Hidral-Mac, the largest manufacturer of hydraulic presses in Latin America has just established a partnership with WEG for the supply of electric control panels for all its serial line of hydraulic presses. The company produces around 600 machines per year to attend practically all the industrial segments, cutting, bending and forming parts – all kinds of metallic objects from a simple key to fans, refrigerators and cars have a hydraulic press in its production process. This type of press, with pressure superior to 2 thousand tons, is capable of cold forming metal.
Today, around 10% of the machines have WEG panels. The goal is to reach 30% in the next six months and in one year to reach 100%. “The electric control panel is the brain of the machine. It’s the panel that defines the operation and provides safety. And the standard of our serial machines now is WEG”, points out Marcelo Lopes Névoa, Manager of the Electrical Department at Hidral-Mac
Hidral-Mac offers a range of presses of 5 up to 1,000 tons besides special projects. The company had already been using WEG motors and PLCs for over five years but it assembled its panels in company and this increased production costs and made it lose considerable time in a process which was not its main focus. In 2008, through the Customized Starters Sales section, WEG came up with the idea of making a prototype of the complete panel. The product was developed according to specifications given by Hidral-Mac, tested and approved. “This section was created specifically with the purpose of supplying solutions for customers’ machines”, says Manfred Peter Johann, Sales manager for WEG Automação.
According to Marcelo Névoa, with this it was possible to increase the quality and reliability of the panels that are delivered with excellent finishing and ready for operation and with the guaranty of an efficient after-sales service. “We install them and turn them on”, he says. As an additional benefit, the cost of the production process reduced in about 20% which brings savings mainly in time and labor. “Our focus is to have the largest assembly line of hydraulic presses in the world. With the panels already assembled, we can concentrate on our main focus”, says Névoa.
What is a hydraulic press?
The hydraulic press is a mechanic tool which was important for the making of the Industrial Revolution. Before that, the forming of rolled materials demanded that they were hammered and that the final form was shaped manually using a wooden mallet and chisel. There were other presses such as the screw press but it had significant limitations especially as to the pressure it could achieve. Such limitations were surpassed by the modern hydraulic press with over 2,000 tons of pressure capacity.