Check Your Fly: Are Flywheel-driven Stamping Presses Going the Way of the Dinosaur

What if you could take one of your key pieces of fab equipment and turn it into a multi-functional device capable of eliminating secondary operations, expensive jigs and fixtures, and long labor and queue times? It’s a no-brainer, right?

Good news – that machine is here today. It’s not cheap, and you’ll need to rethink your processes, but at the end of the day you’ll have a flexible money-maker that does things you never thought possible before.

When gas prices went up in the 80s, automotive manufacturers began looking at lightweight, high-strength materials to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel efficiency. Press builders quickly discovered these newfangled steels didn’t play nice. Material springback called for die preheating or multiple hits to spank these wily materials into shape. Reverse loading and snap-through began to play real hell on tooling. It’s for these reasons that press builders began utilizing servo motors to provide an alternative get up and go on automotive stamping presses.

By replacing the flywheel with servos, builders were able to offer a machine capable of variable stroke length and full working energy at any speed. Suddenly there was a machine that broke all the rules – instead of just swinging a big hammer, servos allow you to slow down mid-stroke, backup and take another hit, or stop indefinitely, giving manufacturers the flexibility to do nearly anything.

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