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CNC punching sheet metal work

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

CNC punching sheet metal work in Fareham, Hampshire, UK

Trumpf 3000 CNC punch press

CNC punching with a Trumpf 3000R punch press

Our main CNC punching machine is a Trumpf 3000R. It can CNC punch all over a sheet of metal 2.5M long by 1.25M wide without having to reposition the machine clamps giving a positioning accuracy of +/-0.1mm. With a reposition the machine can handle sheets longer making a flexible sheet metal manufacturing machine. With it’s single head design all the tools on the rail can be rotated through 360 degrees enabling any part being CNC punched to be produced at any angle helping us to make the most of each sheet of metal that we use. Being able to rotate all tooling speeds up production with less tool changes and gives a freedom to the part designer to be able to place punched features just where they want them and at any angle.

Mild steel lighting geartrays

CNC punching mild steel geartrays

Here’s a better view of the mild steel geartrays that are being CNC punched in the image above. They have a series of circular holes punched in and rectangular cut-outs. But of more interest are the dimples and taptite screw plunged forms that save our customers so much time in production assembly when screwing electrical components onto the geartrays. You can see that that there is very little waste steel on this job with the geartrays being punched with common line cutting with just 5mm between each part. We can also buy in the sheet metal to a custom length for our customers so that even a higher percentage of the material is turned into product rather than scrap material. The geartrays are powder coated white and don’t have to have any features masked, saving money, and then they can be assembled.

CNC punching aluminium disks

Our second CNC punching machine is our Trumpf 200R which is very similar to the Trumpf 3000R but a bit smaller. It can still punch 2.5M long sheets but needs a reposition after 2M to get there. This machine has been the main stay of our CNC punching for many years and still does a great job for us. Along with it’s bigger brother they offer us a flexible and production CNC punching service to offer our customers be it prototyping, small batch production or higher volumes. With a vast standard CNC punch tool library we can sort out most peoples needs without any new tooling costs. If you want to see some of our standard tooling data tables that can guide you in your sheet metal design please visit, TRUMPF STANDARD 2D TOOLING.

Trumpf 200R CNC punch press

Trumpf 200R CNC punch press

Here we have an aluminium circular disk being CNC punched out with the outer circumference punched with a banana tool. The advantage of a curved banana tool is that it has the correct radius ground into it to produce a clean curve quickly and with much less edge de-burring. Here you can see that the tool is being used with the machine’s internal chute enabling the disks to fall free from the sheet and drop into a collecting bin below. This eliminates the need to leave tags on the outer profile speeding up post operation cleaning. It also speed up the time taken to get each part out of the punched nest once all the punching is finished. We have found that every little feature that we can utilise on the Trumpf CNC punch presses leads to better parts and cheaper prices.

Take a look at the video of the Trumpf 200 in action producing these aluminium circular disks.


Fast Tube by Casper

If you have a product that you want CNC punching please give us a call and we can take a look and see if we can help to improve the design to reduce costs.


Sheet metal cnc punching

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

CNC punched ventilation grilles

CNC punched ventilation grilles

These heater ventilation grilles have been CNC punched out with specially ground punch and die tooling to speed up production and produce a shape that when bent up produces very little resistance to air flow thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the heater. The parts were CNC punched on our trusty Trumpf 200 punch press which has produced 10s thousands of these parts over the years with no problems at all. The Trumpf 200 machine is a flexible production tool that seems to be able to turn it’s hand to almost anything we through at it and just keeps going and going. With regular services the machine can still produce parts to +/- 0.1mm accuracy and clean edges.

CNC punching electronics chassis covers

CNC punching electronics chassis covers

Here we have a batch of mild steel audio equipment chassis covers that have just been CNC punched on our main CNC punch press the Trumpf 3000R. The ventilation slots have been produced by using a standard library obround punch and die tool set and we have used the presser foot feature on the Trumpf 3000 to stop the webs between the slots tripping up in the sheet. This feature is controlled by the program software to enable us to press the head onto the sheet for the hits that we want. With common line cutting between the panels using a 70 x 5 rectangle tool there is very little waste sheet and the time is also reduces to produce each part leading to competitive prices for the customer.

CNC punched ventilation pattern

CNC punched ventilation pattern

CNC punching a pattern of holes that are close together can often create a lot of stress within the sheet metal. With our Trumpf 3000 we can program the machine’s punching head to press down on the sheet with each hit helping to hold the sheet in place, reducing the amount of distortion. This product is still in the prototype stages but we are expecting to make quite a few of them over the next few months.

If you have a sheet metal project that needs CNC punching, please give us a call and we will be happy to take a look and see what we can do to give you a competitive price or review your design to save money in manufacturing.


Zintec sheet metal components

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Zintec sheet metal components

Zintec sheet metal components

Another day at V and F and these zintec base plates caught my eye and a good example of various production methods working together.

Zintec is a zinc coated mild steel sheet metal that can be used as a good pre-treated surface for components that are going to be painted or powder coated. Zintec can also be used on it’s own in some cases where sheet metal components are kept dry and require minimal corrosion protection. In this case these base plates or a piece of scientific equipment have been manufactured by laser cutting, CNC bending and then having a range of sheet metal bushes and studs inserted using our Haeger inserter and will be powder coated. All the laser cut edges are perfectly clean as they were cut using nitrogen for a burn/oxide free cut. The photo shows how smooth a radiused feature can be when laser cut without any edge de-burring needed.


Mild steel sheet metal chassis

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Mild steel laser cut chassis blanks

Mild steel laser cut chassis blanks

Here’s another nice example of laser cutting and bending technology from Trumpf working together to make for an efficient production capability at V and F sheet Metal. We have just produced a batch of 2000 1.5mm thick mild steel chassis blanks on our Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser using oxygen as the assist gas. The chassis blanks were produced so cleanly that no edge deburring was needed after laser cutting. The chassis blanks shown here have slight signs of burning from the laser cutting process but this isn’t important as the acid treatments when they are being zinc plated will clean all this off the surface producing a perfect shiny finished component. As ever with laser cutting there were no tools involved and our customer has made several changes to the design with no price impact for them. The next process is to bend the chassis blanks up into there finished form.

Bending mild steel chassis components

Bending mild steel chassis components

The bending process is relatively simple and very quick with a Trumpf 7036 CNC press brake. We have made these chassis components before so the CNC program was already stored on our system server and it was a simple matter calling it back up. The tooling needed, position of the tooling and all bend sequence information is saved for the machine setter to use and then the machine operator to follow in producing each chassis component. A 3D graphic image with each bending stage can be viewed to ensure that the component is bent up correctly ready for inspection. Once the machine is set the Trumpf 7036 is very quick in producing each bend. The sequence of bends is repeated for each component until the batch is completed. The efficient ergonomic layout of the CNC press brake enables an operator to sit at the machine close to the tooling but still safe with the use of laser guards. The machine has it’s own lighting and adjustable work table for optimal position and enabling the operator to work without strain on longer batches of sheet metal work.

Finished mild steel chassis components

Finished mild steel chassis components

The final finished sheet metal chassis are stacked within arms length and at the same height as the bending area to minimise movement and speed up the process. The consistency of laser cutting and CNC bending using Trumpf equipment nicely is demonstrated here.

You may have a sheet metal chassis that you want pricing, it might need CNC punching, laser cutting and CNC bending. We are happy to take a look for you and produce prices and suggest ways that the component can be improved for manufacturing to save you money. Please give our team a call on 01489 577786 or send us an e-mail.


Folded sheet metal work

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Folded Zintec channels

Folded Zintec channels

Here’s a great little idea to save money on sheet metal brackets. We have CNC punched out bracket profiles with all their holes but left them still tagged within the parent sheet metal in separate panels. We have then bent them up in rows of 10 at the same time saving a lot of folding time. The final banks of 10 brackets are sent like this to the customer who can keep them on the shelf and break them out by simply twisting the channels of brackets whenever they want them. The only downside to this method of production is that we cannot deburr the edges as they are still within the folded channel when they are sent out but if you are happy to work with this then it’s a simple idea to save money and well worth considering for components with a consistent cross section.

Please give us a call if you think we might be able to help you with this technique and we will be happy to take a look at your designs for you.

Folded stainless steel housings

Folded stainless steel housings

Stainless steel housings with folded sides and safe edges all around the tops. The safe edges have been produced by over bending to a 30 degree inclusion angle and then as a separate operation closed down with a flat bottomed CNC press brake tool. Once the housings had been folded up with close touching corners the corners joints were seam welded up and then cleaned off smooth before powder coating. These stainless steel housings are typical of the work we manufacture on Fareham, Hampshire, UK with batch of between 50 to 100 off.

Folded housings with multi-bend curved corners

Folded housings with multi-bend curved corners

CNC bending is great at producing straight bent sections. These can be just a slight touch of the sheet producing a 179 degree inclusive angle stiffening bend in large lids etc to stop them panting. Many parts are bent are 90 degress such as support angles, brackets, boxes and lids. Some as the example above can be safe edge profiles where the material is folded right back round on itself. There is another technique that can be carried out when bending sheet metal and that’s multi-bending. Multi-bending can be used to produce curved sections by using a series of small bends at regular intervals to simulate a curve by producing the flats as a tangent to the curve circumference. The advantage of this manufacturing method is the flexibility to use standard press brake top and bottom V tools to produce whatever radius of curve that is needed. This also allows us to modify the program if there are design changes and to deal with variations in material from batch to batch which can be a problem with fixed shape tooling. These parts have been produced on our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes which are the perfect machine for this type of work.