Hydraulic Intelligent Cushions

Red Stag’s Intelligent Hydraulic Cushion, with Smart Software controller, gives the metal forming industry draw flexibility in existing Mechanical Presses.

In 1997, Red Stag installed two hydraulic cushion systems at Autodie International.  Both mechanical presses were 1,200-tons with beds of 180” X 102”.

In 1999, we engineered and installed the second generation system into an 1,800-ton mechanical press with a bed of 180” X 100”. This press had three cushion tables within the press bed and is used for producing automotive body panels.

As you can see, Red Stag has successfully engineered and installed Hydraulic Cushions into older mechanical presses. Our customers have discovered flexibility in die design and the ability to record press forming curves, which has saved a great deal of time and money. With the high cost of tailored blanks, quality forming needs to be 100% for maximum yield.  With 30 years of Hydraulic Draw Press Engineering experience, we have accomplished that.

Red Stag Engineering & Automation, Inc. has received international recognition.  Our engineering technology has been approved for the latest Automotive trends.  Our Intelligent Hydraulic Cushions in Existing Mechanical Presses have helped in die design and consistent quality production performance.  Red Stag has several years of successful performance with this new technological development, making us a forerunner in the field.

You may have read about Red Stag’s technological advances in one of the above national industry publications.  If you have not, we would be happy to send copies of the articles to you.

Red Stag Engineering & Automation, Inc. has designed the software to allow the operator to interact with infinite control.

The opening screen shows the hydraulic system, cushion, and press status. The graphs show actual force/distance performance of the last run. The top curve is overall system performance. The next three show the results for each cushion table (3 table-cushion system). Below are curves for each of the 12 cylinders (four per cushion table) in this example. The set-up touch screen is called from the opening screen.  The operator enters new jobs by job number or can edit and save current jobs.  It also lets the operator call the touch keypad for numeric data entry and the touch keyboard for alphanumeric entry. The pin placement screen permits pin location entry.  It also displays the die dimensions, which are entered in the set-up screen.  The operator can read off-center loading from this screen, which helps in cylinder pressure adjustment. Tonnage and distance are entered on the tonnage recipe screen. The single bar on the left represents the total cushion tonnage, while the 12 bars on the right represent the 12 individual cylinders used in the cushion.

Until recently, to get an Intelligent Hydraulic Cushion, you had to buy a Hydraulic Press with a Hydraulic Cushion.  NOT ANY MORE!  Red Stag has developed an Intelligent Hydraulic Cushion for Existing Mechanical Presses.  Now, large mechanical presses can be fitted with hydraulic cushions for a fraction of the cost of a new hydraulic press system.

Why invest in a Hydraulic Cushion?  By being able to vary the resting force, parts can be formed without fracturing, gulling, or orange peeling.  In general, a cushion will help produce more consistent parts with less defects in less time.  In the long run, a hydraulic cushion will reduce costs by using less material (this is especially appealing when using tailored blanks), providing longer tool life, and providing less try-out time.

Red Stag’s Intelligent Hydraulic Cushion allows the operator to develop a “pressure profile” for the cushion stroke.  The profile includes operator-selected pressure levels (tonnage) triggered at operator selected cushion positions (steps).  The operator may preset these steps to vary the cushion tonnage.  This results in a net increase in press tonnage available to form the part because the press doesn’t have to overcome full cushion tonnage throughout the stroke.

Additionally, if one corner of the worksheet requires more or less forming pressure than the rest of the sheet, it can easily be accomplished.  This is because the hydraulic cushion was designed with pressure feedback and independent control of all corners, which maintains the needed tonnage throughout the stroke. This allows the press to easily form steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and even welded metal sheets with a combination of thicknesses.

150/300/250 Ton Hydro-Craft Press.  Three different rams working in harmony for automatic production of Automotive Head Gaskets, from coil to finished product. 1600 Ton Hydro-Craft Press producing two compression items per stroke.  This system draws material from elevated hoppers to fill tooling for automatic, continuous operation. 600/380/80 Ton triple action Hydro-craft Press has a bolster of 60” X 50”. 4,000 Ton Hydro-Craft Automotive Stamping Press has a bolster of 232” X 101”.

Impact Dampers absorb the impact at it’s origin, right after the tool cuts through the steel. In addition to their silencing effect, they reduce stress on your punch press, tooling, and foundation.

Red Stag also uses a Computerized AC Servo Roll Feed System. This software based motor controller gives automatic optimization of feed parameters computed from feed length input. Several of these feeders are used at RexNord for feeding random length bar stock, without backlash, for chain links.

We also created the industry’s first Four Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Steer Die / Material Handler. This cart has an 80,000 pound capacity, which is ideal for handling large dies / molds. Options are available for docking, automated loading / unloading, and adjustable working height. Red Stag’s first unit is currently being used by Proto Plastics Co.

Red Stag offers a 60,000 Lb. Capacity Die Splitter and Turnover System. The complete die is set and clamped onto a bolster plate similar to being clamped in a press. The upper die shoe is hydraulically raised to clear the lower shoe leader pins. The lower die is moved to clear the upper die. The upper die is then rotated 180 degrees and lowered to a workable height. When maintenance is complete, the die is reassembled by reversing the operation. The upper die is placed on the leader pins with .003 accuracy. This unit was manufactured for Elkay Co.