Groups of Similar Parts
Groups of similar parts or “PART FAMILIES” make the best, most
economical use of Whistler Modular Hard Dies.
Product “families” having the same or similar features – but with varying feature locations or different outside dimensions – represent the greatest potential return for your modular tooling dollars. The more parts you have that can share the same tools, the more economical and apparent modular dies become, as your obvious solution of choice. Families of parts are usually made from the same material type and thickness; therefore, die clearances should also be the same. However, if material thickness varies within a particular family, additional die bushings should be purchased accordingly, to insure consistently acceptable burr condition.
Depending on hole pattern density, product families are ideally punched in one setup or handling – if not in a single hit, then progressively through the course of several stations. By using accepted procedures such as “hit & turn”, “hit & flip” or “hit & rotate”, overall tooling investment can be significantly minimized. In some cases where product families might be economically tooled with hard dies, consideration should be given to the possibility of often inevitable design revisions, which are very difficult and time consuming to accommodate with hard dies. Further, it is unlikely that any new product families can be easily added to an existing hard die.
While tooling budget and die flexibility are certainly factors to be considered, the best solution may be one that meets the more general, longer-term needs of your particular pressroom environment.
Before selecting a tooling system, you first need to identify which press to use for the job. This process usually requires a thorough review of the potential work to be handled by both the tooling system and the press. Important press specifications to consider, in addition to its make and model number, include bed and ram areas, tonnage capacity, shut height (stroke down, adjustment up), stroke length, the amount of adjustment, and whether the press is a mechanical type, or hydraulic, or pneumatic. This information will be used to determine the correct size and fit of a Master Die Set and whether any additional features such as stop blocks or bolster plates may be necessary. Detailed press data will also be a factor in determining the number of hits necessary to complete your stamping.
Straight side, gap frame and OBI type presses are not the only possible choices for family groups. Many users have selected hydraulic or mechanical press brakes for use with Modular dies. Most brakes can be fitted with rigid support brackets to increase their front-to-back size capacities, but to protect against potential damage to both the brake and the tooling, consideration must be given to centralizing tonnage loads on a per job basis. Support brackets are often available in different sizes from the press manufacturer and they can also be supplied by Whistler.
During the press selection process for Magna Die ® and / or Adjustable systems, you may wish to consider the idea of getting maximum flexibility and best capacity utilization, by specifying a Master Die Set for use in more than one press.
Here we review three (3) “family” applications to show how using Modular Hard Dies can maximize your tooling dollars. In these examples, each job is punched complete in a single hit.
Simple repositioning of the tool allows in-press changeover for the next subject. Cluster tools can have removable features to accommodate variations.
This manufacturer of the enclosures has maximized tool usage over various part sizes. Many of the tools are used on a wide array of part sizes.
This lighting fixture manufacturer uses a 3-station master set with over 21 sets of templates to produce most of their product lines.
For FAMILIES of PARTS, Whistler modular die systems offer these basic features/options.
Magna Die ® and XimmiX ® , as template style tooling systems, permit the easiest and fastest setup and allow their purchase to be amortized over many jobs. The result is a tooling package for a family of several parts, rather than several individual custom hard dies for several parts.
While Adjustable dies can also be used to produce families of parts, consideration should be given to greater downtime for in-press setup procedures along with the potential for some variation in repeat accuracy from run to run.
When your parts have the same features with only different length and / or width variations, Modular Hard Dies are usually your most economical solution
For example, several different parts each having the same (4) corner notches, would only require (4) modular corner notch tools. Tool sharing allows minimal investment.
Since replaceable modularity is designed into each component, a worn or dull punch or die bushing can be changed in just a few minutes without having to remove the entire die from the press – thereby minimizing down time and reducing die maintenance costs.
Modular die systems give you the option to buy only the tools you want. Whether you purchase only one of each tool feature for the entire family (we refer to this as the “minimum tooling investment”), or tools to produce the two most complicated jobs (“the second highest quantity”), choose to “completely tool” a few jobs or choose to tool the entire family – the investment choice is yours.