This is MINSTER 200-ton straight side double crank press. Minster is one of the better US brands around. The reason people spring for an older machine like this is because its US built, so even though it may need repairs, you’ll have no trouble finding parts and maintenance for it. It keeps the price down as well— you couldn’t find a newer model of this sort for less than $500,000, but here you get the same utility for the fraction of the price. As you’ll see, with decent inspection and minimal repairs, you can get a used straight side press working just as well as a new one.
The big thing with this machine is the bed size. Its 84 inches right to left. When it comes to presses like this, you want to look for the bed size first, stroke length second, and shut height third.
The Minster has 2 sets of dual palm buttons, so two people have to operate it with both hands. It also has light curtains. If someone puts their hands in the machine when the light curtains are on, it’ll stop the press from running. There’s also an air clutch and break, which will stop it mid-stroke. A good feature of this press is that it has a t-slotted bed and ram, so you can move dies around quickly. This model also has windows, so you can feed the press from right to left for automatic operation.
This machine is flush floor, meaning it doesn't go on the ground, but rather sits right on top of the ground. When looking at a press like this, it’s crucial to look for stress cracks on the bed, ram, and side housings. After you inspect that, you look up to the crane shaft and look for stress cracks there as well. If everything looks good, you can jack up the ram to see how much play is in all of the connections. Sometimes there are bronze bushings and sometimes the metal is worn out. So, you want to look for all of those things when inspecting a press. Next thing are the air clutch and brake. Check if its leaking or not. After that, go to the electric control and make sure all of those are working properly.
As far as straight side presses, if you maintain it, fix the problems, and put in new bushings and controls, this machine is just as good as a new one. Buy a used machine and save yourself a lot of money.
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