Skip to content

Maintaining Your Pacific Press

Maintaining Your Pacific Press

Pacific Press has built our reputation on providing the metal forming industry with the most rugged, durable equipment on the market. Our equipment is known to withstand the most challenging conditions, far outlasting every other competitor in the marketplace. However, even the most rugged machines in the world require proper and consistent maintenance to ensure a long, productive life. This guide was developed with the intention of providing a general guide to helping you ensure that long life for your equipment.

Download Preventative Maintenance Guide

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance

To maintain a high level of reliability and to obtain advance warnings of possible hazards or malfunctions, a daily, weekly, and monthly program of press inspection and preventive maintenance should be established. To assist in the development of your program, please contact the Pacific service team. Pacific can custom develop maintenance and training programs for any level of sophistication.

General Notes on Creating a Maintenance Program

1. Daily maintenance checks are cheaper than unplanned downtime. A checklist should be used and records maintained of all performed maintenance and repair work. Proper record keeping allows your company to quickly diagnose and address problems.

2. It is critical to establish documented procedures for all machine operation and maintenance protocol. These procedures should be made aware to all employees working on or around the equipment. No operator or maintenance person should be given a job he or she does not full understand.

3. Only highly qualified, competent personnel should be assigned the task of inspecting and maintaining your press. They should be specifically instructed and have a thorough understanding of the controls, operation of, and maintenance procedure for your machine.

4. Invest in training machine operators on the safe and proper use of the equipment. Safe and knowledgeable operators contribute heavily to the long term success of the life of the machine.

5. Cleanliness is important! As an essential piece of proper maintenance, proper cleanliness can go a long way in extending the life of your machine. Additionally, it contributes to good workmanship, safe operating conditions, better machinery performance and helps promote a sense of pride for operators and maintenance personnel alike.

6. Understand the capacity of your machine. The rated capacity can be found on the data tag of your machine located by the electrical box. It can also be found in the basic data and characteristics of the machine manual. The improper use of the equipment can have disastrous and potentially dangerous effects. Although full tonnage is available at any point in the stroke of the “normal press” and “anti whip” speeds, it is critical to operate the machine at or below capacity. It should also be noted that maximum tonnage is possible only when the work is evenly distributed between the cylinders (for a two cylinder machine) or directly under the ram (one cylinder machine). Off center loading the work for any reason will limit the available tonnage than can be applied and will cause premature wear on mechanical and hydraulic components. The rule of thumb is to only apply 50% of the total tonnage under each cylinder. For press brakes, the machine should not exceed its tons per foot rating. To calculate this, divide the total tonnage by the distance between side frames. For example, a 100 ton machine with ten feet between side housings has a 10 tons per foot rating. Exceeding this number will cause premature wear on the clamp bars, guiding system, and tooling.

Hydraulic Oil and Filtration


Good quality, clean oil operating at the right temperature is essential to successful press operation. Pacific machinery, like all hydraulic equipment, uses oil defined by the style of pump employed on the system. Pacific systems typically use high quality vane pumps, which are excellent at maintaining steady flow. The Pacific systems operate at the highest efficiency with a minimum ISO Viscosity Grade of 46. Shell Tellus 46 or Mobil DTE 25 equivalents should be used. All oil entered into the system must be filtered through a filter cart to with an absolute mesh size of 3 microns or less.


For maximum life the operating temperature of hydraulic oil should not exceed 160 degrees. If the temperature exceeds this range for long periods of time, an oil cooler should be installed. Each Pacific press comes standard with a temperature sensor, which should be regularly checked and monitored.


Each Pacific machine is equipped with a high pressure in-line filtration system mounted conveniently on the power unit for ease of serviceability. These filters are installed on the high pressure side of the pump to protect the system from contamination. Mounted on top of the filter is a clogging indicator pressure switch. When the filtration system becomes dirty of clogged, an electrical circuit to fault relay is broken and will result in the machine stopping operating. An alarm will appear on the fault screen indicating a dirty filter. Both elements need to be replaced when the alarm indicates a fault.


The hydraulic oil should be sampled and sent to a lab twice a year to ensure proper system cleanliness. When the oil samples are taken, it is a good idea to change the filter cartridges. Pacific recommends replacing the oil for every 4000 hours of use. When the oil is replaced, it is imperative to clean out the reservoir before pumping new, filtered oil into the press.

Pacific Valves

Pacific has built its reputation on our proprietary valving system. Heavy cast valve bodies capable of allowing up to 90 gallon per minute flow and operating at 2900 psi allow for extremely long system life. Although these valves are the best on the market, it is imperative to note the factory setting on the relief valve. Tampering with and adjusting the relief valve setting will cause the system to operate a pressure higher than the system is rated for causing premature wear on all hydraulic components. Operating the system at a higher than recommended pressure will also cause premature wear on frame components.

Mechanical Checks

Visually inspect the guiding assembly weekly. Proper clearance should be .006” between the slide ways, slide bars, and guide bars. Shims are provided under the slide bars to provide the proper clearances. With correct lubrication (see next section) the parts of the assembly should show little or now wear. The pressure on the large bearing surfaces is low due to the fact that Pacific cylinders act vertically on the centerline of the ram. If adjustment is necessary, this can be completed by removal of some shims.

The frame should be inspected weekly to make sure all major component connections remain tight. Periodic tightening of the piston stud nuts and bed bolts. Weekly visual inspection of the press for stress is also recommended. The highest stress areas of the machine are in the throat areas for press brakes and c frame presses. The highest stress areas of a column or straight side press are around the bed and bolt connection points. Be sure to check for cracks in these areas. If a crack is noticed, cease production and immediately contact Pacific for steps to repair.

Lubrication System

All Pacific legacy products come standard with extra long slide surfaces for ram guiding and are provided with adjustable, high pressure, guide metering injectors. In addition the guide assembly is grooved for optimum grease distribution and retention. To achieve optimal lubrication of your machine, it is recommended to grease the slide assemblies with a high quality grease; Mobil Flex EP-1 or equivalent are typical. The slideways can be greased through manually adding grease through the fittings located on the outside of the slideway assembly. Many Pacific machines are equipped with manual or automatic lubrication systems that can help facilitate the addition of grease. Be aware of the amount of grease being applied to the systems. A light film is desirable. Excessive grease may hinder the proper operation of the slideway system and can even drip down on parts causing quality defects.

The main machine motor should be checked yearly for proper grease levels. Be sure to grease the motor bearing yearly with suitable bearing grease for best care.

Hydraulic Checks

It is imperative to make sure the self-contained power unit does not become contaminated by the introduction of outside particulates, including dust, metal shavings, welding debris, dirt, ect. Typically, a clean system indicates a properly functioning machine. A weekly inspection of the power unit should contain a visual check of the cleanliness of the tank top. If any leaks are found, address them immediately. If there are excessive leaks on the unit, also check the site gauge to ensure the machine has the proper level of oil. If the site gauge is low, add oil to the machine. Be sure to check the tank top covers and hose connections for tightness and tighten as necessary. While checking the tank top, inspect the condition of the hoses. If any hoses show signs of excessive wear, schedule maintenance time to replace them. If the system has an air cooled heat exchanger, check to make sure it is clear of debris to allow proper air flow to keep the system operating at the desired temperature.

The cylinder assemblies should also be checked on a weekly basis. A light film on the piston is desirable, but leaks could indicate a more severe issue. The piston and cylinder should be wiped down with a soft, clean cloth to remove oil. For excessive oil on the piston, tighten the packing gland bolts to the torque spec found in the hydraulic schematic. If the piston is excessively dry, loosen the packing glad bolts to allow for proper oil to lubricate the system.

Electronic Checks

Conduct a weekly visual inspection of all electrical components. During the hydraulic inspection of the tank top, check the junction box for power unit wiring for the proper wire condition and connections. Tighten all loose wires in the junction box and pilot valves.

Check the exterior of the electrical box to make sure all switches and lights are properly functioning and replace as necessary. If there is excessive dust or dirt on the box, clean the box with rags. Be especially cautious of oil or grease on electrical box components; this could indicate a more serious condition that needs to be immediately addressed. Upon opening the box, make sure the wiring is neat and orderly and the system is not producing too much heat. Check all wiring for loose connections and tighten as necessary. Any broken or worn insulation should be immediately addressed. It is also good maintenance practice to keep an inventory of parts; while many components are readily available, electronic components become obsolete faster than any other system component. Check with Pacific to make sure all parts are still in production and plan accordingly for obsolete parts.

Conduct a weekly inspection of all other electrical components: HMI, scales, footswitch control, two hand run station. If any of these components have wiring or connection issues, address them immediately.

Action Plan

Scheduled and consistent maintenance is cheaper than unplanned downtime. Developing a good maintenance program not only ensures a full life for your equipment, it also helps produce high quality parts for your company. This maintenance guide is intended to help for general machinery maintenance. For help developing a maintenance action plan and employee training for your Pacific equipment, contact our service department today. Find out how we can help keep your machine running and producing high quality parts - Call 1-618-262-2246 Option 2 for Service Department.