Thursday, October 30th, 2014
I often marvel at the complexity that can be produced in sheet metal components with the simplest of CNC punch press tooling. These 0.7mm thick aluminium lighting gear trays have been produced with some custom made tooling to pierce complex shapes in a single hit. They have also been CNC programmed with a combination of rectangular slots, rounds and squares. The overall effect is a complex sheet metal component that can be produced again and again. The advantage of CNC punching is the inclusion of taptite screw plunged forms and small bent tabs along the length of the gear tray without the need for any post punching operations.
Here’s a great example of the repeatability and accuracy that can be achieved using the latest CNC sheet metal manufacturing equipment. Some of these parts were produced on our Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser with other parts and some were punched out on our Trumpf 3000 CNC punch press. Both parts were then folded together on one of our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes. They were all brought together and tack welded just the same producing a welded fabrication. Our ability to swap sheet metal parts from the laser to the CNC punches and back again when production loadings require it give us a great advantage in flexibility for our customers. This machine flexibility is also supported by the ease of using Radan software to program sheet metal parts across both types of machine allowing us to tool for either production method instantly.
These small zinc plated mild steel brackets demonstrate the advantages of purchasing custom CNC tooling. The large window shape in the middle of the bracket has been CNC punched with one hit using a custom CNC punch press tool. This enabled us to produce the bracket nice and quickly when there were batches of 1000 to 2000 at a time keeping the part cost down and removing lots of nibble marks.
If you have a sheet metal project and you not sure whether it might be beneficial to invest in some custom CNC punch press tooling just give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with quotes with and without tooling costs to see where the cost break points will be.