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Consider these options before deciding what is right for your application

By David Fischer, Engineering Manager, Hilma Div. of Carr Lane Roemheld
Article from July/August, 2012 issue of Stamping Journal.

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Fabricator/Stamping Journal’s web site

(Partial article. Use this link to read it in full): As more metal formers find themselves taking on more jobs with lower quantities, they have developed higher interest in quick die change. Many want to automate the entire clamping process: Hit a button and the clamps quickly engage or disengage. Hydraulic, magnetic, or combination clamping systems are options for stampers, but they shouldn’t think one is necessarily better than the other without a thorough investigation.

It’s in the way that you move it.

When it comes to single-minute exchange of dies, stampers should focus first on moving the die in and out of the press. That’s where they make the biggest impact in the search for reduced die-change times. A set of ball or roller-die lifters can do wonders when it comes to turning an hourlong changeout process that used to rely on a lift truck to a 10-minute exercise—unclamping and rolling out one die, rolling in the next die set, and clamping it in place.

But keep in mind that it’s also in the way that you clamp it.

Many stampers still rely on manually clamping their dies. This can prove troublesome as different setup personnel may use different numbers and types of clamps to secure the dies. Obviously, not applying enough torque to the clamping bolts can affect the integrity of the setup, but applying too much torque can cause bolt failure.

As a result, some stampers are looking to remove the human element from the clamping process altogether. They want to press a button and have the clamping completed. The two best ways to accomplish this are with hydraulic or magnetic clamping systems.

Other stampers, however, prefer a manually positioned and torqued clamp, with an assurance that it is properly torqued. In this case, a hydromechanical clamp with a preload indicator pin may be the answer…

Read the full article on
Fabricator/Stamping Journal’s web site

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