Over the years, the development of high-strength materials has increased, but consequently, this has led to more cutting punch failures. Trimmed, chipped, and broken sections are just a few results that stem from this issue. In order to solve this, you need to consider a number of factors:

1. The Dynamics of Metal Cutting

It is essential to understand that metal cutting is such a severe manufacturing process. Compared to other stamping operations, metal cutting depends on more force which leads to more shock that is directly absorbed by the press and the die; the metal is being completely misshapen and it’s yield strength is being exceeded. The pressure that all of these components are under and all of the shock that needs to be absorbed without getting damaged or failing is overwhelming. 

2. Looking After Your Press Needs

Inadvertently, the press can be one of the most common causes of punch failures, so you need to make sure that you are using the correct type for your manufacture. For example, for operations that require both high force and precise punch-to-die alignment, do not choose a gap-frame press: with 12 times greater deflection rates and high press vibration levels, the alignment and punching results are poor. Always make sure that whatever press is suitable for your needs is well-maintained so the number of cutting punch failures are decreased.

3. Correct Tool Steel Selection

There are many considerations you need to take on board when selecting the best tool steel: the thickness of the metal, the hardness of the metal, the cutting clearance and the punch diameter. For example, if the punch diameter is getting smaller, the amount of cutting clearance should increase according to the metal thickness. If you ignore these factors when it comes to your tool steel selection, breaking and chipping can occur due to the severe shock, and therefore results in cutting punch failures.

4. Limiting Operator Error

Common operator errors that can be solved by regular training include incorrect shut height, double metal, poor strip-starting location and over/underfeeding a progressive die. Educating the operators on all of these procedures properly can make a massive difference in protecting your machinery and products. Also, by installing and implementing a good die protection program, you can help prevent die damage.

All of these guidelines will make a significant difference to the number of cutting punch failures you will experience. Avoid downtime and frustration you get with damaged dies and broken punches by taking the time to learn this information and make better tooling decisions.