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Home » Resources » Technical Notes » CNC Metal Punching

About CNC Metal Punching

CNC Punching Cover

What is CNC metal punching?

CNC punching is a modern sheet metal fabrication process that is carried out by computer-controlled punch press machines.

Punch presses use special rams to create holes or indent forms into sheet metal using dedicated computer software to position the ram.

The speed and efficiency demonstrated by CNC punching machines when manufacturing components with simple dimples, embossments or complex 3D perforated shapes is unrivalled.

Coupled with the ability to create cleanly edged shapes on a wide range and thickness of materials, CNC punch presses are central to the modern sheet metal fabrication industry.

Design details are fed into the punching machine directly from CAD/CAM design software which calculates the most efficient layout to maximise sheet utilisation and select the correct tooling to create the desired components.

The ability to position the metal sheet under the punching head with high precision accuracy affords great flexibility and the efficient processing of sheet metal.

Cluster tool systems can be used to reduce the set-up and tool changing time, improving the cost efficiency of the whole metal punching process.

Metal punching process

As with all sheet metal fabrication processes within KMF, CNC punching starts with our expert programming and design teams who work with clients to plan product manufacture in detail.

Our design engineers recommend the appropriate processes, machinery and materials as well as suggesting improvements in manufacture or design to enhance product performance and reduce costs.

Meanwhile, our NPI engineers ensure detailed communication throughout production to ensure that cost, quality and completion dates are met while minimising risk and waste.

A product route card informs team members of the fabrication processes to be undertaken and after identifying the correct material, operators load the sheet metal into the punching machine and set the programme.

The loadmaster automatically loads sheet metal on to the punch bed and selects the correct punching tool. Positioned securely below the punch head, the machine punches out perforated shapes, dimples or embossments.

All CNC metal punched products are tested by KMF's in-process quality inspection teams where laser QC systems measure parts to tolerances within 0.05mm and guarantee repeatable accuracy.

Metal punch capacity

The company has a comprehensive range of metal punch presses and combination laser cutting/ punching machines.

KMF's punching department operates three Trumpf TruPunch 5000 Machines (medium and large format) and two Trumpf Punch-Laser combination Machines (Trumatic 6000 and Trumatic 7000), which can punch and laser cut sheet metal in a single operation.

Computer-assisted part nesting enables maximum material utilisation while automated loading and tool changing help ensure a fast and efficient CNC punching service.

The maximum working range for KMF's CNC Punching machines is 3000mm x 1500mm.

Metal punched products

The variation of hole-punches can be as simple as a circle or rectangle to highly complex shapes determined by bespoke product designs.

Intricate sheet metal component shapes can be produced by using a combination of single hits and overlapping geometries,

For example, our machines can punch 3D forms such as dimples, louvres, taps and countersinks and therefore product application of this process is vast.

Common applications at KMF will include high volume sheet metal enclosures, including electrical enclosures, telecommunication cabinets and power distribution units.

Find out more about our product experience within a diverse group of industry sectors.

Materials for CNC punching

As precision sheet metal fabricators, KMF can punch a range of materials including mild steel, zintec, galvanised steel, stainless steel, aluminium and copper.

Our CNC punch presses can operate on various sheet metal materials to different thicknesses depending on the force needed to cut that particular sheet material.

However, our experience instructs us that optimal results are achieved with 3mm thicknesses and below.

For a specific sheet metal part, please contact our engineering team and we will investigate whether it can be CNC punched or whether it would be better suited to our CNC laser cutting machines.

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