For what do you need the punching products?

2017.06.19

Usually all are interested what is the application for this or this technology. Let us talk about punching… Very small explanation – punching is a process of metal fabrication with the use of punch which goes with the necessary force inside the part to perform the cutting. As you can understand punch has the geometry of hole so the hole will be the same as the punch. The force to perform the punching called punching force or necessary punching force if you want to calculate what tonnage you need for your task.

We speak about sheet metal punching as the main process but there are more similar processes: tube or profile punching, structural parts punching etc. Punching is performed for sheet metal with the use of punching press which could be general just as the unit to perform the hit of punch and low positioning of die, stamping press which is usually the part of forming process or coordinate punching press – press with the table where the part of sheet metal will be positioned where it is necessary to make the punching.

Punching press is the most used technology for sheet metal together with laser for metal cutting. The differences are that the punching press needs punching tool for the work and laser – not. Punching tool at least has two main positions – punch as the tool to perform the hit and the die on the low position to support the material at the working area. Punching is the cheapest technology to make the holes at sheet metal.

What is it for? It is clear that in general there no final products after punching at all. But the punching is the main operation to get the unfolded part for future bending. And after the bending it will be the product for lots of different applications: electric or other equipment metal cabinets, metal furniture units, metal boxes, safes, arms boxes, metal shelfs, panels for elevators, architecture and design, metal doors, bar and restaurant kitchen furniture, ovens, medical furniture etc. The other part is perforation – process with the making of lot of same holes in the sheet. The use of them could be the architecture panels or panels to perform the normal ventilation, for example top panels of the subway or railroad wagons.

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Combination sheet metal punching machines

2017.06.15

Thirty years ago all leader manufacturers for sheet metal machinery sold laser and punch combination machines. The advantages of such machinery are incredible high – you have a standard punch with fast speed and standard punching tools but some travels or cuts could be made my laser. In this case you are free with any part solutions – you do not need to punch the edge as the straight line but can do any wave or other figure cuts without any problems. Do not have the right tool to punch? You do not need to order it if the time is limited – run the laser. This more interesting machine for jobshop production with different orders – you can’t know what tools you should need for the tomorrow order but you can do it.

From other hand the maintenance of combination laser-punch machines was also high. You have tools, you have hydraulic for the punch, you have laser and all beam transfer system together with necessity for all gases. Moreover the price for this types of the machines was really expensive so it will be necessary to calculate very well the price for the laser freedom possibilities.

Next thing is punching and shear cutting combination machine. Operators usually understand what is the duration of life for slitting punching tool, their costs and how long it could be in high production. So to speed the time punching and shearing machines are used to perform the side cuts not with the punch but with the blade. This technology gives the boost of speed but for sure costs of such machines are very high for investments. Market for this kind of the machines is very low because these machines are perfect if the production is with thousands of equal pieces every day. But for mass products like refrigerator panels, washing machine sides, electrical cabinets etc. the solution is perfect.

New generation machines came together with the start of fiber laser integration. Together with modern, powerful and high-speed servo electric punching technology the installation of fiber laser is much easier because of the simple way from the source and the maintenance for this kind of the machines much more simple. So the new combinations of punch and laser system are really powerful units with low consumption, green technologies and the same effective use for different style of applications.

 

Punching tool systems – Multitool

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Everybody who looks for the first CNC punching machine to proceed with sheet metal has the question has the question what punching tool system he should use.

We will not speak about all the details because this is the role of the punching machine manufacturer. Anyway it is important to know some simple things – the main point for tool system of the punching machine is the specification of your production. Let’s explain. The simplest punching machine with CNC has one and only one station where you can put Multitool head. This is the most economy solution but with serious limits for production – for example you will have 8 tools with 24 mm max. diameter of tooling. One tool for sure will go for cutting operation (moreover this tool will be much smaller with length compare with bigger machines i.e. – more hits for cutting) so you will have 7 tools so 7 possibilities for different holes for the production part. This article will not about the limitation with speeds and production possibilities so we will ignore some moments. But for Multitool it is important to know that you will do standard parts but not the forming operation like punching of louvers. There are different Multitool heads on the market but there is everywhere the limits for tooling – more max. diameter for the tool – less tools quantity in Multitool head.

Multitool in general is installed in the D-Station head (max. diameter 88,9 mm) so it means the punch machine we spoke about has one D-Station tool possibility. For sure for standard and modern Multitool heads all the tools inside are indexed – it means they could be rotated.

The next generation and more expensive solution is the turret for example with 6 D-station which means, that you can use, let’s say, 3 Multitools inside + 3 tools for D-station. This solution has much more possibilities – you have much more tools in Multitool heads for small diameters, you can do normal cutting with big length tool (for example 80×5) and you can think what to install to other D-Stations.

Today Multitool heads are presented from several manufacturers, but you need to be warned that one Multitool head can cost more than 5-6 thousand of EUR. Anyway Multitool offers great flexibility with indexed tools, there are different solutions on the market and it is very easy to find your Multitool punching tools supplier.