How are dies used in punch presses?

The process may seem simple enough, but punch presses are the combination of many different production elements coming together to create a professional final product.

Whatever material you’re pressing, your punch press must have the right parts in place to deliver the specific product you need. This always requires the use of the correct punch press dies.

But what is a die? And how are they used in the punch press process?

What is a punch press?

Let’s get the important part out of the way first. If you’re unaware, a punch press is a machine that’s used to “press” materials (usually sheet metals) into certain shapes or punch holes so that new products can be created from the resulting work.

Punch presses, and similar presses, are used in the manufacture of countless products in virtually every industry across the globe. Everything from household appliances to electrical components, to transportation and so many more areas need punch presses to create the parts they need to thrive.

Using a large, sturdy ram, material is pressed between two dies with extreme pressure, creating a hole or shape which can then be manipulated into creating products and parts based on the dies used.

What is a die?

Arguably the most important part of punch press machines, dies are what allow the press to craft the shapes required by the user.

There will be a “male” and “female” die, similarly to how there are “male” and “female” plugs and connectors. One of these dies is placed over the workpiece, while the other is positioned carefully beneath it. Once the ram is engaged and forces its way to the material, the dies provide resistance on either side, moulding the shapes or creating holes in the piece.

What are punch press dies made of?

Because dies and the materials they support are put under extreme pressure from the punch press ram, dies need to be made from strong enough materials to withstand the pressure while the material is formed into the correct shape around them.

That’s why resistant substances like high-tensile steel and similar metals are used to forge dies that will uphold under great pressure while lasting a long time, allowing workers to continue producing potentially thousands of products from the same dies.

Can you use different dies in punch presses?

Absolutely. Workers can replace the dies in their punch press machines as needed to create a vast array of products, all with different formations. It’s simply a case of an operator halting production, removing the original dies when it is safe to do so, and replacing them with more suitable dies for the job, before continuing.

Alternatively, in larger punch press machines, clusters of dies can be used to punch various shapes and holes into sheet materials all at once, completely automatically.

Using CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) punching, punch press machines can automatically remove and insert different pieces of sheet material into different parts of the machine to create a potentially endless stream of products all punched to the standards of the dies in place.

This works exceptionally well for companies that need to make large quantities of products quickly while saving time and manpower.

Get in touch with Cambridge Dynamics for all your punch press needs

At Cambridge Dynamics, we specialise in helping projects of all sizes and all types in their punch press efforts.

With our years of knowledge and experience, we’re ideally placed to help make your vision a reality. Speak to us today and tell us all about your project and the parts required. We’d be happy to help.

01480 459555