Choosing the right sheet metal manufacturing technology is always an important issue when processing an order for custom sheet metal part. The most effective way of producing a part must be found knowing the advantages and disadvantages of sheet metal forming technologies.
The benefits of laser cutting are burr-free edges, 0,1-0,3 mm cutting gap and 0,03 mm repetition accuracy. Its productivity is really reflected when cutting large holes, long, straigt or curved complex contoures. Minimal waste is generated, there is no tool abrasion, although the cutting head must go along the contour of the desired surface in all cases. Furthermore, because of the amount of gas (oxygen, nitrogen, helium, argon) used it can be costly and forming operations cannot be carried out with laser cutting.
Amongst the advantages of punching are speed and economical processing. However, its drawback is that cutting complex contours (nibbling) can be achieved only at the expense of high tooling costs.
The combined processing, i.e. the combination of laser cutting and punching comes into view, when the aim is to produce more complex sheet metal components with need of simulatneous punching (round, square, oval,etc.), forming (thread, pressed plunge, threaded nozzle, screw head sinking, bracing, folding, lancing, pressing, marking, etc.), keeping in mind the rapid, cost-effective and precise work. The lifetime of tools generally used for punching and cutting is up to 400 000 strokes. The workpiece ejector equipped with brushes ensures the gentle processing.
The combination of the two technologies by all means a technically flawless and economical solution.
Our technical developments for the time being target the exploitation of combining the punching and laser cutting, resulting in significant progress in processing complexity.
The combined machines allow to choose the process that will produce the most satisfactory results and minimize the cost of the part.