frequently asked
questions & answers



How do I determine press capacity and specifications required?

In order to determine what press fits your need, tooling is a major factor since it will determine press capacity, bed size, slide size, stroke length, die height, daylight, speeds, which are some basic specs for us to determine the press you need and provide a ballpark cost figure and lead time. Normally a toolmaker can provide this information based on your product drawings.


What are hydraulic press uses?

Hydraulic presses are widely used for several applications in different industries. This is due to the versatility and flexibility that a hydraulic press can provide. In general, hydraulic presses are designed to deliver adjustable speeds, pressures and position during the stroke. When compared to mechanical presses, hydraulic presses cannot achieve the same speed levels, however, a hydraulic press can provide full tonnage at any point in the stroke unlike a mechanical press which has a full tonnage rating point at .5” or less from the bottom of the stroke. In addition to that, press manufacturers continue to develop new technologies to address the industry demands, which includes higher speeds, energy savings, and more control during the stroke.

At Sutherland Presses we have been involved with hydraulic press design, build and installs for the last 30 years. The next level for Sutherland and our customers is Servo Hydraulic and the advantages it brings. Our I-PRESS® & Automation Control System has changed the way user’s interface with the press, offering completely programmable motion, pressure and speed profiles throughout the stroke. Imagine being able to reduce secondary operations, reduce energy consumption and reduce press maintenance just to name a few key advantages. (Read full article)

10 Industries where hydraulic presses are used:

1. Automotive

2. Appliances

3. Aerospace

4. Agriculture

5. Defense


7. Forging

8. Medical

9. Mining

10. Electrical components


➢ Structural components and body panels.

➢ Hot, warm and cold forging

➢ Molded composites

➢ Blanking, forming, deep draw, transfer.

➢ Tandem production

➢ Composite materials

➢ Try-out

➢ Bending

➢ Embossing

➢ Flattening, notching, perforation, piercing, punching

➢ Stamping, trimming


What is the difference between hydraulic presses and mechanical presses?

Mechanical presses transform the rotational force of the main motor into the vertical motion of the slide by means of a drive system. Drive systems include: apex drive, single or double-gear drive, link motion, plunger-guided and others. Mechanical presses are commonly used in applications where high production volumes are desired and are a good option to produce shallower and simpler parts from coils of sheet metal.

Mechanical presses are usually used for progressive and transfer stamping with large production runs. They are also suitable for metal forming processes such as: blanking, piercing, forming, shallow drawing, trimming, progressive, transfer among others.

Hydraulic presses are relatively simple. They employ a system where electrical energy is converted into hydraulic energy; which is controlled via our servo fluid management system, which then drives the slide vertical motion by the hydraulic pressure applied into the slide cylinders. When compared to mechanical presses, hydraulic presses provide slower stroke speeds.

However, they can deliver full tonnage at any point during the stroke unlike conventional mechanical presses, and servo mechanical presses where full tonnage is delivered near BDC. Besides that, hydraulic presses allow the versatility of setting up different types of jobs, thanks to its adjustable tonnage, speeds and stroke. Hydraulic presses are also a good choice over mechanical presses when it comes to producing more complex parts.

General characteristics of mechanical presses

1. Different drive system configurations available

2. Designed for high production volumes.

3. Stroke length is fixed.

4. Press delivers full capacity/tonnage near bottom dead center.

5. Speeds can be variable or fixed.

6. Higher speeds when compared to hydraulic presses.

7. High repeatability and accuracy.

8. Better parallelism and flatness.

General characteristics of hydraulic presses

1. Programmable motion and pressure profiles.

2. Delivers full tonnage at any point during the stroke.

3. Dwell time / holding pressure capacity.

4. Speed can be changed though the course of the stroke from TDC to BDC

5. Variable stroke length

6. Ease of maintenance

7. Lower investment compared to mechanical presses


Servo hydraulic presses vs servo mechanical presses?

Both servo mechanical presses and servo hydraulic presses are designed to provide adjustable speeds, pressure and position during the stroke, making them a versatile metal forming solution that allows the setup of a variety of jobs. Mechanical servo presses are faster than a regular hydraulic press, nevertheless the latest advances on servo hydraulic technology from Sutherland Presses deliver higher speeds when compared to hydraulic presses from other press manufacturers.

One of the limitations of a servo mechanical press has to do with it´s inability of delivering full tonnage at any point during the stroke. This can become critical when it comes to applications that require full tonnage at any point during the stroke before bottom dead center (BDC). In some cases this could mean the need of purchasing an additional press that can deliver the desired full tonnage at a certain required stroke length. However, If speed is one of the main production requirements, then a mechanical press or servo mechanical press is the best option.

All Sutherland Presses come standard with I-PRESS® controls. Sutherland´s I-PRESS® Hydro is the most advanced press & automation control available in the market for servo hydraulic presses. I-PRESS® Hydro controls maximize the user's ability to explode the benefits of the servo hydraulic technology, with ease and precision through a user-friendly interface.


What are mechanical presses uses?

Hand Fed or automated, blanking, piercing, forming, bending, coining, single stage dies, progressive dies, in die transfer, tandem line press to press transfer and many others.


What is compression molding and servo hydraulic presses?

Compression molding and servo hydraulic presses is a method of moulding in which the moulding material, generally preheated, is first placed in an open, heated mould cavity. The mould is closed with a top force or plug member, pressure is applied to force the material into contact with all mould areas, while heat and pressure are maintained until the moulding material has cured. The process employs thermosetting resins in a partially cured stage, either in the form of granules, putty-like masses, or preforms.


What is a servo press?

A servo press is a new wave of mechanical press designs. Servo Presses removed the main motor, flywheel, clutch & brake and flywheel brake, substituting it all with a servomotor that focused energy only where needed and, in effect, made the ram a controllable axis.


PLC based machine controls vs circuit board, based controls?

Industries are moving towards 4.0 level of data collection, machine monitoring and higher levels of safety which improve up time. Circuit board type controls are limited to the features that came with the press. I-PRESS® PLC based controls offer a full suite of features that other control builder call billable options. With I-PRESS® we can provide open architecture area in the PLC and HMI color touch screen so customization can be added as needed.


What is the knuckle joint press mechanism?

Knuckle joint presses are ideal for cold forging, coining, flattening. The knuckle joint replaces the connecting rod in standard mechanical presses.


Gap frame presses vs straight side presses?

Gap frame presses are available in single point drive with smaller die areas or double point drive with larger left to right die areas. In most cases gap frame presses are in the smaller tonnage range from 350 ton and down. Straight side press frames offer higher rigidity and longer die life but cost a bit more due to stronger frames.


What is an Eccentric Plunger Guided Press?

Our EHW Series is the work horse of all presses. Our designs for frame rigidity come from the forging press designs. Our eccentric drive system with double pitmans on both sides of the main gears connect to the two plungers that deliver tonnage vertically. Key advantage is no side thrust loads as seen with traditional mechanical presses, longer tool life and more precise parts.