CNC, or Computer Numerically Controlled punch pressing, is a manufacturing process suitable for a diverse range of applications in sheet metal fabrication.
Essentially, the machine is programmed to manoeuvre the material along the x and y axes, precisely aligning the material and allowing the punching ram to create forms or holes. CNC machines come in a variety of designs, including single head, tool-rail, and multi-tool turret models; one of the models we use at Lazenby’s is the Amada HFB 5020 Hydraulic Downstroking Press Brake. This a fantastic piece of technology with a wide range of operations.
CNC punch pressing is capable of producing everything from simple circular or rectangular holes or basic forms to more complex geometries; a specific design or shape, for example. Some presses are also able to create 3-dimensional designs, commonly found in things like tap-threads or electrical knockouts.
It’s also common to use Cluster tools to reduce production time on large batches; each tool incorporates numerous individual punches, meaning they can potentially punch thousands of holes or forms in minutes, which greatly increases efficiency. It’s common to use this process on projects that feature lots of regular perforations; speaker grilles, light fittings, and ventilation panels, to name but a few.
If a project includes a large volume of identical or similar parts, an embossing tool can also be used to add identifying markers to the sheet metal during production; many customers find it useful so that they, or their clients, can quickly identify parts to assist with storage or on-site acquisition. Part, product or customer names, issue levels and industry-specific markers or logos are common applications of punch-press embossing at large volumes.