Downacting Composite Press with Multiple Heating Zones

French recently developed a multi-action, six post downacting hydraulic composite molding press to be used in a specialized manufacturing process.

The custom designed automated press features specialized thermo fluid heated platens with multiple zones. The customer’s composite material enters the press onto the incoming heat zone for material preheating. After the preheat time elapses, the material automatically advances to the press’ second platen zone, heating to final cure temperature. A space between the first and second platen zone helps maintain platen and product temperature uniformity. After the complete cure cycle, the material exits the press through a trimmer and is automatically loaded to rollers.

The heated platen temperature is programmable through a Siemens press controller mounted next to press. The temperature control system takes signal and automatically regulates heaters and control valving for accurate platen temperature control. To meet production requirements, each zone heats from ambient to its peak operating temperature in less than one hour.

The press controller also controls overall press operation, including cycle times and pressures. The operator interface features a color screen and provides screen display of functions and set values that can be changed or adjusted, as required. A modem installed in the press controller allows French electrical engineers to make minor control modifications or updates as needed.

Also mounted to the press side is a linear transdual transducer to display the position of the press moving bolster and can be used to change press speed, track safety measures, display part thickness and trigger press alarms when the press is not achieving desired material thickness.

The hydraulic system consists of a self-contained oil hydraulic unit and an energy efficient motor. The hydraulic pump and motor combination allow press fast closing, opening and adjustable tonnage.

French fully assembled and tested the press system for the customer’s inspection prior to shipment. As part of the negotiated contract, TMP provided ten working days at the customer’s international site for press support, start-up and training.

Please visit our composite molding applications page for more information on our custom designed composite presses.