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New CNC press brake tooling speeds up production times

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Safan CNC press brake tooling

Safan CNC press brake tooling up to 3M long

With the installation of a new CNC press brake, the Safan e-Brake, we had to make a decision on which tooling system to go for. We wanted the tooling to be able to be used on both the new Safan press brake and our 2 existing Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes. The Trumpf tooling system was available on the new Safan so it was the best tooling to go for. This decision has immediately given us more tooling options across all 3 machines and the ability to swap work around when production pressures might need it without any impact on the component design or blank cut size. You can see the back stop design enables us to fold difficult shapes where a flat back stop end would not be suitable.

Safe edge bend tooling

Safe edge bend tooling

Having 3M worth of safe edge (dutch fold) tooling enables us to produce bend and crushed features in 2 simple operations all built into one simple to set tooling system. The sheet metal component is simple bent into a V form on the top part of the tooling and then the V is flatten right down onto the sheet surface in the open section of tooling below in 2 bend cycles.

Automatic top tool clamping

Automatic top tool clamping

The new Safan e-Brake has the ability to automatically clamp the top V tooling in place. This certainly reduces setting up times when moving from job to job. Being able to just press a button and have all 3M worth of top tooling clamped in position and when adjusting tooling is a nice feature for the machine setter and all adds to the ability to produce sheet metal components quicker enabling us to keep part prices down.

Segmented tooling for complex shapes

Segmented tooling for complex shapes

Being able to set up a vast range of tooling lengths is vital if we want to fold up trays, boxes, chassis components etc that have many bends. Having a range of bottom and top V tooling in segmented parts is perfect in allowing us to be very flexible when quoting new work and setting programs in production.


A brand new CNC press brake for V and F Sheet Metal

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Edwards Pearson CNC press brake

End of an era in CNC bending

We have had our Edwards Pearson PR6 from new and it’s time for it to go. I wouldn’t like to try and work out how may bends its completed but it’s easily into the 10 of millions. With over 20 thousand CNC programs it’s been a really good machine and earned its keep every day of the week. But all good things come to an end and at nearly 20 years old it was time for an update. It was surprising how quickly the press brake was disconnected and made ready to be lifted onto the lorry and off to it’s new owner. The space was free for just minutes before it’s replacement was heading into the factory, just enough time to sweep up and catch our breath.

Safan e-brake CNC bending

Perfect position for bending sheet metal on a sunny day

The brand new Safan e-Brake 3M 100 ton CNC press brake was driven direct to our factory from the manufactures in the Netherlands and then lifted onto our factory yard ready to be maneuvered through the factory door. Perfect day for this kind of operation shame we couldn’t keep it here and work outside everyday but it is England. It looks a really smart machine and we can’t wait to get in inside and get started with bending up our sheet metal work but first we have to position it and connect it up.

Don't drop it!

Don't drop it!

Always a nervous time when your new baby is being lifted and swung around to get it ready for positioning onto the factory floor. I’m never sure whether to look and make sure all is ok or stay in the office until it’s all done. Usually my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to see what’s happening and take some photos for the archive.

I'm sure I measured the door height correctly!

I'm sure I measured the door height correctly!

No matter how many times you check something and know that you are right it’s always good to see a new machine fit through the door and be moved into the factory without any issues. These guys are doing this everyday of the week with kit like this and bigger and make it look so easy but I’m still impressed how quickly they can have tons of machinery positioned to the inch and bolted down before you know it.

Safan e-brake in position

Safan e-brake in position at last

At last after viewing several machine styles and numerous meetings all the planning has worked out and the new machine fits exactly where we need it. Once the electricity and the data connection to our network is completed we can start our training and then start to see the new CNC press brake earn its keep.

I certainly expect the Safan e-Brake to be as productive as the Edwards Pearson was except with improved accuracy, easier programming software and the ability to cope with a greater range of work being 3M long and having 100 tons force at its control.


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.