Answers to Your Common Edge Punching Questions

Common Edge Punching

Common Edge Punching for Turret Punches

Automatic nesting with common edge punching is a fairly recent development on the market.  You may already be familiar with automatic common edge cutting for lasers.  This is a similar concept; however, it is applied to CNC punch nesting.

What is Common Edge Punching?

Common edge punching is the punching of two adjacent parts with one tool hit within a nest.  The idea is to save machine time by eliminating the second tool hit and to reduce material scrap by eliminating the skeleton otherwise between the two adjacent parts.

How Does Common Edge Punching Work?

The process of common edge punching is fairly involved.  In sum, here are the steps.

  •  Identify parts that share sufficient entity (part edge) length and arc to warrant common edge punching.
  • Align the parts adjacent in the nest.
  • Eliminate the tool hits that are redundant between the two adjacent parts.
  • Leave enough material or space between hits to create tabs to maintain sheet integrity.
  • Tool the part(s) for punching.
  • Program the tool path to make the remaining hits.

As you might imagine doing this manually can be quite time consuming and error prone. Most programmers or engineers find it cost-prohibitive to venture into manual common edge punching.  The time and risk involved is simply not worth the material saved.

Unless you’re doing common edge punching automatically.

How is Automatic Common Edge Punching Different?

Automatic common edge punching accomplishes all of the above tasks based on the preferences of the user – automatically and without user intervention.  For example, the user may choose to common edge punch a particular part with itself or “same part,” with other parts whose common edge is included (shorter than) the part or parts that share the same length entity.  The automatic common edge punching then selects the appropriate tool, tools the parts, eliminates redundant hits, and creates the tool path.  Everything is completed in a matter of seconds.

The secret to success is in the software logic.  It can and does “thinks” through the nesting problem just as a human would.  In a matter of seconds it has the optimal nest with common edge punching based on the rules for cutting the programmer has put in place.

The rules would include which parts are eligible for common edge punching and when and where tabbing would be applied.

What are the Benefits of Common Edge Punching?

There are two main benefits to automatic common edge punching.

  1. The first, and maybe the most obvious, is material savings.  When common edge punching, the skeleton typically left between adjacent parts is removed.  That extra material is then available for more parts netting a higher material efficiency.  As a result there is usually significantly less scrap.  We’ve seen manufacturers save several percentage points in material utilization with just common edge punching applied.
  2. The second is machine time.  With fewer hits and a shorter tool path, the nest can be cut more quickly.  This would improve cycle time and throughput for the machine.

What Does it Take to Do Automatic Common Edge Punching?

The tools that need to be in place for effective automatic common edge punching are CNC turrets, a CAD software package, and an automatic nesting software capable of managing the turret, tool path, and common edge cutting properties intelligently.  After the pieces are in place and the rules set, the process can flow uninterrupted with little if any intervention.

How about you?

What are your experiences with common edge punching?  Have you tried it manually or with software?  Join the conversation.

About Optimation’s Common Edge Punching

If you’d like to know more about this automation tool, contact us.  We’d be happy to discuss it further with you.

Notice: This work is licensed under a BY-NC-SA. Permalink: Answers to Your Common Edge Punching Questions

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