Machine shop punch press tools perform a series of intricately controlled mechanical strokes. Cuts and indentations drop down with ram-like force. Slugs drop free while a matching die accommodates the cut. Having evolved over several decades, contemporary punch press stations use process-enhancing turrets, which carry additional tools. Still, should that ever-handy equipment turret section make a goof, there’s a punch press tooling accessory that’ll take up the slack.
Press Tooling Adapters
The tall cylinders vary in diameter and profile to adapt the way a punch press addresses a section of sheet metal. Additionally, there are adapters that slot within the gripping assemblies, adapters that fine-tune the die and stripper assembly, and adapters for shimming the ramming stroke.
Shims and Spacers
Available with keyed slots, as solid spacers, as horseshoe-shaped facings, and as circular rings, the metallic inserts finitely adjust the depth of the punch stroke. Shims and spacers come in a variety of thicknesses. They assemble as stacks, which are made of rugged alloys. Typically made of carbon-reinforced steel, they deliver long-term repeatable performance.
Accessories That Improve Press Accuracy
A tough pair of performance-centric factors smash up against each other when a punch press stroke engages. There are enormous quantities of kinetic energy driving the tool. Still, that tool end, the punch and die, must connect accurately and repeatedly with the surface of a metal sheet. Keeping this action dimensionally faithful, stroke-testing alignment tools are the accessory of choice.
And All the Rest
Off somewhere in a storage closet, the rest of the accessories await attention. There’s a demagnetizer in there, which eliminates any undesirable magnetic field effects. Diamond files, slug ejector paraphernalia and T-Handle extractors, the number of supplemental tool assets accumulate. They lengthen and adapt punch strokes, facilitate the slug ejection cycle, and enhance punch action so that every repeatable indent/cut stroke stays true.
Cataloguing the Accessories
Fortunately, there are entire press tooling accessory catalogues available in print or as downloadable documents. They list quantities and describe their functions in detail. From stroke-enhancing adapters and stackable shims to turret keys and configurable slug ejectors, the ancillary parts inventory covers every imaginable punch press tooling form.
Why are punch press accessories necessary if this is a CNC managed, turret-equipped tool station? Well, this elite member of a machine shop’s armoury is loaded with conflicting features. Punch presses use mountains of ramming force, yet that kinetic energy stays perfectly under the control of its operator. To assure that high level of equipment governance, the machine operator calls upon tooling accessories, upon adapters and adjusters, shims and guide assemblies.d