Steel plate punching refers to a process that employs a punch press to force a tool (punch) through a steel plate to create a hole. The punch will commonly pass through the workpiece into a die, causing a scrap slug to be deposited into the die. This method is often the most cost effective way of creating holes within steel plates for average to high production volumes. Blanking is the process of using specifically shaped punches to create multiple usable parts from sheet metal. The main advantages and characteristics of steel plate punching include:
• Cost effective process;
• Ability to create various shaped holes;
• Punches are usually created from standard tool steel;
• Process is extremely quick.
The majority of punch presses are operated mechanically but there are still some left that are hand-powered; particularly simple, domestic type punches. CNC punches are also available, housing the punches in a revolving indexed turret.