Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information, feel free to give us a call or contact us. We are ready and able to apply our expertise and help you solve your manufacturing challenge.

What is the average delivery time of a press?
We try to keep all size presses in stock to insure shorter delivery times. Generally, presses ship within 5-8 weeks.

How can I keep the part from sticking to the upper punch?
We have designed the “Upper Ram Up Early” feature to eliminate this problem. It works by moving the upper ram up before the lower ram fully withdraws from the part, causing the part (partially in the die) to pull the part off the upper punch as the lower ram completely withdraws.

How can I prevent the part from sticking to the lower punch?
We have designed the “Double Strip” feature to solve this issue. It works by moving the die up and down according to a specified amount to pull the part off of the lower punch.

How much do you charge for over the phone tech support/remote access diagnostics?
No charge. Most tech support changes are easily done by phone and do not require expensive on-site service calls.

What is the pre-lift cylinder?
In the past, the pre-lift was an open-loop cylinder that lifted a second lower punch into its fill position. Digital Press, Inc. made this a closed-loop, numerically controlled cylinder capable of accurately maintaining a fill position, press position and strip position without the use of slide blocks along with speed and pressure control. (Slide blocks are available as an option.) In short, the pre-lift is a numerically controlled second lower punch.

How many levels can I have on a part?
Digital Press is able to consistently press 3 upper levels and 4 lower levels. The 3 upper levels are attained by using a fixed upper punch on the upper plate, an outer auxiliary cylinder with a mechanically adjustable press position and an inner auxiliary cylinder with a mechanically adjustable press position. The 4 lower levels are attained by the stationary lower punch on the bolster plate, a punch on the pre-lift cylinder that is independently controlled by its own encoder, a punch on the core rod, which is also independently controlled by its own encoder and by cutting a flange in the die. The pre-lift can generally hold 90% of the full tonnage; the core rod can hold approximately 30% of the full tonnage.

Do you make mechanical presses?
No. We specialize in hydraulic powder compacting presses with a knowledge base that goes back to the 1950’s.

How accurate are your presses?
The Digital Press can press parts to within .001” and can hold close densities by accurately controlling compacting pressures from 1/10 ton to 1 ton, depending on the size of the press.

What type of maintenance does a Digital Press require?
Preventative Maintenance:

  1. Grease ways and die pins daily.
  2. Close gauge isolators after setup to lengthen gauge life.
  3. Adjust feeder box seal pressure to minimize powder leakage.
  4. Keep the clear plastic cover over the touchscreen to protect it from abrasive powder and wear.
  5. Backup new job setups weekly–from the job folder on a flash card to another computer and backup-flash card.
  6. Check for leaks once every week:
    1. Keep base clean.
    2. Check base for oil puddles.
    3. Look above for possible leak points.
    4. Clean all suspected pipes and tubes first, and check later to see if oil reappears.
    5. Check to see exactly where oil is coming from.
    6. Fix leak. Tighten or replace fitting.
  7. Pre-lift and core pin cylinders:
    1. Clean up the pre-lift cylinder by removing all powder inside and outside of the pre-lift rod after each set up.
    2. Inspect the pre-lift rod OD and ID for gouging. Buff out all gouge marks.
    3. Immediately remove any objects that might fall in the middle of the hollow pre-lift cylinder rod.
    4. Try to keep the top of the pre-lift gland free from powder as best as possible.
    5. Park pre-lift and core pin in the most down position when you are running a job where it is not required.
    6. Check the main housing bolts twice a year.
    7. Check gland bolts for tightness. Replace bolts if they are stretching.
  8. Keep all pipe clamps tight to prevent pipe movement during operation.
  9. Check oil level and temperature occasionally.
  10. Check motor couplings twice a year. Make sure that the coupling halves are not loose and backing away from each other.
  11. Check lower ram clamp ring bolts twice a year. Check for loose or stretched bolts.
  12. Replace filters at least once a year or when indicator sets off an alarm on screen.
  13. Check upper cylinder rod-seal retaining ring bolts once a year.
  14. Check heat exchanger for corrosion and blockage once a year.
  15. Use a transfer pump with a 3-micron filter to add or remove oil from the reservoir.
  16. Check pressure in accumulator twice a year. With the motor off, charge up with nitrogen to 200 psi.

How will my tooling fit on a Digital Press?
We first provide detailed drawings of our die set plates and stack up. If it does not meet customer tool mounting and die insert requirements, we will alter the plates to meet your needs.

What is the maximum fill of the press?
The PM-15 and 40 ton have 7” of fill. The larger presses, PM-80 ton and up, have 10” of fill. If your needs are more than this, we can expand the amount of fill to fit your needs.

How many presses have you built?
We have about 100 presses in the field, 52 of which are our newer style numerically-controlled Digital Presses.

Why should I buy a Digital Press?
Digital Press is leading the industry when it comes to hydraulic powder compacting presses. This is our specialty. Our numerically controlled closed-loop system has been tested and proven to have a consistent output with a rugged design. Our feedback messaging feature and intuitive touchscreen simplifies setup and operation. We also understand that each customer has their individual needs to produce quality parts. Since all of the programming and design is our own, we can easily adjust almost anything to fit your needs.

Digital Press can trace its roots to Mr. Meers of Mannesmann-Meers a recognized pioneer in the use of hydraulics in the powder compaction industry. These beginnings, as well as focusing on just hydraulic presses and building the most reliable hydraulic press available, has been our goal from the start. Our design philosophy reflects this as does our business approach.

Digital Press does not consider service as a profit center! We incorporate mechanical and digital diagnostic features in all of our presses that, along with communication with our customer’s team, allow us to troubleshoot any issue with a telephone and a modem. Rarely does it take us a day or two to resolve an issue, with most issues taking less than an hour or two. This is done at no charge to the customer, and it does keep our technical staff free enough to react immediately should an on-site visit need to take place. We have designed our machines to constantly deliver low-cost ownership–year in year out. That should keep your CFO happy!

This philosophy at times does cost us but we are not backing off. In one incident, a customer had an old Bussmann press that had been looked at by two other companies and it was recommended that it be rebuilt. They were considering buying one of our new presses, but asked if we could come and take a look. With $2,500 in parts and the cost of the service call we got the machine back online and lost the sale of a new machine.

Our maintenance philosophy has also cost us. In one case, the PM of a plant liked the service staff from a competitor and decided to buy their machine over ours. It was interesting speaking with our Maintenance team afterwards. Because we don’t have to do service calls very often, if at all, our service staff has little opportunity to build relationships. Our design and maintenance strategy does not lend itself well to selling and account maintenance, however, it does make sound business sense for our customers, and in the end that is what buys customer loyalty.

Does Digital Press Rebuild Presses?
Yes! We do rebuild the Bussman HPM-60, HPM-100 and HPM-200 as well as various Mannesmann and Alpha presses.