Four slide equipment, also known as Multi-Slide, Multiple Slides, Rotary or Vertical slide, is a metalworking machine used in medium to high volume manufacture of precision formed components from flat strip or wire stock. Precision form part characteristics which can be achieved with a stamping press require that the progressive die includes cam action forming, costly tooling to build and maintain.
A four slide machine is a stamping work center in itself which includes cams, slides, form lifters, strippers and stock straighteners. The built in slides feeding into and around the strip, create the complex shapes, single or two level forms and secondary operations before the final part is ejected from the machine. Though the tooling can be complex, the cost savings are in the piece price, minimizing material usage by eliminating the carrier strip and using material the exact width of the part.
The key of this equipment is the moving slides that have the developed tooling attached. These slides are driven by four or more shafts that are connected to gears so that only one shaft is motor driven. The motion of that shaft drives the other the remaining shafts, each having cams that drives the slides, sometimes split for even more functionality. This allows the piece to be worked from four or more sides for efficient forming.
The strongest advantage of slide equipment is that it manipulates from four axes requiring less tooling, setups and handling of product. Also the feed is extremely accurate eliminating the need of pilot punches, holding as many as 30 progressions with accuracies held within a few thousandths of an inch. The strongest advantage the Fourslide has over the press and progressive die is the easy adjustment for tensile changes in material being used and are excellent in rounding up of a part.
Both part size and forming requirements can impact the choice of the slide equipment. At TEDCO, we range from 00 through 700, versatile 1100 with 14 slide action, Baird-1, 3-F with 20 ton capability, for increased size and Rotary Slide. This allows our range capability from .010” (.051mm) to .095” (2.413mm) wire diameter and flat stock from .094” (2.387mm) thick and 1.250 (31.75mm) wide; feed lengths to 8” (203.2mm) maximum.