L-723* Increases Tool Life on Punch Presses

By Keith Roszman, HLI Technician

US Manufacturing uses hydraulic presses with a long stroke to do what they call extruding axial housing tubes, a type of forging forming operation.

The problems they were having:

  • The punches were breaking prematurely.
  • After the press made the part, misalignment would cause the die stack to bind on the punch, while retracting, until enough reverse pressure caused the die to break loose, slamming the slide into the crown and gland assembly.
  • Misalignment caused one corner of the machine to lift off from the floor when tonnage was applied.

The people they normally use for laser alignment used a legacy system. However, they were out of town and so we were called.

I went in with the L-723 Ultra-Precision Triple Scan® Laser Alignment System. At first, all they wanted was parallelism checked between the stationary and moving bolster plates. After a little discussion with maintenance and the operator, I checked parallel of the 45-degree ways with the main hydraulic ram with a tape measure. They were out about 3/8″ to 1/2″. I then set up the laser roughly level to Earth and bucked it in to three points on the crown. This seemed to be the only original reference on the machine. After making the 45-degree ways parallel with each other, and square with the crown, I then adjusted the gibbs on the slide so the main hydraulic ram was parallel with the ways. I then bucked in to the stationary bolster, checked the face of the slide to be parallel with the bolster and recorded the numbers. This took about 2 hours. We then aligned the press and I gave them their report.

A few weeks later I talked with them and they said it had never run better and were delighted with its performance. The punches were lasting much longer, the press was not lifting off the floor and there was a lot less wear and tear on the machine.

* The L-723 Triple Scan® Laser Alignment System that was the subject of this case study has been superseded by the L-743 Ultra-Precision Triple Scan® Laser Alignment System.