When Circa Metals, and other innovative fabricators, find ways to use specialty tooling along with new punching equipment, they’re more able to perform secondary operations within the turret press rather than at an adjacent press brake, tapping machine or other supplemental machine. Doing so, explains Schagen, can result in substantial productivity improvements, along with reduced raw-material handling for unmanned production.
This automated production scheme is maximized at Circa Metals using Mate’s VariBend tooling in its punch presses, where viable, to bend tabs at any angle to 90 deg. and eliminate part moves to a press brake. Likewise, the company uses the EasyTap toolset to produce threaded holes and eliminate secondary drilling and tapping operations. The Multi Tool consolidates smaller tools into a single tool to save space in the turret and allow Circa Metal to load a wider variety of tools in the turret. And, the QCT quick-change tooling saves front-end setup time on new projects.
“Circa Metals really understands the importance of using the correct tooling to get the most out of its turret presses,” says Visser. “While tooling can account for a quarter of the price of a new machine, when properly managed its contribution to profitability can be many times that. The four tools cited here not only increase profitability for the jobs they’re used on, but also decrease the amount of variable spending by Circa Metals. So, the gain comes from two areas:―increased project profitability and decreased variable costs.”
Results Add Up Quickly
Schagen reports the following results with the new tooling operating in the firm’s turret presses:
“On average, we tap 5000 holes/month on various projects,” he says. “There’s no lost time moving the parts to another machine for tapping operations when using the EasyTap tool. Using the quick-change toolless punch-retention mechanism, we’ve reduced setup time by 20 to 50 percent. And, because the tooling is made from M4PM tool steel, we’re enjoying as much as 100-percent better tool-wear resistance and toughness compared to conventional tool steels.”
Regarding the Multi Tool, Schagen reports that the firm loads some 50 Multi Tools in the two turret presses, with two Multi Tool stations in each machine. “This enables us to add more tools in the turret for V-line letter stencils, countersinks and other forming tasks,” he says. “These additional tools in the turret mean more machine indexability and more green-light production time.”
Finally, Schagen comments on the savings realized from using the EasyBend bend-line tooling. Its upper tool has a V-line stencil engraved onto the face of the tool, and the lower tool is a blank die. “As the upper tool penetrates the sheet metal,” he says, “it creates a crisp bend line and makes the material suitable for subsequent bending by hand.”
As pleased as Circa Metals is with its new tooling, having Visser available to help contributes to the ability to drive additional productivity improvements, according to Schagen.
“He helps us design the right tool combinations to get the most out of our recently acquired turret presses,” Schagen says. “He really helps us understand the true value of the tooling, the quality of the fabricated parts and how the tooling contributes to the bottom line. That’s really important to us.” MF
Article provided by Mate Precision Tooling; www.mate.com.
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Technologies: CNC Punching