Punching 6 April 2021

Coil-fed Punching versus Sheet-fed Punching machine and Press

We’re accompanied by Andrea Dallan in this new video as we take a look at the different systems for punching flat sheets and the relative quantities of products, manufactured in the space of a year, which determine whether to use a press and a die, rather than a sheet- or coil-fed punching machine.

Let’s start with the Productivity and Flexibility chart.

At one end, there’s the term “Productivity”, which indicates the quantity of pieces that need to be produced in a year (tens, hundreds, millions, etc.).

If you produce millions of pieces, your production system of choice is probably a press and a pitch die and you obviously already use coils.

It’s an excellent production model, without doubt. Efficient and perfect for producing huge quantities, although it does have one big problem: dies are very expensive and every modification takes a long, long time and involves very high costs.

The “time to market” is very long (months, even years!). It means that a lot of time goes by from the moment you want to produce a piece to the moment it can actually be put on the market!

Furthermore, as you already know full well, there’s no straightforward way to manufacture prototypes or pre-series easily and the set-up times when changing production are very long, mainly due to the physiological time required to change dies.

In short, it’s not exactly “lean” production.

However, you have the undeniable advantage of high productivity and, thanks to your use of coils, you undoubtedly already optimize the use of material.

However, at the opposite end of the chart there’s the term “Flexibility” and, therefore, sheet-fed punching machines.

Given their high levels of flexibility, there’s no doubt that they are the most appropriate solution when you need to produce up to a maximum of one hundred pieces per year. Some even go as far as producing thousands of pieces, but only because they’re yet to discover that alternatives exist and that they’re actually quite excellent.

However, sheet-fed production leads to two major problems.

The first is undoubtedly the waste of raw material: having to inevitably use standard sheets, waste often exceeds 20% of the total surface area of the sheet!

The second is low productivity: don’t be fooled by the speed of the thick turret punching machine!

The real problem with sheet-fed punching machines is always having to stop after processing a sheet in order load another. This “slowdown” is in addition to the time required for tool changes on almost all sheet-fed punching machines!

It therefore makes no sense to count the number of punches per minute, since it’s far more meaningful to count the finished pieces produced during an eight-hour shift.

Then there’s the middle ground, where the batches of material to be produced range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of pieces per year, so which system should you choose?

In this area, where an increasing number of companies find themselves, there are some excellent solutions available.

1000, 10 thousand, 100 thousand pieces per year (up to 500 thousand) are the quantities of companies that, like many of our customers, have their own products, or work as OEMs.

Manufacturers of lighting, electrical panels, ventilation systems and machines, household appliances, metal furniture, doors, facade panels and suspended ceilings, etc. The companies that operate in this area of ​​production are endless!

For this type of production, coil-fed punching (with the possible addition of the laser module) undoubtedly offers the best solution.

Compared to sheet-fed punching machines, in this case we work using coils.

By doing so, we maximize the use of material, especially when we mount a coil with the exact width of the product (believe me, this is possible in many cases).

Just by doing that, there’s a 20% saving on raw materials that immediately turns into positive cash flow for your company.

In addition, it’s much faster in almost all cases: coil-fed punching machines don’t require the time needed to load and unload a sheet or the time necessary to replace a tool, as they are always available.

Production times for paneling (I’m referring to finished pieces), for example, can range from 6 to 24 seconds in most cases.

Finished pieces, not punches per minute!

Compared to a press with pitch dies, in this case we operate using standard tools and a thick turret.

By doing so, should we wish to change the position of a hole, we can do so simply by modifying its position in the program (yes, exactly like on a sheet-fed punching machine).

Furthermore, standard punching tools are affordable and are delivered in a matter of days by companies such as Pass, Wilson, Tool, Mate, Matrix and many others around the world.

The “time to market” here is a matter of hours, not months or years.

From the moment a product is conceived to its actual production, there’s just enough time to program the machine and mount the coil on the line.

This system is scalable and offers the opportunity to achieve production numbers of over 500 thousand pieces per year using in-line presses.

Furthermore, to improve the flexibility and productivity of your Dallan coil-fed punching machines even more, you can always add the independent laser processing module.

Don’t waste a moment, contact our engineers and check whether your production “qualifies” to switch to coil-fed punching.

It’s a great opportunity to improve productivity, efficiency and flexibility and, above all, to get ahead of the competition thanks to well-established, proven technology such as Dalcos EXN servo-electric coil-fed punching machines.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Andrea Dallan avatar
Andrea Dallan
CEO – Dallan Spa

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