CNC punched aluminium fan panel
These aluminium electronic enclosure fan panels have been CNC punched using special shaped tools created to punch out the shapes in singles hits. Each triangle shape in the fan area has a single hit punch and die (although some were created by rotating the shape by 180 deg). The volumes of fan panels and the number of fan positions within each fan panel justified the customer investing in special tooling with the advantage of clean shapes in the component, more accurately produced parts, reduced cleaning up time and cheaper parts with less CNC punching time. These fan panels were then put through a grind master to produce a grain effect on both sides of the plates which removed any marks from the CNC punching process and any that were on the aluminium sheets during handling in the workshop. The final parts were then folded up into a 4 sided tray shape before being treated with Iridite NCP.
CNC punched 0.7mm zintec electrical plates
CNC punch presses are great for producing shapes in sheet metal components when the exact punch shaped tool is not available. Sometimes it’s just not be possible to create the desired shape with a single tool; perhaps because the shape is too complex and the tool would be very weak or the tonnage for a single hit would be too much for the punch press or simply there is not the volume requirement to justify the expenditure of bespoke tooling. That’s where a CNC punch really comes into its own with the ability to quickly nibble out shapes with a series of smaller tools to create the desired geometry. These zintec coated mild steel plates are used for supporting heating coils in small fan heaters and are a great example of nibbling out shapes with a series of small tools. You can see from the CNC punched nest that there were several standard rectangular tools used to create the plate end shape by the shape left in the waste material at each end. The advantage of using the Trumpf CNC punch press that we have is that the single punching head design enables each tool in turn to be turned through any angle that is required to produce the component design. This is a great advantage over turret machines with just a few auto-index stations as it allows us to do more with each tool cutting down the amount of time the machine spends on tool changes and frees up the sheet metal component designer to use more angles with features, cut-outs or outer profiles if required.
CNC punched 0.9mm zintec lighting gear trays
In the two examples above we have seen fan plates CNC punched with special tools made just to produce that job. We have also seen heating plates CNC punched with standard tools that we held on the shelf. This part, CNC punched from Zintec coated mild steel was produced using a combination of special tools and standard tools. The curved shape of the lighting control gear plate was CNC punched using a “banana” tool ground to produce the correct outer circumference needed so the gear plate could fit into a plastic molded light housing. The rest of the features were CNC punched using our standard punch and form tools. In the front towards the bottom of the image there is a small circular formed ring which is for taptite screws to screw into in production. The advantage of using this type of feature is that it allows a self-tapping screw more material to cut a thread into when the component sheet is quite this, in this case just 1.2mm thick Zintec.
I guess the main point to remember when designing sheet metal parts to be CNC punched is that there is a range of ways that components can be produced. We can help you in your design to take advantage of the huge standard tool library we have here on the shelf at V and F Sheet Metal and can advise when it might be appropriate to invest a little bit of money into bespoke tooling to help improve your parts and reduce the part costs. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and our engineering team will be happy to talk through your deigns with you.