Laser cutting and CNC punching working together to produce the correct part
Laser cut sheet metal nest
Here’s a components that started off being CNC punched out on one of our Trumpf CNC punch presses. All the holes, outer profile and CSK formed holes were CNC punched in with the only problem being the amount of deburring and cleaning up we had to do before the parts were suitable for powder coating.
Once we had installed a brand new Trumpf 3030 fibre laser cutter we were keen to try it on existing CNC punching jobs and this one seemed an obvious candidate. Laser cutting through 3mm mild steel was no problem for the laser and the edge finish produced using nitrogen assist gas was much better than the one we had achieved with the CNC punch presses. The only problem was that we didn’t want to have to drill in the CSK holes so we had to find a way of getting the CSK forms back onto the CNC punch presses but still maintaining the perfect edge quality from the laser cutter.
If you click on the image of the laser cut sheet you can see the chassis panels with a large circular cut out and within these circles smaller components have been cut out for the same job. Some have fallen through the laser bed slats and will travel along a conveyor belt under the machine and be collected in a parts bin. Some have stayed on top of the bed slats and can easily be collected by hand at the end of the cutting cycle.
CNC punched CSK forms
To produce CSK forms in a sheet metal chassis that had already been laser cut we had to produce a jig that could accurately position the chassis panel in the CNC punch press clamps. The jig has to be able to freely move under the CNC punch head while supporting the component. Once this was done it was easy to program in the positions for the CSK to be formed and the job was done.
In conclusion I think it’s clear today that a manufacturing company needs not only to offer a wide range of production processes but the ability to integrate them correctly to produce the best parts to fulfill their customers expectations of quality, price and delivery.