Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Preventive Maintenance for C-Frame Hydraulic Presses

March 24, 2015

Hydraulic presses are workhorses in a machine shop. You can keep them in fighting trim with regular upkeep, adding years to their usable lifespan and reduces downtime for repairs.

How to Keep Your Press Running Well

Your press operators have first-hand experience with the press in your shop. They know its quirks and weaknesses. When it makes a strange noise, if it begins vibrating all of a sudden or if something simply doesn’t look right, they can spot it quickly.

Rely on your press operator to detect small problems early. The sooner they get fixed, the less expensive and quicker the repair, as a rule.

But that’s not enough. In addition, you need a written schedule of planned maintenance for each C Frame press. Here is a look at what to check on a regular system to keep your press working well.

Why Preventive Maintenance

The best argument for routine upkeep is saving money:

  • You reduce downtime, which keeps the work flowing.
  • Customers are happy that you make deadlines, so they stay with you and refer you to others in their network.
  • Workers don’t have to stand around waiting for a part or expert repair. If they aren’t producing, you are losing money.
  • The press has a longer lifespan if the working parts are kept in good repair.
  • You don’t have to spend money on major repairs. With routine maintenance, you find small problems early, when they are quick and inexpensive to repair.

Sample Daily Checklist

How often to perform routine maintenance varies from shop to shop based on which press you have and its workload. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each shop needs to set up a system of checkups on a schedule, which includes daily, yearly and other increments of time that work for your shop. Each C Frame hydraulic press manufacturers has it own checklist.

Measures that should be done daily include:

  • Check for oil leaks on all hydraulic lines
  • Tighten leaky fittings
  • Wipe away excess oil
  • Clean fittings so you can spot new leaks easier
  • Check the level of oil and top it off when appropriate
  • Check for loose bolts in the tooling area and tighten them
  • Check the lubrication on guided platens. Learn what the best level is and maintain that. Over-greasing causes premature bearing wear because dirt accumulates.
  • Check the temperature of the oil and maintain it around 120 ˚ F.
  • Make sure the ram is moist but not dripping oil.


Oil Maintenance

Just like your car, the press needs its lubrication checked on a regular basis. If the oil level is low or it is dirty, your press won’t perform its best.

The goal is to maintain the temperature of the oil close to 120˚ F, using air or water coolers. Air coolers separate the heat using a radiator and an electric fan.

Too much heat is one of the major reasons that hydraulic presses wear out prematurely. Check the oil temperature by inserting a probe into the reservoir. Make sure the thermostat is working properly.

Sample the oil at least yearly, checking for dirt and contamination in a hydraulic fluid system. Make sure the hydraulic fluid properties are within the range of accepted levels set by the manufacturer.

Electrical Maintenance


Coils on valves need to be replaced before they fail. Modern electronics are dependable, but every component has a natural lifespan. By using this information to your advantage, you can reduce downtime and also make quick work of troubleshooting.

The electric cabinet often gets overlooked. It is important to check for loose wiring.

Regular maintenance on any C Frame Hydraulic Press or a 4 Post Hydraulic Press takes some time to set up and implement, but its worth it. You have less downtime, your machinery lasts longer and repairs are less costly.