Fabricating Small Parts in a Punch Press
There are many forming applications that are designed for fabricating small parts in a punch press, which provide numerous benefits.
First, they can reduce or eliminate the need for secondary operations such as laying out special bends or hardware locations. A Mate EasyBend™ tool, for example, uses a V-line to allow manual bending of small parts and eliminating a press brake operation. Relieved blanking dies can be designed to accommodate small forms to allow greater sheet utilization. Special shaped or contoured tools can be made for blanking out custom parts, reducing or eliminating the need for multiple tools or nibbling operations. Lance and form tools such as Mate’s SnapLock™ can create a variety of ways to secure or lock parts together to reduce or eliminate the need to use fasteners, welds or other methods.
Fabricating small parts that are too large for a blanking tool can be completed using a parts chute, if one is available. A slitting tool or custom size shape can be used for the last hit to cut the part free from the sheet, allowing the completed part to slide down a parts chute.
You can also create nests of small parts with retaining features. For example, Mate’s Square EasySnap™ tool creates tabs that hold completed parts in thin gauge sheets. When the sheet or nest is complete, you can easily remove them by hand. Variations of this application include our standard EasySnap™ tool that creates longer snap lines, or Square ShearButton that creates tabs to hold completed parts in thicker (greater than 16 gauge or 1.5mm) material.
Progressive stamping tools can be designed to create multiple features for small part production, though they are limited to available station sizes. Bends and blanking (or other features) could all be possible within the same tool. As the sheet is fed through the tool in predetermined increments, each stroke of the tool adds a feature to the part, resulting in a part that is blanked out to complete the fabrication.
To learn more about fabricating small parts in a punch press, download our Solution Bulletin on the topic. Visit Mate’s YouTube® channel and watch an animations and videos of many of these forming applications. Also be sure to check out our Customer Solutions Gallery to see the various creative solutions we’ve developed to help our customer solve their fabrication challenge.