Achieving higher productivity and profitability in the process is not rocket science. As a punch and die manufacturer, you just need to do some simple things on a consistent basis to leverage the benefits.
To ensure continuous progress towards optimum results, you must start analyzing your punching tools and evaluate the operation extensively. Once you start doing the right things in the right manner, success is inevitable.
Proper Tooling Design
The progressive tooling design consists of 4 important components – the punch, stripper, die, and the tool holder system. The tooling supplier starts the success of punching operation with the inbuilt features of these components.
Punch: The punch experiences both compressive and tensile forces during the punching process. The punch tip uses the pressure to the workpiece and as a result, the workpiece material starts scraping the punch’s flanks.
A good punch and die manufacturer uses high-quality tool steels with metallurgical properties that are designed to resist any wear on cutting edges. Also, a small back taper is recommended to reduce the pressure on the punch flank.
Stripper: Stripper has two important tasks to accomplish. During the punching process, it holds the workpiece material in the right place against the die when it punches or pulls back from it. It also holds the punch tip tight when the punch tip punches the hole in the workpiece.
Die: Effective punching can be achieved from the right fit between the punch and die. Concentric and angular die alignment with a good punch ensures that the punch can enter the die without scraping the sides of it.
Tool holder: The main function of a tool holder system is to guide the punch tip to the die’s center while holding the workpiece tight against it. Some of the vital features of a tool holder system are reliability, accuracy, and repeatability.
Optimum Die Clearance
For a punching process to be successful a punch and die manufacturer should consider optimizing the die clearance. A large clearance will result in producing parts with large burrs and poor part quality, whereas a tight clearance will result in poor edge quality. It also incurs damage to the tool while leading to frequent replacement of tool components.
Understanding the punching process enables a manufacturer to achieve the optimal die clearance without much difficulty. The type and thickness of the workpiece material determine the die clearance.
The optimal amount of die clearance in the progressive tooling ensures that the shear cracks join. Achieving optimal die clearance not only improves the tool life, but it also enhances the quality of the part while reducing cost per hit.
Simple Tool Maintenance
Proper maintenance of tooling is needed to ensure maximum longevity. This includes lubrication of parts as per the recommendations, sharpening using the grinding equipment designed for the job, and consistent maintenance of the punch press to maintain alignment.
The punch and die manufacturer needs to design the tooling that will mitigate punching forces and ensure longer intervals between sharpenings. Usage of high-quality tool steels, a back taper, and near-polished punch flanks can help to maximize the intervals between regrinds while increasing machine uptime and improving the quality of parts produced.
Also, the manufacturer needs to ensure that the tools are easy to disassemble, adjust and grind as this will encourage the operators to perform regular maintenance without any glitch.
Performing the above steps in the right way will help to ensure assured success for every punch and die manufacturer. Analyzing the tooling and examining the process not only help the manufacturer to achieve productivity and efficiency but also helps them to maintain success.