.44 bar). three-phase current is applied to a large induction motor especially designed for this service. Typically. Monroe. these are bench presses. Some very low force capacity machines are driven by electrical servomotors. The resulting increase in torque may overload the clutch and other press parts. which must be synchronized with the drive motor action. The required current. To insure correct application. Normally. 2005 Direct Drive Presses A few mechanical presses do not have clutches and brakes. a few large straightside presses are directly driven by an electrical induction motor. Ignitrons in direct drive press and similar high current rectifying and switching applications have largely been replaced or retrofitted with high current silicon controlled rectifiers (SCRs). frequent starting and plugging the motor to stop the press results in high current consumption and large amounts of waste heat. a spring applied holding brake is actuated to hold the press drive stationary.500 NM). Since screw presses stop at the bottom of die closure. the drive motor is rapidly reversed to minimize the time that the hot workpiece is in contact with the forging die surfaces. The torque capacity is rated at a stated air pressure. Increasing the amount of air pressure applied results in greater torque transmitting capacity. 530 Hollywood Drive.000 inch pounds (2.825 NM) to well over 500. phase angle control and switching function is sometimes controlled by a bank of mercury rectifiers called ignitron rectifiers. a brake is not required for stopping at the bottom of the stroke.000 inch pounds (56. The direct drive press is stopped by “plugging” the motor. which are very small presses that are usually of “C”. 16 . typically from 60 to 80 psi (4. Multiple blowers are required to cool the motor. it is important to match the clutch and brake to the press. resulting in accelerated wear and possible catastrophic failure.

2005 Brake Torque Ratings The torque that the brake will withstand without slipping is also rated in inch pounds or Newton meters. Clutches and brakes intended for single stroking are often equipped with fans to increase the heat dissipation capacity.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02.695 NM) to over 250. British Thermal Units (BTU) or calories. Higher settings should not be used because: 1. Following good practice is essential. 17 .250 NM). it is applied by mechanical springs and released by air pressure. 4.PDF David Alkire Smith. Such abuse will very likely result in rapid wear. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. 530 Hollywood Drive.000 inch pounds (1. there is danger of operator injury. Excessive torque can be transmitted. Should the clutch fail. Both the clutch and brake must dissipate heat. Air is wasted. 3.000 inch pounds (28. the motor will need to be reversed before inching the machine. The only reason that the clutch air pressure might ever be raised to a temporarily higher value is to assist in getting a press off bottom that has become stuck. In such cases. Monroe. kilowatts. since the application and release are not institutions. The capacity to dissipate heat is calculated in engineering units such as horsepower. increasing the air pressure and attempting to inch the press will make the problem worse. The function of the brake is to arrest press movement and hold the slide at any point in the stroke. 2. More air must be exhausted which increases stopping time. In its usual configuration. Clutch Air Pressure Setting It is important that the clutch regulator air setting be no higher than that required to provide rapid engagement and transmit the full torque value required to develop rated press tonnage. Should the press not have reached bottom dead center (BDC). Press damage can result from excessive forces. since this also increases air movement. Some Requirements for Safe Clutch-Brake Operation Exceeding the torque capacity or heat dissipation capacity of a clutch and brake is dangerous. It is normally less than the clutch torque capacity.doc C02. The heat dissipation capacity of a clutch and/or brake increases with rotational speed. The typical range of brake torque capacities ranges from under 15. This procedure should only be resorted to after a careful evaluation of the problem including the press and clutch manufacturer's recommendation.

PDF David Alkire Smith. the actuating piston or air-tube travel increases. Should this occur. Wet Clutches and Brakes A wet clutch and brake operates in a housing filled with oil. the clutch air valve is located close to the clutch. 2005 Clutch Air Valve The clutch engaging solenoid air valve serves to admit air to release the brake and engage the clutch. especially in single stroking applications. Increased stopping time is one result. The valve is self-checking. Often the filter is an integral part of the clutch pressure air regulator. A small surge tank is often located near the air valve to supply the required volume of air rapidly. If needed. Clutch Adjustment and Maintenance For safe operation. As the clutch wears. Monroe. In order to avoid erratic operation of the clutch/brake pneumatic system. an air line lubricator is also installed to keep the system working freely. the valve automatically locks in the off position until the fault is corrected. An in-line air filter is used to furnish clean dry air. To insure rapid actuation. Wet clutches fitted with oil coolers are excellent in severe single stroking applications. Here. The air supply piping must be large enough to insure rapid actuation. 530 Hollywood Drive. There is always a danger that the clutch air valve may stick in the open position. it is essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for frequency of maintenance.doc C02. One or more quick release valves may be located on the clutch housing to reduce press stopping time. A film of oil between the friction disks and intermediate contact plates transmits torque while absorbing most of the heat. Repairs to clutches and brakes are usually limited to replacement of worn or damaged parts. To greatly lessen this possibility. the clutch and brake must be examined by a qualified maintenance technician to determine and correct the cause. In case of a malfunction. Should any significant increase in engagement or stopping time occur.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. a special double air valve is used. a supply of clean filtered air is an important requirement. Some clutches and brakes have provision for adjustment to compensate for wear. This is usually done with solid shims. 18 . Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. This results in a greater air capacity requirement to both actuate and release the clutch and brake. Any attempt to modify a clutch to increase the torque or braking capacity should only be done upon a careful engineering evaluation and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. the press would continue to cycle. the manufacturer's recommendations for proper running clearances and wear limits before parts require adjustment or replacement must be strictly followed.

this does not reduce the press tonnage capacity. When the flywheel speed is reduced below its standard rating. 530 Hollywood Drive. Standard mechanical engineering formulas are used by press designers. These are: 1.doc C02. Torque capacity Component Strength The physical strength of the various parts of the press must be sufficient to withstand long term cyclical loading at the rated force capacity of the machine. gears (if a geared press). Press Capacity Factors The press builder normally designs presses for specific applications taking into account three main criteria. the flywheel energy is increased by the square of the speed increase. deflection must not exceed accepted design tolerances.PDF David Alkire Smith. Reducing the flywheel speed reduces the total energy available. Flywheel The motor furnishes energy to the flywheel. Very serious pressroom accidents have occurred due to welded clutch and brake repairs having been attempted. Monroe. if the speed is increased. and transmit it through the clutch. Once the flywheel is up to speed and not being cycled. Thus. connection and slide to perform the required work without exceeding the safe working capacity of any component. The result is a robust machine that will provide decades of normal service at full capacity without failure. Component strength 2. The liability of crack formation and propagation leading to sudden failure in the heat-affected zone of the weld is unacceptable. In addition. Flywheel energy 3. Torque Capacity The press must have the ability to take the energy of the flywheel. 2005 Welded repairs generally should never be attempted. However. presses having variable speed drives vary greatly in the amount of flywheel energy available depending upon the speed adjustment setting. the motor need only supply enough energy to make up for frictional losses. The flywheel stores the energy until some is used to perform work. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. the flywheel energy is reduced by the square of the speed reduction. crankshaft. Likewise. The energy stored in the flywheel increases as the square of the flywheel rotational speed.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 19 . The parts are subjected to cyclical loading during operation as well as frequent heating and cooling cycles. The tonnage capacity is based on the strength of the machine component parts.

the press is still a 60-ton press from a component strength and torque capacity standpoint. its ability to do work at the 50 stroke per minute speed is greatly reduced.PDF David Alkire Smith. Because this press is designed with component strength and torque capacity of 60 tons. The 60-ton (534 kN) press thus would supply 15 tons (133 kN) through 0.doc C02. Monroe. The speed range must be taken into account in selecting a press so this loss of energy at slower speeds does not present a problem. excessive drive belt and other drive component wear may result. strokes per minute. Even if the press does not stall at slow speeds.5 mm) above bottom dead center at a rated speed of 100 strokes per minute.38 mm). 20 . the additional stored flywheel energy is not usable. 530 Hollywood Drive. The 60 tons of force is available at a rated distance of 0.060-inch (1. The press tonnage and torque capacity is the same. If the speed is reduced by 50% to 50 strokes per minute.015-inch (0. which is adjustable from 50 to 200. but the flywheel energy is reduced to 25% of the standard rating. 2005 The following calculations apply to a 60-ton (534 KN) nongeared press with a variable speed drive. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Figure 13 graphically illustrates the relationship of flywheel speed to usable force and energy.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Relationship of Flywheel Speed to Force and Energy Figure 13. Doubling the speed to 200 strokes per minute will result in four times the usable flywheel energy being stored. At 50 strokes per minute. A graphical illustration of the relationship of flywheel speed to usable force and energy.060-inch (1. the flywheel energy is actually reduced by 75% because at one-half speed there is only one-fourth the energy left in the flywheel. Thus.5 mm) or 60 tons through approximately 0.

At one time. The pulley or sheave. Presses driven by single speed induction motors operate at a nearly constant speed. This will result in excessive current and heat. Variable frequency induction 4. the motor speed will decrease to less than the rated full load speed. As the work done by the press is increased. which can damage the motor unless properly protected with fuses and/or a circuit breaker. while providing adjustable output speed. 21 . Monroe. the press speed can be varied within a limited range by changing the diameter of the sheave in accordance with the press manufacturer's recommendations. 530 Hollywood Drive. For example. Multiple speed induction 3. The location and function of the sheave is illustrated in Figures 3.800-RPM speed of the rotating magnetic field within a few RPM under low load conditions.PDF David Alkire Smith.doc C02. press-feeding system. Mechanical variable speed 5. a mechanical motor generator set was needed to convert an industrial three-phase power source to direct current. These include: 1. Should more energy be used than the motor can restore to the flywheel during successive strokes. Direct current motors historically have been the choice for handling large starting loads. The periphery of the flywheel usually has groves for multiple V-belts. the Eaton Dynamatic constant energy system (CES). 2005 Press Motors and Drives The most commonly used arrangement is to belt drive the flywheel by means of a pulley on the output shaft of the motor. Full horsepower will be delivered at the rated speed of 1725 RPM. the speed of the motor drops.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. is a type of variable speed drive. various types of dual speed gear reduction and hydraulic drives are in limited use. discussed under clutches and brakes. Direct current 2. Eddy current In addition. is sized to obtain the proper press speed. 5. 7 and 8. In addition. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19.725 RPM at full load will approach the 1. as it is commonly known. There are many motor drives available that are used on mechanical presses. In some cases. Types of Variable Speed Motor drives A variable speed drive permits the press speed to be adjusted for optimum performance taking into consideration the die. a four-pole induction motor having a rated speed of 1. part ejection method and production requirements.

a two-pole induction motor operated from a 60 HZ power source will run at 3.doc C02. V-Belt Variable Speed Drive Set for Minimum Speed Figure 14. Modern DC motors use solid state components such as large silicon controller rectifiers (SCRs) and high power transistors to replace both the motor generator set and inefficient speed adjusting systems.PDF David Alkire Smith. a six-pole motor at 1. Multiple Speed Induction Motors An induction motor must have some slip or loss of speed below that of the rotating magnetic field produced by the stator (stationary) windings in order to develop torque. Monroe. power wasting components such as resistor banks or rheostats were needed to achieve motor speed adjustment. Thus. Typical sizes for press applications range from five through 500 horsepower (3.9 kW). The no-slip or synchronous speed of the motor is determined by the frequency in AC cycles per second (cps) or hertz HZ times 60 seconds divided by the number of poles in the stator. In the same way. In addition.600 RPM minus the slip.800 RPM. The high maintenance items on a DC drive motors are the brushes and rotating commutator.729 to 372. a function of the developed torque. 22 .200 RPM and an eight-pole motor at 900 RPM. V-belt variable speed drive illustrating the motor and variable pitch cone pulleys set for minimum speed. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. 530 Hollywood Drive. The minimum number of induction motor poles (like the north and south poles of a magnet) is a minimum of two. 2005 These units required expensive maintenance. a four-pole motor will run at nearly 1. A physically small and efficient combined power supply and speed control is now used. In addition. a fan is often required to cool the motor during low speed operation.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02.

the motor speed can be varied by two or three discrete steps. While the electronic controls required to accomplish the conversion are complex. cost effective and highly reliable. Mechanical Variable Speed Drives Figures 14 and 15 illustrate a simplified concept of a mechanical variable speed drive. 23 . changing the supply frequency can be used to control the motor speed. V-belt variable speed drives illustrating the motor and variable pitch cone pulleys set for maximum speed. One method of a variable frequency drive system is to convert the 60 HZ AC input to direct current. By changing the connections with a switch or relay. 2005 The number of poles is determined by how the coils in the stator are connected. The DC is then efficiently converted to AC of the frequency required to drive the motor at the desired speed by solid state switching devices. Variable Frequency Drives Since the speed of an induction motor varies in proportion to the frequency of the AC power source. 530 Hollywood Drive.doc C02. only a limited number of discrete speeds are available. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. control designs employing modern solid state integrated circuit components permit the control package to be relatively small. This drive speed control system is little used. The mechanical complexity of the switching required for a three-phase system is a disadvantage.PDF David Alkire Smith. Monroe.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. The drive unit is available as a package unit containing a single speed motor with a belt and moveable sheave arrangement that changes the speed of the drives output shaft. In addition. These drives are normally supplied in variable speed rations ranging from two-to-one to four-to-one. V-Belt Variable Speed Drive Set for Maximum Speed Figure 15. This is practical with solid state controllers.

Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 2005 Some presses. This is done by connecting them directly to the power source with a simple relay contactor having thermally delayed overload protection. a problem with excessive loss of flywheel energy limits the use of low speeds. However. especially those used in high speed perforating work. fixed speed press motors are designed to be line started. although speed ranges through 5:1 are usable. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. Often. An auxiliary blower is often included to assist with cooling the unit. At low speeds.7 kW). While the eddy current drive speed ratio is theoretically infinite. Output ratings are available from five through 300 horsepower (3.doc C02. It contains a single speed motor and an eddy current coupling that changes the drive's output shaft speed. may have a conventional induction motor which drives a V-belt variable speed drive built into the press. In this case. A view of the main components is illustrated in Figure 16. A variable speed eddy current motor drive available as a packaged unit: it contains a single speed motor and an eddy current coupling that changes the drive's output shaft speed. which involve high input Vs out speed ratios. A Variable Speed Eddy Current Motor Drive Figure 16. one of the cone pulleys is attached directly to the flywheel. Monroe. Reduced Voltage Starting Devices In sizes of up to 300 horsepower (224 kW) or larger.PDF David Alkire Smith.729 through 223. 24 . Eddy Current Motor Drives Variable speed eddy current motor drives are available as a packaged unit. the variable speed drive converts a considerable amount of electrical energy to waste heat. the initial current inrush is from five to seven times the full-load current rating of the motor. 530 Hollywood Drive. Current inrush to the motor is limited by the resistance of the windings and an increase in reactance due to the design of line start motor rotors. their effective range is normally in the 2:1 range for best efficiency.

the starting current drops to half the full voltage value. In addition. 5. 4. especially for equipment that is started frequently. However. The savings in motor. Solid state reduced voltage motor starters are available on many new presses as well as retrofit packages. A more common method makes use of a starter that reduces the starting voltage by means of solid state switching devices.doc C02. a higher current is required to supply the same amount of actual power. Reduced starting torque substantially increases the amount of time required to bring the flywheel up to speed. Because of the complexity of the circuit. these starters often have a provision to reduce the voltage supplied to the motor when reduced loads are experienced. Utility companies usually apply a penalty to the billing of commercial customers with power factor problems. Energy savings may also be realized. Even if many large press motors are involved. In addition. Power factor correction can also be accomplished by switching the current timing to keep the current drawn in phase with the applied voltage. many commercial users are charged a penalty by the utility company for the peak electrical demand of the plant. The heating losses in the windings increases four times if the current drawn is doubled.PDF David Alkire Smith. Gears Figures 2. Some reduced voltage starters operate by switching the winding connections with relays in the case of multiple voltage motors. gears are used extensively to permit an increased flywheel speed and provide greater press torque capacity. belt and flywheel brake wear and energy (including penalty factors) often can provide short payback times. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. the starting torque is only one fourth the full voltage value. Since the torque is the product of the input power. this method is seldom used. 530 Hollywood Drive. If only one or two large press motors are in use. 7 and 8 illustrate the application of gears in press drive applications. If the starting voltage is reduced to half the running value. an advantage is that there is much less drive belt wear as well as stressful torque reaction in the motor stator windings. the starting surge can result in substantial peak penalty charges. 25 . it is wise to establish a procedure to stagger starting them at the beginning of the day or shift. This feature reduces power consumption. 2005 The high current drawn when starting large motors can result in a momentary drop in voltage that may disrupt other equipment on the same supply line. In mechanical press drive applications. Dynamic Braking and Power Factor Correction An added benefit of solid state starting systems is provision for dynamic braking by applying DC current to the windings when it is desired to stop the flywheel.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Monroe. If the peak current and voltage are out of phase.

2005 Gears are expensive press components. The function of the keeper plate is to hold the key firmly in place. Large Gear Double Keyed to a Crankshaft Figure 17.doc C02. Monroe.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. Main drive gear double keyed to press crankshaft. Proper lubrication is an absolute necessity. expensive damage can occur. it is essential that the load be shared equally. Tapered keys retained by keeper plates are superior to plain square keys in high torque and shock applications. Likewise. It is essential that tapered keys be correctly fitted. the man who worked in a saw-pit. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. The other end was pulled from above by the top man. Smith & Associates 26 . Pitman The English term pit man has long referred to any man who worked in a pit such as a coal miner. 6 and 7. 530 Hollywood Drive. Should a careless maintenance mechanic drive a poorly fitted key into place. The keys are subjected to cyclical shear loading.PDF David Alkire Smith. Welding should never be permitted to retain a key. The weld does nothing to improve the fit of a key and can cause extreme difficulty in servicing the machine. Figure 17 illustrates how the gears shown in figure 2 are keyed to the press crankshaft. Two keys provide a greater cross sectional area and torque transmission capacity than a single key. Where pairs of gears must work together such as the double end drive system illustrated in figures 2. Such keys usually have an L-shaped head to permit removal with a prybar. cutting boards from logs with a large two-man handsaw was called a pit man.

However. The work appeared in 15 editions between 1795 and 1860. This term was applied to emerging technologies employing a similar mechanical linkage. NOTES: ________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ 3 O. cast irons. the link between the crank and slide is generally termed a pitman. Evens. Wallingford. When parts made of cast irons and medium carbon steel are found to fail frequently in service. welded repairs are generally successful in these materials. Press Construction Materials The most common material for construction of crankshafts and other highly stressed parts such as pitmans and gears. 27 . Gray cast iron and iron alloys are used. Both medium carbon and the popular alloy steels are readily cast or forged to shape. is plain medium carbon steel. The flexible attachment of the pitman or eccentric strap to the slide is called the connection. especially in the case of older equipment. Economy may be a factor in the choice of gray iron. such as the steam engine and stamping press as well. 3 When the press is driven by eccentrics. AISI-SAE 6150. a chrome vanadium alloy is used for highly stressed machine parts. Philadelphia. AISI-SAE 4140 chrome molybdenum alloy is a good choice. the link between the eccentric and connection is called an eccentric strap. typically AISI-SAE 1045. Thus. A means to accomplish shut height adjustment by an adjustable screw mechanism is nearly always a part of the connection system. Pennsylvania. A reprinted edition is available from the Oliver Evens Press. 2005 When waterpower was applied to the sawing operation.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 530 Hollywood Drive. Properly done. especially iron alloys such as nodular iron damp vibration better than steel. For this reason.doc C02. Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19. alloy steels are employed for demanding applications. the connecting link between the crank driven by the water wheel and the lower end of the saw was called a pitman. “The Young Mill-Wright & Miller's Guide”. Monroe. 1795.PDF David Alkire Smith. irons are used in the construction of many good quality high-speed press frames. To a lesser extent. However. This work served as the pattern for many water powered sawmills and gristmills built throughout North America.

Michigan 48162-2943 Rev August 19.PDF David Alkire Smith.doc C02. Monroe.Mechanical Press Types and Nomenclature © 1993-2005 C02. 2005 NOTES:________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ 28 . 530 Hollywood Drive.