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Heated Platen Press Technology

multi-cavity heated platen hydraulic pressThe recent rise in the popularity of thermoformed parts has driven an increased demand for heated platen hydraulic presses for a wide range of industries and applications.

Heated Platen Configurations

Beckwood's Heated Platen Hydraulic Presses are designed to meet the needs of the individual customer's application. Press size, tonnage, cycle parameters, heat specifications, and the level of control sophistication are all designed to maximize the customer's manufacturing process. Beckwood's heated platen hydraulic presses are engineered to dwell under pressure, providing a tight fluctuation of the holding force throughout the cycle.

Control options include Beckwood's Productivity Package, which features programmable cycle parameters, job storage & recipe handling capability. Operators have the ability to program and save pressure & position values, termperature specifications including controlled ramp-up and cool-down rates, desired dwell time and bump sequences for the timed release of gases which can build up during the thermoforming process.

Temperature accuracy can be controlled with a basic single-zone controller or a more accurate multiple zone system for increased temperature uniformity across the bed and ram.

Additional heated platen press features offered by Beckwood include:

  • Pneumatic dwell systems which allow the primary electrical motor and pump to be turned off during the dwell portion of the cycle, significantly lowering energy consumption.
  • Multiple stacked platens, for incresed productivity.
  • Active Leveling Control, which utilizes closed-loop control of each ram corner in order to keep the bed and ram parallel throughout the press cycle.
  • Data collection systems for capturing customer-defined cycle data for storage within the press' control system or on an external storage device or network. 

Compression Molding

Many components traditionally fabricated from metals are now being made from composites. Compression molding is a method for molding material, often using controlled temperatures to cure the material while under pressure. The material can be placed within a pre-heated mold cavity before it is closed between the temperature-controlled platens - which can act as the primary heat source or as a supplement to heated molds. Once closed, temperature and pressure can be precisely controlled until the material is properly cured. 

Compression molding is the main process for thermoset resins in a partially cured stage. It is a high-pressure process for molding complex, high-strength fiberglass reinforcements, among many other composite materials. Advanced composite thermoplastics can also be compression molded, resulting in fewer knit lines and less fiber-length degradation than injection molding.

A large majority of compression molding applications require large bed sizes but comparatively low tonnage. Beckwood's ability to offer custom hydraulic press designs assures that the customer purchase only the press capacity and specifications they require, versus settling for a standard press which comes 'close' to their required specifications.

Heating Methods

Several heating methods are available per the customer's application requirements. These methods include: electric heating rods, steam/hot water, and hot oil. The optimal choice is contingent upon each customer's specific application requirements. 


Electric Heating RodsBeckwood Custom Electrically Heated Hydraulic Presses

  • Fast heat-up/recovery times.
  • Maximum operating temperature ~1200°F dependent on press insulation space.
  • Single or variable watt heaters available.
  • Beckwood's Versa-Zone Controller Technology provides independent control of multiple temperature zones per platen for greater temperature uniformity.



Steam/Hot Water SystemsBeckwood Custom Hydraulic Steam Heated Press

  • Accurate heating (+/- 5°F) to a maximum temperature of ~400°F.
  • Serpentine cooling circuits available with adjustable water valving for cooling following the heat cycle.
  • Corrosion prevention features reduce expedited corrosion due to environmental conditions. 



Hot Oil Systems

  • Comparable temperature distribution accuracy to Steam/Hot Water systems (+/- 5°F), with an increased maximum operating temperature of
     ~700°F.Beckwood Custom Hydraulic Hot Oil Heated Platen Press



Click here for a sample of Beckwood's heated platen press examples.


Heated Platen Hydraulic Press

Beckwood's Heated Platen Literature