General Information

Operating Principles of an Anyang Self-Contained Power Hammer

The operating principles of a self-contained power hammer are very simple. There are basically six components to the power hammer:

The frame is cast iron. There are several reasons why cast frames have been used for power hammers. Cast frames are more expensive and typically are much heavier. With a cast frame, you can put the strength and mass exactly where you need it. It will not warp or deflect like some steel plate fabricated hammers can do over time. If you look at the old Massey, Nazel, Chambersburg, and Beche hammers, they were all cast iron. You can find many of these hammers still in operation.

The motor drives a flywheel with V belts that are external to the hammer. The flywheel is attached to a crankshaft that is set on large tapered roller bearings in a crankcase that is filled with grease. At the opposite end of the flywheel, there is a “throw” that has a connecting rod attached.

The connecting rod is attached to a compressor piston. When the piston is going up, it creates air pressure that when the valves are opened, forces air into the top of the ram section of the hammer driving the ram down. When the piston is on the down stroke, it creates air pressure that when the valves are opened, moves air into the bottom section of the ram, driving the ram up. The compressor piston has two compression rings and steel wipers on the lower section of the compressor to help keep air from leaking.

There are two valves, an upper and lower that operate together. When the valves are opened by more pressure on the foot peddle, it allows for increased air to move from the compressor to the ram side of the hammer. The wider the valves are opened, the more air is allowed to move to the ram side, creating more forging force/pressure. The valves are precision machined steel with no rubber parts to deteriorate over time.

The ram is literally “floating on air” inside the hammer. The forging force of the hammer is created by a combination of the ram weight, the amount of air pressure that is flowing from the compressor through the valves, and the velocity of the ram. The ram does have two sealing rings on the top and a “stiffing box” with steel “wipers” to help keep the air from leaking.

The last component is the lubrication system. It consists of an oil reservoir, a flow control metering valve, and a one-way check valve. When the compressor piston is on the down stroke, it creates a vacuum that “sucks” oil from the reservoir into the hammer. When the compressor piston is on its upstroke, the one-way check valve closes to keep oil from flowing back into the reservoir. This is a very simple yet reliable system that works. Oil is not only a lubricant to the hammer; it is also a part of the sealing system. With proper lubrication, Anyang Power Hammers will run for many decades. If you would every need to rebuild an Anyang Power Hammer, it can be done in a day. Please check out the Video Library to see video’s showing more about the operating principles.

When forging, never “cold forge”. Always make sure the metal is hot. Never hit the dies together without red hot steel between them.

Operate the foot peddle like the accelerator of a car. Ease into the throttle, don’t stomp on it. Get the ram moving and then add more pressure as desired.

Power Hammer Maintenance

The Anyang Power Hammer is designed to give you many decades of maintenance free forging. But there are several maintenance items that are important.

There are two grease zerks for the crankcase and connecting rod. These grease points should be greased at least once a month. Pump enough grease where you see grease coming out from the bearings or where the shaft exits the crankcase.

Using the proper type of oil is important to hammer life and performance. We recommend using 10 to 30 weight (depending on the temperature of your shop). If your oil is not flowing adequately then use a lighter oil. It is also important to use non-detergent oil. Oil is a consumable (it is not recycled) and operating temperatures are low (compared to car engines) so it is not important to purchase expensive oil.

The most critical component of hammer performance and life is the amount of oil you use. Oil is not only a lubricant, it is a “sealer”. On all the new hammers, we have eliminated the front oiler to the ram. The rear compressor piston is always circulating when the hammer is running, and it always needs an oil supply. The front ram will be fed oil from the rear compressor through the air valves. It is recommended that when you first start the hammer, turn the oil valve all the way up and get the oil flowing. When you start forging, you can then adjust the oil down. We recommend trying to dial the oiler to one drip every 3 to 6 seconds. With proper oiling, the ram will be ‘moist” with a film of oil. Too little oil long term will shorten the life of the hammer… just like a car engine.

Once a year, check the plastic oil lines for stiffness, discoloration, or cracking. Replace them if necessary. The plastic lines can be purchased at a local building supply store fairly cheap.

After a few hours of forging, tap on the die keys to make sure they are tight.

Once every two months, check bolts for tightness. After the first 6 months of usage, check the connecting rod nuts for tightness.

Depending on your usage, but every two or three months drain the oil at the bottom of the hammer using the petcock on the side of the hammer.

Basic Forging Safety Tips

Forging can be dangerous. Before anybody operates forging machinery, make sure they are fully trained and have the proper safety attire.

  1. Properly maintain the hammer or press. Make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. Make sure you have proper lubrication.
  2. On a press, if you have leaks, fix them. Hydraulic oil is flammable.
  3. Make sure that any operator has proper training prior to using the machine.
  4. Wear proper eye protection.
  5. Use ear protection.
  6. Wear safety shoes and proper clothing.
  7. Verify the dies are tight before forging.
  8. Always have a clear path between the forge and the hammer and in the work-space round the hammer. Eliminate tripping hazards.
  9. Use the proper size tongs for holding hot steel.
  10. Never allow bystanders to be close to the hammer when operating the hammer. Make sure they also have proper safety equipment as hot sparks can fly.
  11. Keep hands clear of the moving parts.
  12. Make sure the hammer is properly secured to the foundation.
  13. Keep belt guard and other safety guards attached to the hammer or press.
  14. Know where the shut off switches or valves are.
  15. Never “cold forge” or hit the dies together without steel at forging temperature between them.
  16. Try to hold the work piece parallel with the die surface. If the work piece is at an angle, it can “kick up” and hurt you.
  17. Hold the tongs to your side, not pointing into your stomach when forging.
  18. Make sure your shop is properly ventilated.
  19. Before you work on the power hammer or press, unplug it from the electrical socket to avoid inadvertent starting of the machine.
  20. Above all else, use common sense. Forging can be dangerous.

Shipping Your Power Hammer or Hydraulic Press

Please download the packing sizes and weights of the machines.

Machines can be collected from our premises in Germiston, or we can arrange delivery, country wide, with our logistics company at an additional cost. You will need the correct equipment available to offload the machines from the truck. The machines are on channel iron pallets and are in angle iron / plywood crates. A forklift will be required on site to extract the machines from the truck / trailer.

What Size Hammer?

Many customers focus on ram weight… “I am looking for a 25 or 45kg hammer”. Forging power is measured in Joules and is calculated by the ram weight times velocity squared. With a self-contained power hammer, the ram velocity is increased by the air pressure forcing it onto the work piece. In other power hammer designs, the ram uses gravity to “drop” the ram onto the work piece.
It is the velocity squared that gives the self-contained power hammer it’s exceptional forging power. Below is a video of a 40kg power hammer forging a 115mm H13 steel bar into an axe drift. The customer commented that it took him twice as long to do the same forging with a 70kg utility hammer.

Our advice to anybody purchasing a Power Hammer is to try to find a way to forge behind it before you buy it. We realise that this isn’t always possible, but our dealer partner in the USA has a YouTube Channel packed with “capability” video’s, where he tries to show potential customers the real capability of each size hammer. Ram weight is important. Velocity squared is equally or more important.

Here are the factors that we believe are important in choosing the right size hammer:

Is productivity important? If you are a production shop and are working 25 to 50mm stock, a 15kg Power Hammer will do the job. However a 25kg or 40kg or larger hammer will do it faster. If you are a hobby shop and your work will not exceed 25 to 50mm, then a 15kg will do the job. If you ever think that you will work larger stock or get into higher volume work, then lean towards the larger power hammers. Larger hammers will also save you fuel. LG Gas and Coal can get expensive. Larger hammers will allow you to do more forging with fewer heats. If you ask most Anyang owners for their advice, the common answer they give is “go larger, you will grow into a larger hammer” or “If you buy a 15kg hammer, you will have a 15kg hammer. If you purchase a 40kg hammer, you will have the capabilities of a 40kg, a 25kg, and a 15kg hammer”.

How important is your budget? You do get more forging power per Rand as you increase the hammer size. For example, going from a 15kg to a 25kg hammer you get about 60% more forging power for about 30% increase in cost. Going from a 25kg to a 40kg you get another 60 % increase in power for a 25% increase in cost. If you are a for profit business, do a return on investment calculation. Consider the purchase price, depreciation, added productivity savings as well as new business that a new hammer might give you and make it a financial decision. In most production shops, the income from one job will more than pay for the next larger size hammer.

The other factor to consider is that Anyang Power Hammers hold their value very well. It is rare to find a used Anyang Power Hammer and when they do come available, they tend to sell very fast and many times, for close to new retail. Due to their robust design and extremely long life, they hold their value very well.

Foundations

This section is taken directly and unedited from the website of our USA dealer partner, and their personal experiences with foundations.

Answering questions about “do I need a special foundation” is difficult and there are many considerations like thickness and quality of your current foundation, the soil under the foundation, and the size of the hammer.

I can share my own personal experiences and those of many Anyang users:

95% of my customers that own an 88lb or smaller hammer use their existing foundation with no modification. I recommend filling the base with sand and placing a ¾” piece of plywood between the concrete and the hammer base and then anchor the hammer to the concrete. This works just fine on most healthy 4” to 6” foundations. I’ve had my 88lb on my 6” pad since 2004 with no signs of a foundation issue. Worst case, if you find that you are getting more vibration that you want, it is easy to remove the hammer and install an isolated foundation.

For the larger hammers, 120 lb. and up, I highly recommend pouring a separate foundation. I’ve had a few customers that were renting a shop and ended up simply bolting the 165 lb. to the foundation. It did work and no damage to the floor has been reported but it’s not good practice.

For a disclaimer, I am not a structural or foundation engineer. If you are concerned about your specific soil conditions or application, I would suggest consulting a professional engineer. I will describe what I did for my foundations and what worked for me. If you decide to install a separate foundation, it is not that difficult and can be done for $400 to $700. I have built two isolated foundations in my shop, for the 165 lb. and the 242 lb. hammer. I rented a concrete saw to cut out the new foundation perimeter and then a jack hammer to remove the concrete. Then I dug a hole 4’ deep (concrete is cheap), built a rebar cage that I could set in the hole. I also used 1” Styrofoam insulation to isolate the old foundation from the new concrete pour. I also welded threaded rod to the rebar to anchor the hammer and poured the concrete. After the concrete set, I chipped out about 1″ of the Styrofoam and used a rubberized caulk in the seam between the old foundation and the new one. It was a several day job but there is absolutely zero vibration (that I can detect) in the old foundation. There are also many articles on the internet for further research.

Electrical

All of the power hammers except for the 110kg hammer are pre-wired with a switch, extension cord and plug. All you have to do is provide an appropriate service for the plug.

The 15kg, 25kg, and 40kg hammers come standard with a WEG 220V single phase motor. You can find the electrical specifications on the Power Hammers page for each hammer size.

The 55kg, 75kg and 110kg hammers now come standard with a WEG 10 HP 3 phase motor.
Both the WEG single phase motors and the factory supplied 3 phase motors have been extremely reliable and failures have been almost zero.