The aim of every industry is to grow and increase in capacity input and output which invariably leads to increase in income generation. Over the years, the industrial revolution had become a constant event. It can be recalled that there were times cars were made by casting and hammering of parts, even without much design and efficiency the cars manufactured then were well priced in the market, same goes for other aspects of industries in the past. The quest for quality and reduction of environmental pollution has made it compulsory for engineers to develop a more efficient way of manufacturing to meet up with the required standard and help save the earth from the effect of technological pollution which is presently threatening the ozone layer.
One way the manufacturing industries used to enhance machine, engine and metallic bodies production is through the use of machine press. Now, what is machine press?
A machine press is a well designed and constructed machine, meant for the shaping of metals through shearing or plastic deformation of the metal. When the machine was first invented, a lot of industries tried to make theirs locally but were greeted with failures due to the large force required for metal deformation. However, smart industries were able to excel in the dream, by so doing many of them had their production capacity raised due to the fast shaping of metals the machine can offer, besides that; the machine can produce parts that are smooth and good looking than the same part made through hammering.
Today most machine making industries and industries in a similar category cannot function without a press machine, a good example of such industry in the automobile industry which rely heavily on the machine for the shaping of steel sheets into car body shapes. But the question still lies on how can a small industry set-up its own press machine when it cannot afford the one from the industrial machine’s market?
To construct a locally made press machine is not an easy task. The reason being that many factors are to be considered, these factors include;
The level of force required in the press machine.
The size of press machine required.
The means in which the force can be generated.
The method of making the press surface.
The durability and reliability of the press machine.
STEPS TO MAKE A SIMPLE PRESS MACHINE
To embark on this project you will need a foundry industry for the forming of press dies which shall bear the surface shape of the designs intended to create while using the press machine on metals. Note that, low force press machine may require the hot working method for any metal it will shape. After obtaining the dies, proceed to the next stage.
Obtain very strong pillars made from steel with high tensile and compressive strengths, the reason is to ensure the pillars can withstand the sliding actions of the upper die which shall be working under the principle of up and down movement to create the impact force required in the metal deformation.
The lower die will is fixed to have a strong and rigid stand with the machine base (machine base can be made to have weight by making it with a solid metal of about 50 centimeter thickness), the lower die surface shall face upward since the upper die shall face downward, so that the both can create good deformation when coming in contact with metal sheet.
After ensuring that the lower die is strongly fixed, proceed to make the upper die by creating a means for the reciprocating action of the upper die which can be achieved by either opening a hole and reaming or boring it to the diameter of the pillars, or creating the design of the upper die to have holes of the diameter of the pillar in it which shall be created by the foundry industry during the casting of the dies.
It is good to have a means of attaching weight to the upper die, so it is necessary to include it during design. The reason for this is because the impact force created by the machine may not be enough to deform metal sheets of a particular thickness, therefore a weight is needed to be attached to the upper die to be able to increase the impact force which is usually assisted by gravity.
Ordinary press machine of the design mentioned above can shape light metal sheets of copper, aluminum, zinc, tin, and iron with a very low thickness (not more than 0.5mm). But when weight is added to the upper die, it can be used for stronger sheets of metals.
Another means of increasing the deforming strength of the machine is to fix a hydraulic ram on the upper die, such that after each impact force; the hydraulic ram will push the upper die further through the action of the hydraulic pump. This action will make the machine to p[press the metal sheet further, thereby making a better shaping.
Building machine of this standard requires serious calculations and safety observations, therefore it is advisable to consult lots of articles online and books relating to the fabricating and construction of such machine. Nevertheless. It is better to learn through experiments, therefore running a workshop experiment with a prototype will give more direction on how to achieve it best. Note that, weight to be added to the upper die can be a concrete block, metal block, or any material with a weight that can fix properly in the shape provided.