High speed punch press machines are used for cutting holes in materials and they can be either CNC (computer numerically controlled) operated, large in size and operated with a multi-station turret or they can be manually operated and small. Depending on the type, these machines can also hold a very complex and large die set.
Learning more about high speed punch press machines
When it comes to punch press machines, they are usually large in size and have either a bridge or a C type frame. Machines that feature a portal frame look more like a complete circle. For this particular type of high speed punch press machine, the ram is centered within the frame which helps with stopping frame distortion or deflection. When it comes to the C type frame models, the ram is usually found at the top. There are many parameters that a high speed punch press machine is characterized by and some of them include:
- The type of software it uses
- Power consumption
- Safety features
- Maximum weight
- Speed load displacement
- Tool shop type and its capacity
- Force rating
- Multiple or single station
- Size of its working area
- Type of mechanism used to deliver power to the ram (hydraulic, electro mechanical or mechanical)
- Type of frame
In general, high speed punch presses are referred to not only by their table size, but also their tonnage. For instance, currently thirty-ton presses are the standard in production environments. The specific amount of tonnage required for forming and cutting the materials is already known, so sizing tooling in order to complete certain jobs is a breeze. Speaking of tonnage, depending on the job to be completed, it can even go up to two thousand and even two point five thousand tons.
CNC controlled operation
In order for a cycle to start, the drives are commanded by the CNC controller in order to move the table along both axes to a certain position. Once the table is in position, the punching sequence is initiated and the ram is pushed from top to bottom dead center through the material plane. While for modern machines, these terms do not actually exist, they are still used for the top and bottom of a stroke.
After the punch penetrates the material and pushes it through the die, therefore obtaining the desired design and shape of the material, the slug cut that’s been cut from the workpiece is removed and collected into a special container.
In general, punch presses are used for high volume production and for the purpose of measuring cycle times, milliseconds are used. When it comes to the material yield, it is measured as a percentage of parts to waste per sheet processed. In order to improve yield, CAD/CAM programs are used.
The die set used for high speed punch press machines consists of a set of dies and punches which need to be pressed together in order to make a hole in the workpiece. During the punching process, the punch is attached to the ram and the operator can change both the dies and punches as needed. As it goes down and up in a linear and vertical motion, the ram forces the punch through the material and eventually into the die.
For most machines, the main bed is known as the X axis. The machine does have a Y axis as well. Based on the machine’s size, the motors, the weight of the workpiece and the beds required for moving these axis tables are going to vary in terms of power and size. While in the past, high speed punch press machines used DC motors, the majority of the models today use AC brushless motors.
The majority of high speed punch press machines today are powered hydraulically. On the other hand, there are also machines that are powered mechanically by driven rams. The rams are powered by a flywheel which rotates constantly. Back in the 19th century, leather drive belts attached to line shafting were used for powering flywheels, but things have changed significantly in the 21st century. These days, flywheels are usually powered by electric motors.
Where cutting precise and accurate holes in a wide range of materials is concerned, there is no better way to do that than by using a high speed punch press machine. Whether manually operated or not, it always gets the job done fast and with great results.