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On-the-spot clamping and stopping in emergencies and other situations

Hydraulic Ledge Clamp. Request For Quote. Featured Product. Additional slots for die lifters and holes for die locator pins and guides can be incorporated into the magnetic plate design. Any stamper that wants to use a magnetic clamping system must review its dies to ensure that they can be clamped safely.

Different die sizes and footprints mean different clamp forces. For example, smaller dies mean reduced clamp forces. For maximum clamp force, the die surface must be clean, flat, free of large pockets, and constructed of steel. As stated previously, once activated, the magnetic plates will maintain their clamp force on the die until the system is demagnetized.

To ensure that the press and die are operated in a safe environment, the press control system is interlocked to the magnetic clamping controls. The system monitors the magnetic force, die position, and temperature during the forming process. If a die movement occurs, the control stops the machine.


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If the die is being hand-fed, more T-slots are added to the upper magnetic plate so that they can be used with secondary mechanical die retainers. If the load on the die is greater than the clamping force of the subplate and the die were to break away, the mechanical retainer would still hold it in place.

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Stampers wanting to go the manual route but still looking for the peace of mind associated with properly torqued clamps may find their answer with hydromechanical clamps. When this clamping nut and T-bolt are in place and tightened properly, the integral piston is pressurized, preloading the bolt and extending a preload indicator pin.

This pin provides the operator with immediate feedback that the clamp is pressurized and the die is safely clamped. The clamping torque for this clamp is very low for the clamping force that is created.

Consider these options before deciding what is right for your application

A clamp and a 1-in. T-bolt create 22, lbs. Any decision on a clamping system should involve an investigation into the stamping application and a detailed discussion with a person that deals with quick die change issues on a day-to-day basis. Budget, project goals, die size, and tooling makeup all influence what type of clamping system is best-suited for the application.

Quick die clamping: Hydraulic, magnetic, or hydromechanical?

The result of such discussions may prove surprising to the stamper. It is not uncommon to mix the different types of systems, such as hydraulic clamps on the slide where it may be difficult to properly torque the T- bolts, or hydromechanical clamps on the rolling bolster where hoses may interfere with the operation of the press during die change.

Then again, nothing is standard when it comes to designing an efficient quick die change system suited to a specific application. Since the publication has been dedicated to covering the cutting-edge technologies, industry trends, best practices, and news that help stamping professionals run their businesses more efficiently. Home Article Stamping Quick die clamping: Hydraulic, magnetic, or hydromechanical? You May Also Like. Published In Get stamping updates in your inbox.

When it comes to single-minute exchange of dies, stampers should focus first on moving the die in and out of the press. 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 minute exercise—unclamping and rolling out one die, rolling in the next die set, and clamping it in place. 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.

Before deciding what type of clamping system makes the most sense, a metal stamper will want to figure out just how much clamping force is necessary to match the die weight and the forces exerted on the tooling during the stamping process. If the clamping system is unable to overcome the forces working against it, the die can move during stamping, causing possible damage to the die and bringing production to a halt.

For example, a forming job in a ton press would require 40 tons of clamping force.


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  7. A clamping system also needs to ensure that the clamping forces are applied consistently over the surface of the die. Hydraulic clamping systems have been in use for more than 50 years in the metal forming industry. They are still heavily used because the technology is flexible and reliable.

    Figure 2: The two magnetic plates, marked by A and B, are shown on this ton press. The custom bolster plate bottom has a center cutout for scrap and a solid surface on the upper side plate. The stamper, however, can maximize time savings associated with quicker die change only if it is also committed to standardization of die designs. This consistency in the dies keeps clamps in the same position and at the same height, which saves valuable time during changeover.

    Having to adjust a screw or make adjustments to the clamps defeats the purpose of installing one of these systems. Even the smallest of shops might have to different dies.

    Quick die clamping: Hydraulic, magnetic, or hydromechanical?

    The problem can be overcome with the use of standardized subplates. For instance, by relying on a subplate of standard dimensions, a stamper can use one size of side rails or rollers for guiding the dies and the same positive stops and locator pins for final die positioning. Additionally, the subplates standardize clamping height for all dies. Die parallels are also part of the standardization process.


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    They deliver standardized shut and pass heights and also leave room for a conveyor to catch falling scrap and remove it from the press.