Part Extraction by Profab Access
One of the jobs I undertook when I first started my employment at Profab Access was to remove parts from the punched sheets of steel after they had been manufactured by the companies Amada punch press. It was a very physical job that involved shaking the sheet of steel frantically until all the parts fell out that could be removed in that fashion and popping the more stubborn parts out with hand tools.
On a trip to a show at the Amada (UK) head office in Kidderminster, my colleague and I came across a small component that had been punched with a component inside it held together with a square tag that had been half sheared through the steel.
This seemed like a really good idea and I couldn’t help wondering if we could implement that in some way back in the factory so that we could just snap the cut parts out of the sheet after they had been punched instead of shaking them out or forcibly removing them using hand tools that could potentially damage the parts produced.
The only downfall with the sample part we saw was that the semi-sheared square left behind was fully in the cut line so when the parts were broken apart the square tag was still attached to either one of the parts or just fell away from both parts all together.
I put this idea to my manager to implement on our access panels and riser doors and we ordered a 12 x 12 square semi-sheer up form tool. As we generally use 6 mm thick slitting tools to cut around the outside of parts it made sense that if we left half of the tag out of the cut line then the tag would always be retained by the skeleton of the sheet as opposed to either falling away or remaining attached to the part being removed saving extra handling to remove the tag from the part or having to clean up hundreds of small squares from the floor every day.
After some initial trials, we implemented this method on all the parts we produce and have found major improvements not only in part quality in our Access Panels and Riser Doors but in production performance and a massive reduction of scrap from snagged sheets or wrap-ups in the turret.
As the parts are fully attached to the sheet throughout the punching program until the last hits of the sheet where we form the tag and automatically slow the speed of the machine down to 50% in the auto order style the sheet is much more rigid and the program can be run at full speed 100% of the time for 90% of each sheets program.
By James Turner, Technical Engineer