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The use of high force presses in assembly automation can provide a secure and long lasting joint for two or more components.

dowl pins assembled to be pressed

As with many assembly processes, fixturing, alignment, tool design and the right type of motion source is crucial to the process success. Pressing operations require all of these attributes to be carefully considered as part of the system design.


With pressing operations, forces are transferred through the part and into part fixtures. This means that all parts must be securely nested in the fixture to prevent unwanted motion, and the fixture must be structurally capable of receiving and transferring high forces to its surrounding support structure.


When high press forces are in motion, directional control of those forces is another key to success. In conjunction with appropriate load bearing, alignment of the press motion must be configured following sound machine design and implementation standards.

Tool Design

When a high force press contacts a part, there is risk that the part will be damaged or deformed. To avoid this from occuring repeatably requires a carefully designed part contacting tool. The tool design may require part envelope support, alignment pins, support mandrels, or other special features. In some cases, ATS will conduct prototype testing to determine the right formula of tool features needed to deliver the desired results. 

Type of Press Motion 

There are several types of presses available, each with their unique capabilities. Typical assembly presses include:

  • Pneumatic
  • Air over oil
  • Servo

Each of these presses has different force ranges and controls capabiltiies and must be selected to suit the pressing process requirements. Servo presses, for instance, offer the most controls capabilty including variable speed, force feedback, and press signature analysis for greater process and quality control. By comparison, pneumatic presses would need to be equipped with displacement measurement devices (e.g. LDTs, LVDTs) and force transducers to provide a level of control feedback, but would not typically have the same force capability or process control as a servo press.

ATS has experience with all of these types of presses and can help you select the most appropriate technology for your product assembly.