Punching and Other Holemaking Articles

Making holes is a critical capability for fabricators. This technology area covers ironworkers, perforating machines, piercing machines, drills, slotting machines, single-station punch presses, turret punch presses, and combination laser/punch presses.

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Laser Punch Machine

Before you buy: Considerations for turret punch press shoppers

March 10, 2009

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Making an intelligent, economically sound punch press purchasing decision requires careful consideration of many factors, including material size and thickness, material handling capabilities, part complexity and volume, and turret capacity. Take the time to accurately determine your needs. Is that great deal really a wise investment?

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Batched Punch Press Parts

Punching on demand

November 25, 2008

Until about a year ago, the staff at King Electrical Mfg. Co. manufactured parts by the thousands without much consideration of the actual demand for those parts. This doesn't happen anymore.

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Punch press nesting

Pushing nesting efficiency for the punch press

May 13, 2008

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Nesting for punching must not only consider the part geometry but also the tool boundary. Some nesting software can respect the tool boundary rather than just the part boundary. The software respects the integrity of the punched part, the skeleton, and tooling all at once.

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Turret punch image

Better tool management, better punching

April 15, 2008

McQuay international develops a strategy to prolong tool life for turret presses.

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Getting creative with punch tooling

April 15, 2008

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Keeping a lean program running takes time, effort, and teamwork. To make the most of lean—that is, to understand all of their options in eliminating waste—companies that do extensive work in punching should keep up with innovation in punching tooling. Two such innovations are tools that tap holes and tools that make tabs for sturdy locking joints.

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Image of shop tooling

Organizing your tooling

August 8, 2007

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Are you busy putting out fires? Is management by crisis preventing you from being proactive and establishing a preventive maintenance system for your tooling? Does your tooling gather more dust than uptime? Do you think you know your tooling needs, or do you collect data that shows your tooling...

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Automated punch press

Advances in automation broaden punching capabilities

July 10, 2007

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Increasingly metal fabricators are turning to automated equipment to reduce production downtime and costs, streamline manufacturing, minimize material handling, and address a shortage of skilled labor. Automating punch press operations can range from adding a simple load/unload device to implementing a midlevel material handling system or lights-out production cell to robotics and full tower and storage capabilities. Deciding whether to add automation depends largely on the application.

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Punching through complacency to win a bid

January 9, 2007

Anderson Metals, a sheet metal fabricator with clients such as Volvo, Deere, and Cat, needed some specialized tooling in a hurry to win over a new client, Eaton Electrical. Its main punch provider didn't have the tooling in its inventory, so Anderson had to shake off the complacency that had set in and find another supplier. Happily, it found one that had the tooling in stock.<

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The formula for successful punching

August 8, 2006

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While the first step in successful punching is to pay close attention to the quality and features of punching tooling, other factors come into play. Punched slugs are clues, and examining them can reveal whether the punch and die clearance is too loose or too tight and whether the machine is properly aligned.

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Euros zoned in on competing

July 11, 2006

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European metal fabricators, among them a stainless steel cabinet-maker, an electronics contract manufacturer, and a commercial refrigerator appliance manufacturer, are staying competitive in the global marketplace with automated material handling systems that feed modern punching, laser cutting, shearing, and bending devices.

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Powering up with a punch

July 11, 2006

When Generac Power Systems, a generator manufacturer, went looking for ways to increase the useful life of its punching tooling, it tried several strategies before it settled on the Optima® coating provided by Wilson Tool International® Inc. When Wilson later introduced UltimaT, a tool steel, Generac tried it also. Generac eventually converted all of its punch tooling to the new tool steel and coating.

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Organizing your chaos

January 10, 2006

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Many fabricators use fairly rudimentary methods to keep turret press punch tooling stored, but often tooling isn't really organized. A common method is to store tooling horizontally and group tooling by station (A-station tools a grouped together, B-station tools together, etc.). Storing them vertically and grouping them by size (all rounds go together, regardless of station) leads to an elegant and simple organization.

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Punch Tooling, aka ...

August 9, 2005

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New types of punch press tooling make it possible to perform many secondary fabricating operations on the turret press as well as standard punching—in some cases eliminating additional equipment and part handling, and reducing machine downtime. Not only are new part features possible on the turret press using these new tools, the reduced costs fabricators may achieve by using these tools to may make the tools a variable in DFM.

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Parting the Waters

July 12, 2005

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Hayward Pools improves punching of pool heaters using DuraBlade parting tool.

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The ABCs of CNC

May 10, 2005

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If you're considering adding an ironworker, you should know not only what type of ironworker is best for your facility and end product, but also what options will offer you the productivity level you want. For this reason, you should learn about CNC controls as you investigate the ironworkers on the market today.

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