In a modern era when time is of the essence, maintaining efficiency is worth its weight in gold. This is where CNC punching could come in handy.
So, what’s a CNC punch press?
CNC punching is the industry standard acronym for “Computer Numerically Controlled Punching.” In simple terms, this is a piece of machinery used to stamp shapes into sheet metal.
These pieces of tech use software to generate patterns which are then printed into the metal. It’s a fantastic way to get impeccable results every time.
So, how does this extraordinary hardware help speed up the prototyping process? Read on to find out.
How Does a CNC Punch Press Work?
The range of a CNC punch machine is extensive because it can be programmed to create any required pattern.
So, in the same way, a 3D printer uses coordinated points to create an unlimited variety of designs; a CNC punching press can create anything from a basic circle design to a much more intricate pattern as per the CAD file.
The materials used in a CNC punching press are also extensive. Copper, plastic, wood, whatever may suit your needs.
What Are the Benefits of a CNC punch press?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of CNC punching let’s look at some of the benefits. Most notably these are:
- Energy efficiency
A considerable benefit of this kind of mass production is the speed. With a faster stroke speed, a CNC punching press can achieve results in a shorter space of time.
The time efficiency is only helped because it uses essential tools to make various shapes. The transition between these tools is seamless due to the computer-aided design.
The fact that the CNC punch process works at high speed means that the cost of using it is less than other manufacturing methods. Of course, it goes without saying that this is a significant benefit when creating on a large scale.
The very nature of computer-aided design lends itself to flexibility. The CNC punching press can make it as long as you can design it. This opens the manufacturing industry up to an almost unending series of options.
The efficiency of this piece of kit in other areas means fewer machines are needed to achieve the same goal.
Also, they aren’t required to function for as long because of their speed. For the environmentally minded, this stands as a massive bonus to its already substantial list of benefits.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Obviously, no process comes without pitfalls, and CNC punching is no different. However, most of these disadvantages are easily managed.
That said, there are some notable drawbacks of the CNC punching press.
The noise level of these machines is very high, as you might imagine. This can sometimes be considered unsafe in terms of a working environment.
To combat this, manufacturing technicians and engineers should adhere to workplace health and safety regulations such as ear defenders and PPE.
Compared to manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting, CNC Punching creates more waste due to the punched-out pieces of metal.
This is an unavoidable side effect. However, depending on the material being used, there is always the option to recycle the leftover scraps. This would maintain an eco-friendly standard.
The maximum thickness of sheets that can be cut in this way is ¼ of an inch. This gives what would be an unlimited process some small parameters.
However, this is not a huge issue when considering the variety of options still on the table.
How Does a CNC Punch Press Speed up the Prototyping Process?
For those who don’t know, a prototype is a mock-up of a finished product. Prototyping is an essential part of the manufacturing process.
Not only does it help to establish the dimensions and practical ramifications of the design, but it also goes a long way to securing contracts with buyers.
The physical presence of a prototype shows interested parties exactly what they are investing in, the product’s look, feel, and experience.
Not to mention an opportunity to ask more directed questions or raise issues with the design.
CNC punching can also speed up the shipping process of manufacturing products. Because the press uses flat sheets of metal means, products can either be shipped as a fully assembled piece or as a flat pack.
This allows some flexibility with the manufacturing time and the rate at which the product is shipped and sold.
In addition, it enables companies seeking a contract to have this freedom when they’re selling the final product to their customers.
Having efficient and cost-effective prototype production can be hugely important to any company that makes money from physical products.
The faster a high-quality prototype can be made, the sooner it can be used as an example of the final product.
Needless to say, this accelerates sales and has the potential to help you generate a higher revenue stream. It goes without saying, this is a healthy goal for any company, whether large or small!
So, What Do I Do Next?
In summary, a CNC punch press is a hugely beneficial resource when making metal prototypes. It’s a fast, cheap, and environmentally friendly method of manufacturing.
It also has the benefit of being completely flexible. Its CAD system means that anything can be done and achieved in the most efficient way possible.
So, if you’re interested in finding out more about CNC punching and how it can benefit your prototyping manufacturing, feel free to contact us.