Mechanical Die Lifters/Rollers

Mechanical/Portable Die Lifters/Rollers


When to Use:

Stationary Spring Loaded Die Lifter Rails.  Providing multi-directional movement, these rails are used for medium to lightweight dies when die density is low.  They are also used when the need for mechanical only or unique layouts drive the decision process.  Springs automatically lift die when clamping is removed from the die.

Stationary Spring Loaded Ball Cartridges.  Installing an array of single ball cartridges also provides multi-directional die movement without operator involvement.  Cartridges can be placed anywhere in the bolster to avoid taking up slots needed for clamps.  Cartridges work great in
Non-Slotted Bolster applications.

Portable Die Lifters.  Hand operated lifters work well with common slots among presses, providing maximum ROI by allowing a single set of lifters to serve die changes on an entire group of presses.

How they work:

Spring loaded ball cartridges and spring loaded die lifter rails are permanently installed in the bolster.  During clamping, the clamp force compresses the springs and forces the balls below the surface.  When clamps are released, the spring forces lift the balls and the die with them.  The die is now ready for removal/repositioning.

Portable die lifters provide a large mechanical advantage by multiplying hand/handle motion to lift the die.  The large lever action easily lifts the die for either (1) die lifting only – insert in slot and lift the die allowing the die to be rolled onto a cart, etc. or (2) die lifting and movement onto a bolster extension, allowing die pickup with forks.

Mechanical (Stationary) Spring Loaded Die Lifter Rails

How to Determine Available Die Lifter Rail Options

1. List out die sizes and weights.  Calculate die load per foot, per pair of lift rails.  (W=width in feet)
Die 1 Weight ________ ÷ W = ________ lbs./ft./pair
Die 2 Weight ________ ÷ W = ________ lbs./ft./pair
Die 3 Weight ________ ÷ W = ________ lbs./ft./pair

Determine heaviest die per foot. Heaviest die density lb./ft./pair = __________________

2. Measure T-Slot or Rectangular channel throat.
If A = .800 to 1.000, use Narrow Rails
If A = 1.000 to 1.25, use Wide Rails
If A = <.800 or >1.25, contact PFA

3. For the heaviest die, check the number of available slots under the die:  Number of available slots = _______________

4. Take the die density from Part 1 and find the closest larger lbs./ft./pair in the chart to the right.  Then move across the chart to find the minimum number of slots, keeping in mind the Narrow or Wide from Part 2 and the number of available slots from Part 3.  If your application does not support the number of slots needed, see page 11 (Hydraulic Die Lifters/Rollers) or call PFA for assistance.

5. Record the rail model number and number of needed rail slots from the chart: Model ___________________    No. of Slots _________

6. For the selected model, confirm that the number of rails always supports the dies as follows:  [W ft] x [Chart lbs./ft./pair] x [No. of Rails] / 2 = [Lift Capacity] > [Weight lbs.]

Die 1 ______ x ______ x ______ ÷ 2 = ______  >  ______
Die 2 ______ x ______ x ______ ÷ 2 = ______  >  ______

Ensure lift capacity is greater than die weight.

8. Use the Model Number and Bolster Length (V) to determine the slot length to fill.  Lifters should start at the loading side of the bolster and end near the other side for maximum versatility.

9. Use slot dimensions to determine rail part numbers.  Use of multiple 7”, 10” or 12” rail sections versus one long rail is recommended to take advantage of stock parts and flexible installations.

Quick Die Change QDC Spring Loaded Die Lifter Rail - ball roller specification
Quick Die Change QDC Spring Loaded Die Lifter Ball roller Rail
Bolster Dimensions QDC Quick Die Change for How to Size a die lifter rail
Quick Die Change QDC T-Slot Diagram PFA How to size a lifter and die rail in T slot
Die Density
Narrow SlotWide Slot
(1,800 lbs./ft./pr.)
(2,000 lbs./ft./pr.)
1,8002 Rail Slots2 Rail Slots
2,0003 Rail Slots2 Rail Slots
2,7003 Rail Slots3 Rail Slots
3,0004 Rail Slots3 Rail Slots
3,6004 Rail Slots4 Rail Slots
4,0005 Rail Slots4 Rail Slots


357N Max
Load Capacity
(each section)
357W Max
Load Capacity
(each section)
Ball Rollers
(each section)
7600 lbs.690 lbs.6
10800 lbs.920 lbs.8
12900 lbs.1035 lbs.9

Other sizes available. Please contact PFA for details.

Spring Loaded Ball Cartridges

Quick Die Change QDC Spring Loaded Ball roller Die Lifter Installation diagram
Part No.Allowable Load
lbs. per Cartridge
Ball DiameterabHole A
+.005   -000
Hole B
+.005   -000
Hole C
+.005   -000
MR-305-1245 lbs.¾1⅛.750”1.130”1.110”
MR-305-1345 lbs.13/161⅛.813”1.130”1.110”
MR-305-1570 lbs.15/3215/161⅛.937”1.130”1.110”
MR-305-1670 lbs.15/3211⅛1.000”1.130”1.110”
MR-305-19115 lbs.1-3/161⅜1.187”1.375”1.355”
MR-305-21115 lbs.1-5/161⅜1.312”1.375”1.355”
MR-305-25150 lbs.1-9/161.562”1.770”1.750”
MR-305-26200 lbs.1⅝1.625”1.770”1.750”

1 – Use hole information for mode exact dimensions and proper bolster modifications.

2 – Please note difference in hole depth.  Drill point allows cartridge to sit deeper due to chamfer on bottom of cartridge housing.

Damaged cartridges can readily be extracted and replaced.  Thread a 4-40 UNC screw into the thread hole and pull cartridge out.

Model 305 allows movement of dies in any direction.  A push of about 2-4% of die weight is usually required to move a die.

Install a pattern of Model 305 on a press bolster.  Keep die weight and footprint in mind to ensure that a die can be adequately supported.  When a die is clamped, the die lifter cartridges under the die will compress.

Quick Die Change QDC Spring Loaded Die Lifter - Image of sizes

Hand Operated and Portable, Mechanical Die Lifters and Lifter Systems

Model 710.  The popular and portable Mechanical Die Lifter Rail is typically installed in a slot in the bolster with rollers up.  The lifters are mechanically actuated by hand to the lifted position prior to die insertion and then released to lower the die.  (Note: The amount of force required to elevate the die varies with handle position and is in the range of 1.5% to 2.5% of die weight.  2,000 lb. die = 30-50 lbs.) To allow portable lifters to be taken from press to press, slots are shimmed to a common slot depth among presses.  Model 710 lifters are used with standard Bolster Extensions.

The lifter is inserted, handle up, under the die.  When the handle is moved to the horizontal position the die lifter expands .085” to lift the die approximately .060” above the bolster surface.  Available in .80” Narrow (N) 3/4” slot and 1.03” Wide (W) 1” slot versions, these portable units can be used in multiple presses, greatly reducing QDC equipment costs.

Model 706.  A mechanically actuated die lifter which is used, rollers down, to move dies from “slotted” Bolster Extensions or a die transfer table onto the bolster and vice-versa. With rollers down, this acts to add wheels to the die.  (See page 30 for the combined Model 706 lifter and Bolster Extension options).

Model No.Standard LengthsMax  Load Capacity per pair
710N (3/4” slot)24”/30”/36”/42”/48”8,000 lbs.
710W (1” slot)
706N (3/4” slot)24”/30”/36”/42”/48”8,000 lbs.
706W (1” slot)
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Portable part number specifications
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Inline Roller Rail Portable 706 an 710
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Portable model 710 in slots
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Portable - slot requirements
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Portable model 710 rollers up
Quick Die Change QDC Mechanical Die Lifter Portable model 706 rollers down

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