Roll-form manufacturers produce a wide range of parts for assembly, including highly contoured automotive exterior panels. Dahlstrom Roll Form (DRF) has roll-formed metal parts for automotive and other types of OEMs since 1904. The parts are made of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and bronze, and come in more than 1,600 standard and custom shapes.
Hydraulic presses have been an essential part of DRF’s equipment lineup for decades. In September 2017, the company hired Beckwood Press Co. to design and build a 75-ton, high-speed punching press. It was Beckwood’s fourth custom press for DRF since 2002. Previous models include 58- and 140-ton forming presses, and a 100-ton punching press.
“To meet their [DRF’s] speed and positional accuracy requirements, our engineers have been challenged to push the limits of a hydraulic press,” says Jeffrey Debus, president of Beckwood. “Projects like this are why we come to work every day.”
The latest custom press has a 30-by-50-inch forming area and a hydraulic circuit that enables it to punch aluminum and steel sheet material up to 60 times per minute. Programmable fixed stops limit ram retraction and eliminate overshoot, ensuring accuracy and reduced cycle times. A through-hole in the bed expedites scrap removal and increases throughput.
Beckwood design engineers used Finite Element Analysis software to ensure that the press is robust enough to handle all industrial applications. The software’s computer-aided simulations mirror real-world manufacturing stresses and enable Beckwood to give the press the Infinite Life classification.
Other standard press features include dual linear and pressure transducers that optimize reliability and redundancy. In addition, Beckwood’s proprietary PressLink connect module facilitates fast, complimentary remote support and troubleshooting.
“Beckwood is a valued resource for our continuing growth,” explains Robert White, president and owner of DRF. “Our presses have functioned accurately and reliably for many years, and our operators like the standardized interface on each machine. The commonality of control makes their jobs easier.”
A member of the Formtek Group, Dahlstrom also makes decorative metal moldings for architecture. Customers over the decades include architectural firms that have worked on the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.
Beckwood makes standard and custom stand-alone presses with capacities from 2 tons to more than 2,000 tons. End-users are manufacturers in the automotive, construction equipment, electronics, aerospace, heavy machinery, medical device, plastics, lighting, transportation, waste management and mining industries.
The company’s presses come in traditional and unique configurations. Traditional styles include two- and four-post, gib-guided, C-frame and benchtop. The DJ benchtop series, for example, features models that range in size from 3 to 55 tons and are designed for assembly, punching, trimming, blanking and stamping applications. Additional frame press styles are five-post, multi-post, side-acting assembly and extrusion, and tilting.
Beckwood offers multiple types of specialized presses as well, such as temperature-controlled models for compression molding; and composite, hot- and superplastic forming applications. The company also makes hot jiggle presses and the Triform line of sheet hydroforming presses in fluid cell and deep draw configurations. Other products include hydraulic ring expanders and sizers, and stretch forming machines for extrusion and sheet-leading edge applications.