Sheet metal products are common across numerous industries. There are several processes and techniques that can be used to make holes or specific shapes in sheet metal, one of which is CNC punching.
CNC stands for computer numerical control. CNC punching uses a computer program that creates an extremely precise range of coordinates, which are then sent to the punching machine to carry out these instructions.CNC punching machines are connected to the computer and can punch holes/shapes as instructed.
How does it work?
The CNC punching program instructs the machine, which moves the sheet metal in both X and Y directions so that it is precisely positioned under the punching ram according to the coordinates. The tools then punch the hole/shape into the material.
Types of CNC punching machines
With a turret-style punching machine, all the tools are held in a circular turret and each tool remains in a set position. There can be more than 60 tools in these machines, enabling the quick creation of all kinds of shapes.
With a linear rail-style machine, one tool is loaded at a time into the punching head. This allows for the full rotation of each tool.
What can it be used to create?
CNC punching is used across industries to create things such as perforated parts (ventilation grilles, for example), LED panels, louvres (for air vents), bridges (for backstops/slide rails), and various other parts.
Why choose CNC punching?
The major advantages of CNC are that it is fast, very precise, and very efficient in terms of using only the amount of material that is necessary. This reduces waste and, of course, helps to keep costs lower. Although most commonly used with sheet metal, CNC punching machines can be used on a range of different materials. These include stainless steel, aluminium, brass, and even certain plastics.
If you need to achieve geometrically precise shapes, CNC punching could well be a good option.