Ceramic Industry

PRODUCT PROFILE: Powder Compaction Press

May 1, 2009
Powder compacting systems are used in a variety of ceramic, electronic and PM applications.



Powder compacting systems supplied by PTX-Pentronix, Inc., a subsidiary of Gasbarre Products, Inc., are used in a variety of applications throughout the world, primarily in the structural ceramics, electronics and powder metal (PM) industries. PTX has fielded numerous application-specific requests over the years. One fairly recent request led to a new press model with potential for the mass production of small, complex powder-compacted parts.

Features

The Multipak® 212 VFD is a two-ton opposed ram press that incorporates a programmable logic controller (PLC), variable frequency drive, programmable limit switches and low-powder shutoff safety, along with numerous other standard features. The 212 was specially designed for multiple cavities and high-speed, complex and multi-level precision parts.

Press setup and adjustments can be made quickly and easily with a color touch-screen. Job recipe storage settings for a particular tool or part are available, while programmable limit switches allow for the variable timing control of press functions. All electrical, pneumatic and speed control adjustments are made from the front of the small footprint press.

Since tool assembly is typically done off-line, the 212 press incorporates a modular tool system that can be removed from the press, replaced and adjusted in about 15 minutes. The same tool capsule can be used for a variety of parts simply by changing the expendable tooling items.

The Webview function allows for remote monitoring of the press via the Internet, if desired. The parts can be tracked by a quality control production load monitor with user-defined limits. This system can be pre-set to shut down the press if a certain number of bad parts have been recorded. The production load monitor also contains an overload pre-set to avoid damage to the press tooling. In addition, a maintenance counter can stop the press after a programmed amount of cycles for routine maintenance checks. Faults and other diagnostics via the touch-screen include complete fault history and a press downtime log.

The 212 press can be converted from an upper punch press to run in anvil press mode with the anvil conversion assembly, which can help the part producer realize even greater savings with regard to tooling costs. Another cost-saving feature is the limited amount of powder loss during production, which is possible because the only hole in the die plate is the die cavity itself.

Options such as the Gasbarre/MATSYS fluidized fill shoe system and PTX multi-loader automated parts handling system can be added to further enhance the production process. The fluidized fill shoe system provides faster powder transfer and more uniform fill of complex die cavities by using a column of air to support powder flow. Benefits include improved weight and size control, reduced side-to-side density variations, increased filling rates and reduced powder spillage.

While automatic vacuum part pick-up from the die cavity is a standard feature of the press, a multi-loader automated parts handling system can be incorporated for additional hands-free operation. This system allows offloading of compacts from the press to sintering or firing plates at a rate equal to or greater than the press speed. Easily programmable to handle a range of part sizes, these precise automation systems may only require a different pick-up head when changing from part to part.

Cost-Efficient Pressing

The goal for powder compacted parts production should be to produce the best possible product in the most efficient manner while keeping overall costs as low as possible. The Multipak 212 VFD two-ton opposed ram press and available accessories can help parts producers achieve this goal.

The development of the 212 press has provided the part producer with a number of benefits. The company was able to save money with the initial equipment purchase while enjoying lower part tooling costs. The smaller unit is also more energy-efficient than the larger press that the company previously used.

For more information, contact PTX-Pentronix, Inc., 26395 Northline Commerce Dr., Suite 604, Taylor, MI 48180; (734) 946-5850; e-mail info@ptx.com; or visit www.ptx.com.

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