4-Way Radius Tools Speed Processes, Maximize Sheet Range
In our continuing series of streamlining processes and maximizing sheet range, today’s topic is 4-way radius tools.
Rounded edges provide a more finished appearance to parts. They also eliminate sharp, pointed corners that could damage internal components or cause an injury during removal. To produce rounded edges, fabricators often use special tools that require an index station. While certain operations may need these, the often-overlooked 4-way radius tool can improve process time and reduce costs and machine wear.
A 4-way radius tool allows fabricators to get corner radii in parts with one hit vs. nibbling or using a special tool. Since it hits all four corners simultaneously, the tool does not require an index station. Four-way radius tools can fit in a single station or multi-tool. By designing it to match the width of a slitting tool, fabricators can also combine 4-way radius tools with parting operations further streamline manufacturing processes. The only things you can’t make with 4-way radius tools are inside corners.
In a continuous parting application, 4-way radius tools use one vertical hit between the parts to get the nest closer to the maximum range. It can also help maximize sheet range and reduce machine wear. For example, if you have a sheet of 100 parts, you can punch the corners with 108 hits with the one tool vs. 400 hits with a special tool in an index station.
Want to get even more utility? You can get a shake-and-break with rounded corners solution by designing a 4-way radius tool with micro-joint ends and combining it with a slitting punch with micro-joint ends. “Shake-and-break” uses small, interconnecting tabs between the parts created by programming the shearing or slitting punch spacing. These tabs keep the sheet and parts intact while being punched, yet are easy to separate off the machine. Any parts that don’t fall loose by shaking the sheet are quickly twisted out by hand. Better yet, pair these with a Mate EasySnap™ tool for easy parts removal from the skeleton.
For more information, download the 4-way radius Solution Bulletin.