How to Choose a Press for a Small Factory

If you’re looking for a factory press, but you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you might be wondering how to get a great balance of power and size. Even with limited space, you can still get a factory  press that provides the force and capabilities you need. Let’s take a look at how to choose a press for a small factory.

How to Choose a Press for a Small Factory

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a factory press, including the range of force (min/max), applications, power supply, and more. However, if you’re working in a small factory, the footprint of your press is probably a top consideration. To choose a press for a small factory, here are a few steps to get started.

Measure the Area

There are few things more disappointing for your business than investing in important equipment, only to find out later that it won’t fit in your shop. It’s imperative that your factory press fits comfortably in your small factory, so we’re putting measurements at the top of the list.

If you already have a space in mind where your press should go, measure it carefully and write the measurements down. Keep in mind that you must have space to comfortably operate the press as well. This means that a press operator should be able to use the press without interfering with other workers. It’s also important to consider walkways, doors, process workflow, cords across the floor, areas exposed to fans or flying sparks, and areas where large components or equipment frequently moves through, like steel beams or sheet metal. If your factory press isn’t comfortable and safe to use in a space, it won’t be effective, no matter what type of press you get.

Air presses and air-over-oil presses are ideal for smaller settings

Explore air presses or air-over-oil presses 

Consider the Power Source

There are many different types of presses that can fit in small factories, including electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, and hydropneumatic. Pneumatic presses and hydropneumatic presses generally have a smaller footprint than hydraulic presses, but you’ll need access to compressed air for these to be effective. Hydraulic presses not only require a larger area, but they also require a high-voltage power supply.

When it comes to choosing a press for a small factory, you’ll need to consider power source access as well as placement and area. If the ideal location for your press doesn’t give you access to compressed air, for example, a pneumatic press might not be a good option.

List Your Applications

To hone in on the right press, it’s helpful to know how much force you need. It’s tempting to invest in the strongest press possible, but this approach will be especially complicated if you’re working in a small factory space. To maximize press power and also optimize your space, you should list your press applications and determine how much power you actually need.

The following equations can help you approximate how much force your press needs, based on the applications you might require. If you’re not sure how much force you require, contact us. We are press experts and we can help you find a press that meets your needs and fits perfectly into your factory.

Round Hole Punching

Force = 3.14 x Diameter of the Hole x Material Thickness x Tons per Square Inch (Shear Strength / 2000)

Example: Punching 2.0” Diameter Hole in .250” Thick Mild Steel (50,000 psi / 2000)

3.14 x 2 x .250 x 25 = 39.25 Tons

Square Hole Punching

Force = Periphery x Material Thickness x Tons per Square Inch (Shear Strength / 2000)

Example: Punching 2.0” Square Hole in .250” Thick Mild Steel (50,000 / 2000)

(2 + 2 + 2 + 2) x .250 x 25 = 50 Tons

Press Fit

To determine the force required to press fit two round pieces together, like a shaft pressed into a bushing, use the following formula:

F = D x 3.14 x L x I x P/2

Example: A steel shaft 2” in diameter pressed into a hole 3” long. The interference fit between the two diameters is .006”

2” x 3.14 x 3” x .006” x (240/2) = 13.56 tons

F = force required in tons

D = diameter of the part to be pressed in inches

L = length of part to be pressed in inches (the length of the interference fit only)

I = interference in inches (usually .002” to .006”)

P = pressure factor (see table below)

Diameter (inches) Pressure Factor Diameter (inches) Pressure Factor Diameter (inches) Pressure Factor Diameter (inches) Pressure Factor
1.00 500 3.00 156 5.00 91 7.00 64
1.25 395 3.25 143 5.25 86 7.25 61
1.50 325 3.50 132 5.50 82 7.50 59
1.75 276 3.75 123 5.75 78 7.75 57
2.00 240 4.00 115 6.00 75 8.00 55
2.25 212 4.25 108 6.25 72
2.50 189 4.50 101 6.50 69
2.75 171 4.75 96 6.75 66

Types of Presses for Small Factories

Factory presses are not one-size-fits-all, and finding the ideal press for your small factory setting might require some expert assistance. However, there are a few tips that can help you hone in on the right model.

  • Benchtop: Most presses can be categorized as either benchtop presses or free-standing (floor model) presses. Free-standing presses generally have higher maximal force outputs, but they take up more space. A benchtop press fits on an existing work area, so it can be easier to fit into your shop with space limitations.
  • Mobile base: Being able to move your press as-needed can help you find the optimal configuration in a tight space. Presses with a mobile base are secure, but they can also be repositioned if your factory layout changes.
  • Pneumatic or hydropneumatic: Pneumatic and hydropneumatic presses have smaller footprints, but they can still provide a great deal of pressing force. Look for these types of presses first to find a good fit for your small factory.

When you find a press that meets your power requirements and fits comfortably into your factory, you can be confident in your investment. To learn more about presses for small factories, contact us. We can help you find the right press for your applications and space requirements.