Punch Press Dies – Set Up and Working In the Manufacturing Industry

In the use of a punch press, setting up of the punch press dies is very important. Depending on the size and type of the punch press, the dies come in various sizes and shapes which in turn shape and form the metal. In order to ensure the machine is not overloaded it is important to lubricate it generously and check and ensure it is at the proper height. Choose the dies appropriate for the program that has been selected or specially made for the
job. Punch press dies must be placed in the magazine to use it for the particular job. Punch presses can use taps, drills, other forming tools and dies.

Punch Press Dies

To ensure dies are sharp, check each die using a jeweler’s loupe. The punch press uses up to 25 tons, to shape and bend metal sheets. Before inserting the dies into the magazine, check for dull areas or cracks on the face of those dies. You could either sharpen the die at your machine shop or send it out for sharpening. Insert the dies into the corresponding part with its corresponding die number designated in the program. Ensure all the dies are almost of the same height. Then, to keep the punching operations smooth, lubricate all the dies.

According to the program, set the clamps to hold the material down. Before you start to punch the material make sure that no clamps are obstructing the dies. A slight mistake at this particular step could be damaging the machine; it could damage the material, worse yet, could damage the die itself. In order to prevent a similar type of damage, reaffirm the locations of all the clamps during repositioning as well.

Make the first run a trial run by stopping the machine occasionally, so that you can inspect the progress of the program and also to check and to ensure if the dies were set up correctly. If you find that changes are necessary, you can make edits right then and there and restart the program from that point on. When the first piece is completed and it gets approved, no more stops will be needed unless a die becomes too dull to continue or perhaps breaks.

Successful working of punch press dies

The punch encounters both tensile and compressive forces during the punching process. As the punch penetrates the die make sure slug is discharged, the workpiece material may scrape the punch’s flanks. Punch and die manufacturers and when the punch reaches the bottom of the stroke, it quickly starts to retract from the workpiece. These two actions, apply significant tensile forces to the punch tip.

Successful punching is based on features designed into the tooling to minimize the effects of these inevitable forces. For example, use high-quality tool steels with metallurgical properties which are capable of resisting edge wear, chipping and cracking even under extreme circumstances.

Tolerance of metal stamping

Punching a hole competently requires a precise fit between the punch and die. Good alignment between the punch and die, angular and concentric, ensures that the punch can enter the die without touching it. Another aspect to consider is die clearance, which is the difference between dimensions of the punch and die. It is important to have uniform die clearance around the punch’s periphery. Punch press die maintains a uniform clearance when it has a small radius in the corners. Punch press die clearance increases with the thickness of the material, and so does the size of the radius. The proper radius improves both the die strength and part quality.

The function of toolholder system

The function of toolholder is to guide the punch tip to the center of the die while holding the workpiece flat. Reliability, accuracy, and repeatability differentiate various toolholding systems from each other. Toolholding systems provide the interface between the punch press die and the punch press machine. They have accurate internal and external features to provide concentric orientation, alignment, and angular alignment of the punch tip. Additionally, they provide reliable stripping at high speeds.


A guided system with its punch press dies is capable of producing higher-quality parts with greater intervals between regrinds. This is especially noticeable when punching hard materials such as stainless steel and at high press speeds. Guided tool systems are generally more robust and the resultant components last longer.

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