What is CNC punching?
CNC (computer numerically controlled) punching is a process in which a form or hole is created in sheet metal by using a tool and die to indent or sheer through it. This is done by the application of high force to a hardened steel or tungsten tool that can be forced through the sheet metal rapidly and repeatedly. Different shapes and sizes of indents or holes can be created, and this is often the most cost-effective and efficient way of perforating the sheet metal.
What machinery is used for punching sheet metal?
A turret punching system is most often used for punching sheet metals. Turret punches are frequently powered hydraulically, and pre-determined CNC programs are used to control them. Because these machines are so fast and are extremely reliable, once they have been programmed they can repeat the same process at the same level of accuracy and quality. There are various different Euromac punching machines available that can be combined or used as standalone systems.
How does the sheet metal punching process work?
Firstly, programmers will liaise with the design team to create the program that will then be run on the machine. According to The Fabricator, CNC programming is now involved in various manufacturing processes, including punching, robotics, milling, laser and welding.
Sheet metal is loaded on to the punch bed and clamped in position. The automated tool changer selects the correct tool and the punching process begins. Waste metal from the hole that has been punched is collected in a waste compartment positioned below the punch bed. When the sheet has been punched, it is removed automatically and the waste material collected.
What is CNC punching used for?
CNC punching can be used for many different applications. Companies such as http://www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac/punching-machines/ can supply Euromac machines for creating perforated shapes, extrusions and countersinks. Electrical enclosures are a common use of punch operations because they need different perforations and a range of inserts before they are folded to make boxes. The grips for commercial vehicle steps are another common application for CNC punching.
Which materials are suitable for punching?
Coated steel, mild steel, stainless steel, alloys and aluminium can all be punched.
Are there limits to CNC punching?
The process is best for metals under 3mm, and punch machines generally produce more waste than lasers.