Turret Alignment: Key to Uptime, Tool Life
Over the years, Mate discovered that turret alignment profoundly affects uptime and tool life. When the upper and lower turrets of a punch press are precisely aligned, the punch enters the center of the die ensuring an even die clearance for the best possible tool life and higher quality parts. You can detect the need for alignment through tool wear, part burrs, and scrap inspection. The available Solution Bulletin includes photos of the more common indicators of misaligned turrets.
New turrets are aligned by factory technicians and verified during installation. After use, turrets often require some realignment. Press uptime will be increased if accurate station alignment is maintained.
There are two types of turret alignment, concentric and angular. Concentric alignment means that the centerline the upper tool holder and the lower die holder are in line. In the illustration, the left example shows the edges of the punch (orange) and the die (black) are parallel with each other. Since the centerlines are not lined up, the tool is not in concentric alignment and must be corrected. Angular alignment means that the edge of a punch should be parallel with the edge of the die. In the center example, the centerline of the punch and die are in line, but the edges are not parallel with each other. This tool is not in angular alignment and must be corrected. The right illustration shows that the edges of the punch and die are parallel to each other. This tool is in concentric AND angular alignment.
Turret alignment tools should be used as soon as there is evidence of misalignment. They refresh the precision orientation of the upper and lower tools, allowing the punch to enter the center of the die. If possible, align the station as a periodic preventive maintenance measure to prevent poor quality parts and damage to tools. One such alignment tool is Mate’s Pilot™ Calibration System which provides a simple, accurate way to verify and, if needed, perform station alignment.