Energy-efficient hydraulic lab press

USA Technical Machine Products' Eco-Lab Press features a two-stage cooling system to reduce thermo cycling.

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A new laboratory-sized hydraulic press, The Eco Lab Press, developed by Technical Machine Products (TMP, Cleveland, Ohio), provides processing temperatures as high as 800°F/427°C, but during thermocycling (that is, repeated heating and cooling of the platens) it reportedly uses a fraction of the energy required on a conventional press to cool the platens and mold tools. Although conventional presses use chilled water and/or compressed air to quickly reduce platen temperature, both methods incur significant energy costs. This new lab press design uses a multistage cooldown process: Following the heated compression cycle, the platens are cooled with forced air delivered by a specialized blower, but when their temperature has dropped to 500°F/260°C, the product is transferred to a water-fed cold press so that the manufacturing platens need not go through a complete cooldown. Water only flows to the cold press platens when needed. This prevents sweating and reduces overall water usage. Temperature control on the press is reportedly accurate to within 0.25 percent; platen temperature uniformity is said to be within 2.5 percent. The press features the TMP Edge Advanced Control System, which includes a color touch-screen operator interface to an internal Allen Bradley PLC (programmable logic controller).