Stay with mechanical or go to servo? That’s the question for metal stampers

As manufacturing progresses through the 21st century, stamping manufacturers keep on searching for a better mousetrap that will help them be more efficient and effective today and in the future.

When you are looking at purchasing a new press and are trying to decide between an eccentric-gear or link-drive mechanical press or a servo mechanical press, many things must be taken into consideration. You should first look at what types of materials are being stamped and the run times needed. Considerations might involve tight tolerances and the complexity of the parts. Your operation might require more automation than you have, or remote operation. Perhaps the most important factor is cost and your budget.

While a place for traditional mechanical press technologies will exist in this new age, servo technologies are starting to become more of a necessity for certain stamping manufacturing operations. In other cases, a mechanical press will do the job well. Both standard mechanical and servo press technologies offer benefits in future press shops.

When a Mechanical Press Is Sufficient
Materials. As the world pushes more toward electric vehicles and renewable energy, high-strength, advanced, and exotic materials are becoming more prevalent in manufacturing processes.

No matter how big or small your shop is, if you are running simple, cold-rolled steel, aluminum with a Class II or Class III surface requirement, or high-strength steels up to 950 MPa, then you might want to look first at a modern standard mechanical press.

Part Complexity. Whether you are stamping flat parts or adding a small draw to the material with accompanying concerns about springback or breakthrough shock, a new mechanical press could be the way to go.

Speed. Mechanical presses are the fastest for applications requiring full torque at maximum speeds. Servo presses are equipped with mechanisms to gain speed, but for long runs and simple parts, mechanical presses have a speed advantage.

Cost, Budget, ROI. Finally, and not the least important (especially from a purchasing point of view) is the price of your new press. Currently, mechanical presses are still cheaper to purchase than a servo press. That can be a huge benefit to your bottom line in the short run.

If you don’t need the extra flexibility of a servo press, you are stamping relatively basic parts, and the part families that you are running are all the same or very similar, then a servo press may not gain you a good return on investment (ROI).

When a Servo Press Is Best
Materials. For operations that are stamping high-strength materials above 950 MPa or other specialty steels, Class I surfaces, or multiple jobs requiring several die changes per day, then adding a servo press to your fleet of presses is recommended.

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