I am about to start a project using a hydraulic press and an Ardunio micro processor. The main idea is to change an originally manual hydraulic metal press into a computerised one. Instead of using the original 2 limit switches which control the length of travel I would like to mount a linear encoder on the machine. Connected to this encoder will be an Arduino processor with a LCD readout which simply shows the position of the press according to the encoder. I would also like a key pad where I could enter a value and hit save or something similar so that each cycle the press moves to this value then returns home. The press will be controlled using 2 hydraulic solenoids which control both up and down movements.
So my question is; is this possible? And could you please provide me with links to hardware which I will need? If you know of a really good site, book or anything on basic Arduino programming that would be greatly appreciated.