How does computer numerical control improve an industrial punch press machine?

Industrial punch presses are essential tools in the manufacture of countless parts to be used in an endless number of businesses and industries worldwide. Everything from the production of household electrical items to large, military-grade vehicles is created through the use of industrial punch press machines and stamp press machines.

Computer numerical control (often abbreviated to CNC) has proven to be another huge leap forward in this method of manufacture. But what is CNC and how can a CNC punching press improve on old ways of working?

What is computer numerical control?

CNC is the method of using a piece of computer software to control a machine. While it has many uses, in this case, CNC is used to command and control industrial punch presses, effectively removing a large human element from the process.

Punch presses work by applying pressure through a hydraulic cylinder and electric motors to a workpiece – often sheet metal – that is placed on a metal die. Pressure forces the press to “punch” a hole or shape into the workpiece, so it can then be used for its intended purpose. A braking system can also be employed to create specific bends in the material, rather than punching holes or shapes.

What are the advantages of using computer numerical control in an industrial punching machine?


In a time when the majority of mechanical punch presses were loaded and operated exclusively by human workers, the potential for human error was always present.

Because of this, many pieces produced by industrial punching machines weren’t always consistent, leading to these pieces being discarded while costing the company in question time and money.

However, with CNC, the press is commanded to perform exactly the same function time after time, for consistent pieces of the same dimensions every time.


Back when punch presses and forming presses were first introduced, there was no option but to load and press each workpiece individually by hand.

But today, thanks to automation processes – combined with CNC – manufacturing companies can plough their way through hundreds if not thousands of pieces at a rapid pace, knowing the result will be the same consistently.

This also relieves the human element from much of the work, saving businesses money from having to pay more members of staff every month. With CNC, the pieces can all be loaded into the press and pressed automatically, with human intervention only needed in minimal capacity compared to the past.


Because much of the work done by human workers has been removed from the punching process in recent decades – when compared to decades of old – accidents and injuries relating to presses have dropped drastically.

Not only is this better for workers on the ground, with the risk of injury cut drastically, but it also saves companies time, effort and potentially money needing to deal with injured staff and claims.

Plus, thanks to advancements like CNC, presses can automatically and autonomously be shut down in the event a blockage or accident is detected.

Choose Cambridge Dynamics for all your punch press and stamp press needs

If you feel as though your business could benefit from the addition of CNC technology in your press processes, or if you already utilise CNC and need a helping hand to maximise the benefits, speak to the Cambridge Dynamics team.

With years of combined experience in the punch press space, we’re ideally placed to help you and your business make the most of your presses and CNC technology, so you can reap all the benefits.

01480 459555