600 ton 'Fittings' Press, O/No. 63440, c.1963

Order 63440 for Yorkshire Imperial Metals Ltd., Leeds, c.1963

Gloucestershire Archives
Gloucestershire Archives
Gloucestershire Archives
Gloucestershire Archives

The ‘Fittings’ presses, as the name implies, were used in the manufacture of copper fittings, mainly tees, for domestic pipework using a hydrostatic process (also called hydroforming).

This is generally how the press worked: –

A number of straight lengths of copper tube were inserted into the lower split die. The press vertical ram was closed and acted as a hydraulic clamp on the split dies. The horizontal ram crosshead on each side of the press advanced simultaneously towards the centreline (these crossheads were linked with a rack to ensure equal movement). Each crosshead was equipped with hollow rams that entered and sealed inside the copper tubes. High pressure fluid was introduced and the pressure intensified by further ram movement thereby allowing the copper tube to deform internally and produce the ‘tee dome’, that, with further downstream work, resulted in the final product. The tooling and development at the time was all the property of Yorkshire Imperial Metals Ltd.

Fielding & Platt supplied a number of ‘Fittings’ presses during the ’60s and 70s, mainly to the UK and Europe.

Click on this hyperlink to read a bit more and view an animated simulation of the process.

Click on a photograph to enlarge an image.

Click on the hyperlink to see other Notable Orders from the 1960s

If you remember designing, machining, fitting, installing, maintaining, or working with this machine please share your memories at the bottom of the page by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Tony!  Thanks for your comments.  It goes some way to explaining why we were never able to progress more business with the ‘Fittings’ division in the ’70s!

    You may use our photos on your Facebook site, with a suitable credit to the Gloucestershire Archives.  You might also mention our website address http://www.fieldingandplatthistory.org.uk for others to browse.  John B      

    By John Bancroft (11/08/2016)
  • I worked on all the Fielding presses that were delivered to Yorkshire Fittings, Leeds.  I worked at Yorkshire Fittings from 1977-2006.  I can’t remember if we had 9 or 10 of these presses. We could not stop them leaking from all the pipe joints!  They served Yorkshire Fittings well, The last one is just been retired in Aug of this year 2016. over 50 years service, not bad really, (New electrics and hydraulics added about 20 years ago). 

    By Tony Skellington (10/08/2016)
  • Hi Tony!  Many thanks for adding a comment to this page. Good to know these presses lasted so long!  I remember working on a few back in the ’60s when I was an apprentice.  You may be able to answer these questions: - Did Yorkshire Fittings make their own tooling and what machines have now replaced the Fielding presses?  John B   

    By John Bancroft (10/08/2016)
  • Hi John! Yorkshire Fittings did make their own tooling, they had a Toolroom with around 30 men in it in the 70s, They replaced the machines with home built machines. just a single or double die, much smaller and faster cycle time, also automatic so these machines were part of a cell. 1 operator ran a bank of machines. However 2 or 3 of the presses were running on the larger type fittings, I know 67mm was done on 700 ton press.

    If you want check out Yorkshire Copper Works facebook site, its a private site but loads of pictures turning up some with Fielding presses in them. P.S. Can I use the photos off your site to put on our facebook site?

    By Tony Skellington (10/08/2016)

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