June 16, 2008
Press manufacturer AIDA invests five percent of its annual revenue into research and development. This allows the company to provide continuous improvement initiatives to produce new designs and technologies capable of solving customer problems. Over the last decade, the company has launched nine new press designs as well as ServoPro®, a new forming technology.
At the company's North American headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, engineers combined 24 months of research and development with customer feedback to design and build the NST tie-rod straightside press and the unitized frame straightside NSU specifically for multi-purpose jobs. Today, these machines are being used in a broad range of markets including the appliance, automotive, lighting, HVAC, furniture, hardware, and farm and garden machinery industries.
Stampers facing increasing requirements to successfully form parts from high-strength materials prompted the company to develop ServoPro servoforming, to help stampers produce parts from materials like aluminum, magnesium, high-strength steel, and titanium. ServoPro's ability to program in and combine any number of stroke, velocity, and dwell profiles gives users the ability to support a wide range of parts operations, die sizes, and heights. ServoPro also provides infinite control of slide position—within microns.
The company's newest press design, the ULX, features a press that is more accurate than the die, the company says. It also is the first press design with a 9-point support construction.
Built with a single-point, center-suspension and a no con-rod design, the press is able to support automotive, flow control forming, fine blanking, and cold forming applications and has the ability to run high-strength materials. Eight zero-clearance spherical shoe type gibs on the slide allow high-precision forming, while delivering low deflection and control of lateral slide movement due to off-center or unbalanced loads. Increased off-center loading capacity extends die life. A ribbed frame incorporates 2-axis rigidity that also helps to minimize deflection. The added stiffness increases die life and improves part accuracy.
Other examples of technology advances include the latest development in precision slide guiding—a pre-loaded, zero-clearance slide guide system with high-pressure oil lubrication. Designed to meet increasing demands for more press accuracy, the system consists of semi-spherical shoes operating against flat guide ways attached to a massive frame structure. The press slide is very tall, which enables the guide points to be spaced far apart providing extremely long slide guides.
The surfaces of the mating components are made of materials that possess natural lubricity. Oil is then forced between these pre-loaded surfaces. This combination of pre-load and oil lubrication not only makes the slide guide very stiff but also provides long life with little or no wear. This unique slide guide systems have helped make the straightside press an attractive option for the automotive, appliance, and HVAC markets.