Comparing the Different Types of Machine Presses

Also known as a forming press, a machine press is a heavy-duty industrial machine that uses pressure to resize or reshape a workpiece. It’s operated a worker, known as a toolsetter, who’s responsible for securing the workpiece in place and engaging the press. Machine presses are capable of performing a wide variety of machining processes. There are different types of machine presses, however, each of which uses a different mechanism to resize or reshape workpieces.

Punch Press

Perhaps the most common type of machine press is the punch press. Punch presses live up to their namesake by “punching” holes into workpieces. They typically feature either C or portal frame. The former uses a hydraulic ram, whereas the latter uses a centered ram. Punch presses can be operated manually, or they can be operated using CNC. Regardless, all punch presses are designed to create holes in workpieces by punching them with a pressurized tool.

Stamping Press

Another common type of machine press is the stamping press. Stamping presses are similar to punch presses, with both types of machine presses using a pressurized tool to manipulate a workpiece. Stamping presses, however, don’t actually create clean or complete holes. They simply deform the workpiece so that it takes the shape of the die with which it’s pressed. The workpiece is secured to the stamping press’s bolster plate, at which point it’s sandwiched between a press tool and die. The stamping press pushes the tool onto the workpiece, thereby forcing the workpiece to take the shape of the underlying die.

Press Brake

A press brake is a type of a machine press that’s used exclusively for metal. It’s designed to bend and deform metal workpieces, including sheet metal, by pressing them between a tool and die. There are several types of press brakes. In the past, most press brakes were mechanical. In recent years, however, hydraulic and CNC press brakes have gained momentum among manufacturing companies. Press brakes use a similar mechanism as stamping presses to manipulate the shape of a workpiece, but press brakes are designed exclusively for metal workpieces.

Screw Press

Finally, a screw press is a type of machine press that features a screw-driven ram. It’s one of the oldest types of machine presses, with some of the first known uses of a screw press dating back to the Ancient Roman Empire. Screw presses require manual operation by twisting and turning the ram, which forces the tool down onto the workpiece.

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