What is a Fourslide Machine?
A fourslide, also known as a multislide, multi-slide or four-way, is a metal-working machine used in the high-volume manufacturing of small stamped components from coil strip or wire. They can be simply described as a horizontal stamping press that uses cams to control tools. The machine is used for progressive or transfer-stamping operations.
The fourslide is much different from other presses. The key of the machine is its moving slides that have tools attached, which strike the material to form it. These slides are driven by four shafts that outline the machine. The shafts are connected by gears so that one shaft is driven by a motor and then that shaft’s motion drives the other three shafts. Each shaft then has cams that drive the slides. This shafting arrangement allows the material to be worked on four sides, which makes this machine extremely versatile. A hole near the center of the machine is provided to expel the completed part.
The advantage of the fourslide machine is its ability to complete all of the operations required to form the material from start to finish. This flexibility reduces the cost of the finished part because it requires fewer machines, set-ups and handling. As compared to standard stamping presses, the tooling is usually inexpensive, due to the simplicity of the tools. A fourslide can usually produce 20,000 to 70,000 finished parts per 16-hour shift, depending on the number of operations per part; this speed usually results in a lower cost per part. Stainless steel parts such as clips, wireforms and hardware parts are produced using the fourslide process.