For simplicity metal pressings can be split into different categories, defined by the operation and process, either single stroke operation or full progression or a combination of the two along with ganged or staged tools.
Blanking is the action of pushing a shaped component out from a strip or coil of metal. This product can be a finished element or be ready for subsequent follow on operations and can be produced in metal thickness up to double digit, subject to shape and size. Blanking is normally produced by a dedicated blanking tool in conjunction with a power feeder for high volume production parts. Although for smaller volumes, manual strip movement and press operation can be utilised.
Heavily associated with blanking is the piercing operation, where the component has for example a hole punched and then the shape is pushed out, again this can be as a finished product such as a washer or ready for other operations such as forming or bending the blanked item to shape. As with blanking, pierce and blank (P&B) is ideally suited to progression tooling i.e. the part goes through stages within the tool, first stage pierces the hole, parts moves on, and in the next stage is blanked out from the strip and usually ejected from the tool.
Pierce and blank
Pierce and blank tools can incorporate many different operations or stages, well into double figures and the more complex the part, usually the more stages are required and the larger the tool and more tonnage required increases.
Full progression tooling
Full progression tooling i.e where material is fed into the tool and the tool then produces stages of operation, is ideally suited for including shapes or drawings into the pierce and blank production. This type of manufacture is designed to remove as many subsequent operations as possible, making the manufacture as cost effective as possible.
Whilst due to potential cost savings strip or coil is often used for manufacture of components, there are occasions where cut blanks of material or even previously blanked out parts are more often used and we currently manufacture parts requiring significant drawing or shaping of the product. On these occasions we utilise staged or ganged manufacturing, where the first operation produces a shape, the part is then moved onto the next section of the tool (with a fresh item being placed in position1) and so on until all operations are completed and the required shape and piercings are achieved.
There may be occasions where for technical or specification reasons i.e product flatness, a blanked out product would not be appropriate, in this instance we have the option of offering a laser cut product, either as finished item or for further secondary operations, i.e piercing or partial forming.