Die spotting presses are machines typically used in the maintenance and repair of die and molds. A die spotting press is used to verify contact surfaces of the upper and lower portions of the die or mold and ensures dimensional accuracy and precision. Regular scheduled maintenance and efficient repair processes are important to ensure die and molds are suitable for use in production
Die spotting is a vital step in the process of maintaining an efficient and successful mold. Die spotting presses act as a “checker” and can be used in the re-commissioning of existing dies and help in determining the extent of necessary repairs or rework. The die spotting process can maximize production efficiencies by ensuring the die is consistently ready for production and will continue to last over time. Successful die spotting can help companies be competitive, run operations more smoothly and efficiently.
Materials & Applications
Die spotting presses can be specifically designed to be used in a variety of applications, but they are mainly used to inspect, verify, and test the upper and lower halves of a die or mold and encompass a wide range of industries including; automotive, aerospace, consumer products, and electronics were precision and accuracy of formed parts is a necessity. The presses are uniquely designed and play an important role to ensure a die maintains it forming intent down to the smallest details and complex geometries.
Die and mold materials used in these presses can be made from metal, plastics, or other synthetic materials and the die spotting methods and requirements will vary depending on the application.
Die spotting is suitable for evaluating plastic injection molds, casting dies, punching dies, transfer molds, metal molds, forging molds, glass molds, rubber and plastic molds, and metallurgy dies.
Establishing Process Parameters
The overall process of die spotting can be rather straight forward. Die spotting presses bring two halves of a die together to ensure there is a proper match between upper and lower die and to verify the appropriate contact surfaces. The complexities and challenges still lie in designing the die and determining the appropriate forming parameters to ensure the finished parts are a success.
The overall time spent in a die spotting press can range from hours to weeks, depending on the complexity of the die, analysis, alignment changes, and scope of modifications or rework that may be required. The overall goal is to reduce the amount of effort and necessary time in the dies spotting process, and a well configured press is a good way to get the tool prepared and back into the production line and in use for forming parts.
The bed size dimensions of a die spotting press are mainly determined by the size of the die or mold to be spotted. They can range from relatively small (less than 4’), to big (15’ or larger). When mounted to the press beds, the orientation of the upper and lower dies should mimic that of what will be used in production, but will also aid in determining the overall bed dimensions required for the press. It is advantageous to have wide access on all four sides of the bed to allow for automated and manual handling of the dies, as well as to allow for efficient and safe die rework while the dies are still mounted to the press, measurement taking, and visual inspections for operators.
Tonnages and Speeds
The tonnages and speed required for a die spotting will depend on the process and evaluation requirements for the die. Generally, the tonnage can range from 50 to 5000 tons, and the ascending and descending speeds can vary for the specific application and should be set appropriately for the testing process. Both tonnage and speed can be programmed and controlled with the press to ensure the die is produced correctly down to the necessary accuracy and tolerances.
With die spotting, the force required can be significantly lower than what is required from the production press. During this process, contact surfaces are tested and need to be verified between the top and bottom dies. Accuracy and distance control are important variables to control to properly spot and prevent damaging the dies.
Stroke and Daylight
A die spotting press can be configured to control the necessary stroke to appropriately spot the mold. In the fully retracted position, there should be enough daylight to allow for inspection and maintenance of both dies. Rotating platens can further increase the amount of daylight and clearance around the die halves. In general, a press should be selected to accommodate the largest expected toolset. Additional clearances should be considered for operators, possible rework equipment, and assembly and removal of the dies both manually and with lifting equipment.
Hydraulic Die Spotting Presses
The presses put on emphasis on simple operation, accurate and repeatable die spotting, ease of mold attachment and removal, and overall safety.
Hydraulic die spotting can be custom designed to suit specific applications. To ensure successful mold results and to further focus on maximizing efficiencies in time and operational costs, the press can be fitted with a variety of frame styles and include features such as:
- 180-degree rotating platens
- Automatic clamping and lifting packages
- Servo-controlled slide parallelism control systems
- Rolling bolsters
- Tilting platens
- LCD displays
Some of the major advantages of using die spotting hydraulic presses as part of the die and mold manufacturing process include:
Bringing the two halves of a mold together in a controlled, accurate and repeatable manner is essential to the process. The use of hydraulics and a programmable control system are essential parts of a hydraulic die spotting press. Platen parallelism also plays an important role for accuracy and can precisely bring the halve of the dies together for evaluation. Measurements can be integrated into the control display system, with built in reports for monitoring and data acquisition.
Manufactures want their molds being used as much as possible on forming and production lines, and spend as little time as necessary on a die spotting press. This is essential to meet production targets and timelines. The use of hydraulic die spotting press can test, adjust, and confirm the mold in a simple and safe setup, reducing time and costs.
Inspecting and verifying molds with the use of a die spotting hydraulic press can minimize the dangers involved in handling different molds and dies. These are often heavy and oddly shaped tools, and even the use of cranes, forklifts, and other equipment can introduce potential hazards. Separating dies and numerous alignment updates, can all be done efficiently and quickly directly with the press. Manual safety bars, locking and anti-slip mechanisms, and emergency stop buttons are additional safety measures for press operators.
Ergonomics and Ease of Use
Although a hydraulic press can simplify and automate much of the process, die spotting can be a process that still requires operator and maintenance personal involvement. Accessibility and being able to inspect the mold from varying angles and locations is a vital part. The use of tilting and rotating platens and being able to control the movements with simple control of a touch panel play important factors along with the ability to inspect and rework the dies efficiently. Die spotting presses can be equipped with touch panels that are clear, straightforward and simple. Press operation should also be easy to train and diagnosing potential issues and resolving issues should be as straight forward as possible, so down time is minimized, and the die can ultimately be used in production and forming parts.