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Choosing the Right Benchtop Press

How-To Choose the Right Benchtop Press for Your Application


Whether your process is light manufacturing or assembly, choosing the right benchtop press for your application is crucial. The options vary from simple hand-operated arbor presses, to more advanced hydraulic & electromechanical models that can be integrated with PLC control modules. A company in the market for a benchtop press must consider several factors before making an informed purchase. Identifying the right press capability up front can eliminate additional costs and start up delays for the future.

To see a variety of benchtop examples click here.

Beckwood Benchtop PressBy answering the following questions, you can easily determine the right benchtop press for your application:

1. Is your application a high-volume application?
2. What type of power supply, if any, is available for this press system?
3. Does this application require a high-level of flexibility and/or control?
4. Does your application require a high-level of precision?

The answers to these questions will determine which type of benchtop press is ideal for your application.

Arbor Press

The most basic form of benchtop presses are hand-operated arbor presses. These machines are ideal for lower tonnage applications and have the benefit of not requiring an external power source. Because arbor presses generate their force through leverage and manpower, they tend to work best in low volume situations.

Air/Oil or Booster Press

A second type of benchtop press is the air/oil or booster press. These machines are ideal for low to mid-level production volume applications and have an approximate maximum force output of 10 tons.

Booster presses use an air over oil intensifier system to achieve the force comparable to traditional hydraulics, but are not equipped with a hydraulic power unit. Because a hydraulic power system is not required, most booster presses can operate using standard 110V, single phase power systems and a shop air connection.

Air/oil presses offer a more user friendly system than arbor presses, as well as the ability to incorporate safety equipment such as light curtain guarding and two hand anti-tie down controls. Even with its advantages, certain applications may not be well suited to the booster press option. The "power" part of the stroke on a booster press is usually limited to less than 1" for full force. Maintenance can be challenging on a booster press: if all of the air is not properly bled, the air inside the oil portion of the system will compress and limit force output. Additionally, most booster presses are limited to a two hand control module and a few simple relays for logic, making integration of ancillary equipment such as feed systems and die sensors difficult.

More information on Beckwood's air/oil presses can be found by visiting the DBP booster press page.

Straight Hydraulic Press

A third type of benchtop press is the straight hydraulic press. Because hydraulic presses utilize traditional hydraulic systems to generate the desired force, they have the ability to deliver full pressing force anywhere in the range of stroke and can vary the shut height to utilize multiple dies. These features make the hydraulic benchtop press suitable for a wide variety of applications. 

Below you will find a video detailing our DJ Press features.  The video walks viewers through the aspects of the bench top hydraulic press, showing the functions of the various buttons included on the press:

The hydraulic press can be controlled in a variety of ways, ranging from basic relays to more sophisticated PLC or PC control systems. Operator interfaces can be added to press systems to facilitate the ease of job setup and recipe storage. PLC's also offer easy integration of ancillary equipment such as feed systems and in-die sensors.  For a review of our standard benchtop controls, check out the below video on our standard Allen Bradley Panelview system.  The video walks viewers through the aspects of the hydraulic press control system, showing the functions of the various buttons included on the PanelView interface:

Ram force and speed can be controlled in any direction with various levels of precision. In many cases, modern hydraulics allow for control rivaling Electromechanical presses.

More information on Beckwood's straight hydraulic benchtop presses can be found by visiting the DJ Series press page and selecting the DHS (Full welded steel frame with shank tool holder from 3-20 tons), DHS-R (Full welded steel frame with guide ram from 5-40+ tons), and DHC (Cast iron frame with shank tool holder from 3-5 tons) product links.

Electromechanical Press

The electromechanical press may be the ideal option for end users requiring an extremely high level of precision. Using advanced control systems, these presses feature precision closed loop position and force control for optimum performance. Often used in production as well as R&D or laboratory environments, electromechanical presses can be equipped to handle numerous motion profiles, each with the ability to infinitely adjust to the end user's requirements.

Production volume, precision requirements, and ancillary equipment integration are all critical factors to consider when shopping for a benchtop press. Whether it is a simple, hand operated arbor press, a mid-level production booster press, or a more technologically advanced hydraulic or electromechanical press, benchtop machines continue to be a mainstay in the light manufacturing and assembly processes, for a variety of industries and organizations.

 

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