From unpacking and installation to the completion of the forging or drilling process, the use of a manual hydraulic press must be done carefully and with sufficient technical knowledge to prevent possible accidents. Find out in this article what to look for when working with such equipment.
The hydraulic press is a machine that uses a hydraulic cylinder to create the compressive force based on Pascal’s principle. One part of the system uses a piston pump, and the other is a cylinder that exerts pressure on the processed materials. It can be used for casting, forging, cutting, punching and for creating relief patterns, usually on metal elements. The hydraulic versions are preferred to the mechanical ones because they take up less space, and the manual ones are easy to use and consume few resources.
If you are interested in such a machine, but you are not sure how difficult it is to use it, we tell you below what are the steps involved in using it.
Unpacking and installation
The first step in using a manual press is to unpack the device after purchase and delivery and check the integrity and presence of all components presented in the technical manual. All the technical manual helps you to know how to install it, assembling all the elements correctly.
For optimum stability and safety in use, it is important to find a way to secure the press to the floor of the workshop, which must be flat, straight and strong enough to support the weight of the machine and the processed materials. This way you can be sure that there is no risk of falling on you when you place heavy parts on the work table. Always respect the position indicated by the manufacturer (vertical or horizontal) and do not improvise.
Place the machine in a space that benefits from very good light, so that you can clearly see the work area and always keep both the press counter and the floor near the machine, clean and dry, to prevent accidents. Always work indoors, away from moisture, sudden variations in temperature and wind.
As with any machine, the operation must be performed with appropriate equipment and clothing. You always need hard-toed boots to protect your feet from the heavy objects you work with, goggles and gloves. Avoid loose clothing, scarves, jewelry and any other type of accessory that can hang. If you know that the material you work with means emitting dust particles, also use a mask over your nose and mouth.
Be sure to always keep your hands and any other part of your body out of the work area. The force-lowering cylinder can injure them.
Before using the press, carefully inspect the components, tighten the loose screws and replace the defective parts. Never use it if you notice damage.
Always keep away from this type of equipment, children and people who are not familiar with such equipment and can be injured by mistake. Never operate a hydraulic press when you are tired or have difficulty concentrating, because you can injure yourself or others.
Equipment of this type is not used in spaces where there is a risk of the presence of flammable gases or in environments where the temperature has dropped below 5 o C or exceeded 30 o C.
Position the material on the work platform
The metal worktop on which you will place the material you want to press can be, in most models of manual presses, adjusted in height, so that you can work with objects of various sizes. The first step in using this device is to adapt the position of the work table to the operation you want to perform. Be sure to secure the bolts that ensure the stability of the worktop. Place the work material in the central area of the device, just below the hydraulic piston.
Lower the cylinder
Preparation for pressing also involves lowering the cylinder that will exert the pressing force, to close to the surface of the processed material, rhythmically moving the lever that activates the hydraulic pump. This measure helps you to more easily control the pressure level that you will apply during the operation of the machine. However, it is good to remember that the cylinder must be lowered to about 1mm of metal, leaving little space to allow the piston to start.
Adjusts the pressure level
It is important to remember that the maximum pressure level cannot be maintained for long periods of time. Also, specialists recommend avoiding the use of maximum pressure in cases where the piston has come out more than 3/4 of its length, because it can be damaged. So carefully manage the force with which you want to process the material subjected to perforation or forging.
Use the manometer, if the model includes one, to check the pressure level created in the hydraulic system and never exceed the maximum pressure level indicated by the manufacturer in the technical specifications.
Let the cylinder lower to the end
Regardless of the reason that requires you to stop, it is good to avoid stopping the operation of the press as long as pressure is applied to the processed object. When you restart the machine, the resistance force that is created can damage the piston and the hydraulic system that ensures its movement. The correct process of stopping a machine of this type involves releasing the machined part before stopping the machine.
Withdraw the cylinder
After completing the operation of cutting, forming, etc., the cylinder will rise by itself, by means of a spring or, if it does not include this automatic return system, it is necessary to ensure the return to the initial starting position. Remove the machined part only after the piston has returned to its place and place the next object that needs processing.
Do not use the work table for other operations
You may be tempted to use the work surface provided by this machine for other operations. It is good to avoid this habit and especially not to weld on the top of the hydraulic press, because you can damage it. If you have a room large enough, include a separate workbench for the rest of the projects.