Turning the Idea of Pressing on its Side
Throughout the millennia, the concept of a press involved high pressure usually combined with gravity. The first types of presses, after all, were heavy stones used to mash nuts, berries, and other food against a stony surface, relying on the weight of the rock to do most of the work. It was only natural that most of the mechanical presses that would develop over time would inevitably involve a downward movement of a top platen against a bottom one to perform the pressing action.
The advent of hydraulics changed everything. Now fabrication machines like presses and press brakes could be supplied with powerful hydraulic systems that could generate the pressure needed to bend and shape metal. No longer did a top ram have to come down on a workpiece—it could be kept stationary, and a bottom ram could be hydraulically lifted to complete the operation. Vertical movement wasn’t needed at all since a tool could be driven horizontally under hydraulic pressure to accomplish a metalworking procedure.
While a hydraulic horizontal press is limited as to the length of the workpiece—usually 12″ or shorter—it offers many advantages for the small-scale fabricator. For one thing, the “bottom” die is held in place by a heavy-duty post inserted down into the front of the machine’s table at a point opposite the pressing mechanism at the rear. This nearly free-standing piece of tooling has no bottom ram supporting it, allowing a shape to be bent entirely around it with completely closed folds as there is no danger of workpiece collision.
Many manufacturers simply refer to their horizontal presses as horizontal press brakes, as that seems to be their primary function, but their design allows them great versatility in the types of tooling that can be used for various functions. Among other things, horizontal presses have been used for straightening, shearing, hole punching, step-bending curves, bending profiles around a radius die, tube notching, pipe swaging, bending angle iron into a frame, and shaping decorative ornamental iron with laser-cut dies. Tooling for these various operations can usually be switched out quickly, sometimes in less than a minute.
Fairly small machines, horizontal presses generally can be handled easily and transported to other locations within a shop using a forklift or pallet jack.
Features of RMT’s Horizontal Presses
Each of the models in Revolution Machine Tool’s HZ-FAB Series of horizontal presses are built with state-of-the-art technology, an all-steel frame, and high-quality components to offer the very best pressing performance in the industry. While their shop footprint is small—all models are less than 5′ long and 5′ high—the HZ-FAB Series are solid, robust machines, designed to maintain their stability through vigorous use. All tooling and pins are induction hardened and ground to ensure long life.
Very accurate presses, RMT’s machines offer high repeatability, within 1/1000th of an inch. They offer excellent control for processes such as step-bending a curve into a piece of steel. While the machines come standard with manual operation and an NC controller, an automatic working system is available as an add-on option, including a CNC back gauge. When switched to automatic, programs with up to 15 steps can be entered into the control.
RMT’s HZ-FAB Series machines provide a compact solution for those who need a very small but powerful press brake to handle workpieces up to 12″ in length on a frequent basis. While each machine comes standard with one set of press brake tooling, literally hundreds of compatible dies and special tooling are available for virtually any fabrication process that requires high pressure. Any toolmaker (and many end users) can also easily manufacture custom punches and dies for these presses.
Horizontal Presses for Every Need
The seven models currently in RMT’s HZ-FAB Series run the gamut from 11-ton to 110-ton capacities and have ranges for flat bending of 0.31″ to 11.81″ and round tube bending of 0.12″ to 4.48″. Most models sport a comfortable 3.61′ working height (3′ on the HZ-FAB 11) and all models have an operation speed and return speed of 0.39 inches per second.
The following models are currently available from RMT:
- RMT HZ-FAB 11 — 11-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 6″ x 0.31″ flat bending capacity; 1.65″ x 0.12″ round tube bending capacity; 7.2″ max. stroke; 2.3″ bolt diameter; 6″ tooling height; 3-gallon oil tank capacity; 1.5 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 22 — 22-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 8″ x 0.50″ flat bending capacity; 1.88″ x 0.15″ round tube bending capacity; 7.2″ max. stroke; 3″ bolt diameter; 8″ tooling height; 3-gallon oil tank capacity; 3 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 33 — 33-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 8″ x 0.70″ flat bending capacity; 2.36″ x 0.15″ round tube bending capacity; 11.25″ max. stroke; 3″ bolt diameter; 9.75″ tooling height; 10-gallon oil tank capacity; 4 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 44 — 44-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 8″ x 1″ flat bending capacity; 2.36″ x 0.19″ round tube bending capacity; 11.25″ max. stroke; 3″ bolt diameter; 9.75″ tooling height; 10-gallon oil tank capacity; 5.5 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 55 — 55-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 12″ x 0.59″ flat bending capacity; 2.99″ x 0.15″ round tube bending capacity; 11.25″ max. stroke; 3.5″ bolt diameter; 12″ tooling height; 15-gallon oil tank capacity; 7.5 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 88 — 88-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 12″ x 1″ flat bending capacity; 3.54″ x 0.35″ round tube bending capacity; 11.25″ max. stroke; 4″ bolt diameter; 12″ tooling height; 31-gallon oil tank capacity; 13.5 HP motor power.
- RMT HZ-FAB 110 — 110-ton maximum pressure at 200 bar; 12″ x 1.25″ flat bending capacity; 4.48″ x 0.39″ round tube bending capacity; 11.25″ max. stroke; 4″ bolt diameter; 12″ tooling height; 31-gallon oil tank capacity; 13.5 HP motor power.
Supplying the Best in Fabrication Machines
Revolution Machine Tools provides a wide range of high-quality metal fabrication equipment to help metalworking companies—whether large or small—stock their facilities with the very best tools required by their trade. From press brakes to shears, plate rolls, fiber lasers, bandsaws and more, RMT offers fabricators solutions for all their projects.
Call an RMT machinery consultant today for a competitive quote on your next horizontal press or other metal-shaping machine and learn for yourself why Revolution Machine Tools has earned their reputation as a leading company in customer care and support.