Mechanical Punch and Shear Machine: Maintenance and Use of Quality Replacement Parts

March 7, 2019

Imagine how a mechanical punch would perform if it was overlooked. Now try picturing that same uncaring attitude as applied to a shearing machine. The high-performance, high-precision equipment eventually falls into disrepair. No surprise there, then. What choice is there now? The machine shop stops and experiences an unproductive period of downtime until the punch and shearing machinery receives a service. By the way, even before the breakdown, problems were accumulating.

Plagued By Progressive Error Drift

This type of machinery has a reputation to uphold. The strokes of a hydraulic ram continuously fall, punch profiles are applied, then the shearing equipment delivers the coup de grace, a precision released cut stroke. Everything about those two equipment lines can be boiled down to a handful of descriptive labels: precision is the term that towers above all others, of course. But what happens if a machine shop’s maintenance program overlooks a punch and shear equipment inspection? Yes, the machinery will eventually fall into disrepair, that’s already been made clear, at which point an expensive overhaul takes over. In the meantime, however, worn parts are imparting poorly delivered indents. Worse still, the die and punch components no longer align, so the openings created by that tool are woefully inadequate. It’s exactly the same situation over on the shearing equipment, with high-tolerance cut margins producing ragged incisions which fall far below the shop’s high-tolerance engineering standards.

Establish a Scheduled Predictive Maintenance Program

This is the solution. This is the time-based procedural work that addresses small issues before they can become major, overhaul-causing incidents. The undetected cut and punching errors are addressed and corrected in quick order when a maintenance log is kept for a precision-tuned cutting or punching machine. That same log tracks failure trends and tool longevity issues so that high-quality replacement parts can be called in before the machinery accumulates fatigue-related fabrication errors. Generally speaking, a straightforward system checklist ensures across-the-board quality output, so a shearing machine’s blade would be checked for dings and clearly observable dents. Similarly, parts chips and tool deformations are ticked off on a punch checklist. Now, as the maintenance schedule progresses, the logged errors are recorded and flagged so that they’re quickly addressed.

That’s the most important gain we receive when establishing a scheduled predictive maintenance program; the logbooks find and correct small errors before they have time to become large-scale equipment failures. More importantly, especially in equipment types that absolutely rely on precision-configured cutting edges, the maintenance work detects fatigued and chipped/dented blades and punches quickly so that quality replacement parts can be installed before a product runs high-calibre output falls below a predetermined standard of excellence.

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