Factory presses are critical for manufacturing a wide array of products that we rely on every day, from consumer appliances like washing machines to heavy-duty mining equipment, and nearly everything in between. Technological advancements in press technology have made it possible to make even more complex presses, which are capable of performing even more complicated tasks. Let’s take a look at the latest and best new technology for factory presses in 2023, and what these advancements mean for manufacturing.
The Best New Technology for Factory Presses
The efficient use of energy is becoming increasingly important each year, and this importance will continue to grow. Energy efficiency in manufacturing is critical to meeting energy targets related to mitigating the effects of climate change, and energy efficiency developments in factory presses are a key part of this.
A number of advancements have helped many different types of presses become more energy efficient. A variety of interventions can increase the energy efficiency of pneumatic press systems, from higher-quality seals to pressure regulators, and more. Pressure regulation in pneumatic systems, for example, can generate up to 40% additional energy savings. Similarly, a proportional regulator for air-over-oil presses or air presses are electrically adjustable and tied to the control system. These regulators are pre-programmed to send a signal to self-adjust the operating pressure of the system.
Variable-frequency drives are another important energy-saving technology used in factory presses. These drives draw energy as needed during the press process, reducing excess energy use. Though these improvements require more upfront investment, the energy savings quickly pay off.
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More data allows all of us to make better, more informed decisions. Historically, it has been difficult to gather data about many different factory processes, and data-gathering was mostly limited to what workers and managers could observe. Today, monitoring tools and sensors provide much more information and data about how factory processes are working. This is true for presses as well.
Sensors and other similar devices make it possible to monitor a variety of aspects of factory presses. These sensors can monitor different parts of the machine, including oil levels, lubricant, pumps, and valves, and provide predictive maintenance measures. Instead of simply providing maintenance whether the machine needs it or not, this information can show, specifically, what the press needs, and where.
Data-gathering tools can also give insights into how the press is operating, including its efficiency and accuracy. Tools like force and distance monitoring allow operators to see how the press is operating, if the press cycle fails, and what factors might have caused it to fail. This not only shows if the press is struggling to complete the job, but it also helps to detect defective parts immediately, so they don’t make their way into circulation.
Automation technology has significantly changed many manufacturing processes, and has also changed the way many presses operate. Automated press technology can help simple processes, in particular, work faster and more efficiently. Automation can also move workers away from the most dangerous operations, and remove human error from the process.
Automated press technology can come in many forms. This might mean using computer assistance to ensure a process is aligned properly. Or, it might look like complete automation, where machines place the workpiece, complete the process, and move the workpiece for additional processing. There are also many types and levels of automation in between these options, which can make processes safer and more efficient.
Just as computers in general have become more user-friendly, controls have also become easier to use. Where press control systems previously required detailed knowledge of programming languages, user-interface models have become more image-based, and easier for everyone to use. The latest control systems also offer pre-set and pre-programmed parameters that operators can select from a menu, or use HMI or RFID tags to select the right process. This makes the operation faster, easier and more flexible.
These are a few examples of the best new technologies available for factory presses. A variety of technologies are available to make your press operations faster, safer, and more efficient. If you’re interested in updating your factory presses or exploring new technologies, contact us.