Linear Grinding Improves Special Shape Performance, Tool Life

When a challenging application calls for uniquely shaped tooling, it's important to ensure you don't lose punch strength or life due to an unusual design. 

Special shaped punches come with all sorts of challenges. First, there can be punch weakness and easy breakage from having too narrow of a tip or a really long point length. Next, there’s the uneven wear that can result from an uncommon punch shape. Then, there are the increased stripping forces and product adhesion that result from internal features and unusual punch contours. These are the typical challenges of working with unique 2D shapes.

Straight-line grinding adds strength

There are a few ways to manage the challenges of special 2D shapes:

A. Replace tooling often due to breakage and punch wear resulting from unusual punch contours.

B. Use secondary measures such as machining, milling or grinding to deal with the material adhesion that often results from unique shaped punches.

C. Ensure that your uniquely shaped punch is fortified with the best technology available to mitigate breakage, wear and galling, so it retains life and wear resistance, despite its unusual shape.

We recommend option C, and suggest the benefits of straight-line or linear grinding to enhance the performance of uncommonly shaped tooling.

Straight-line or linear grinding is a process that creates an exceptionally smooth punch surface finish. When a punch is linear ground, its grain structure lies in the direction of the stroke of the punch, so its stripping properties are optimized and material adhesion and resistance are minimized.

Linear grinding is especially useful on punches with internal features because of the increased likelihood of adhesion on such designs; however, it can be helpful in other cases as well. When the application necessitates a long or narrow punch tip, straight-line grinding abates punch weakness because it accelerates stripping and lessens the pressure on the tip. 

For applications punching softer materials like aluminum or galvanized steel, straight-line grinding decreases material adhesion; and when using premium steel or HSLA, the vertical grain structure of the linear ground punch minimizes the typical gripping force of these substrates. 

Linear grinding is not only an effective buffer to the forces impacting your punch — it also shields springs and die components from excess resistance. Thanks to the decreased friction a linear ground punch generates, all elements of your application suffer less wear.

Impax Tooling Solutions® employs straight-line grinding as an automatic process for special 2D shapes with internal features, but it is an optional add-on for other applications, too.

If you think your application might benefit from straight-line grinding or to learn more about this procedure, contact Impax Tooling Solutions®

Do It Yourself and Do It Faster

Creating Retainers In-House Speeds Flow

Many part runs require creating or reworking custom retainers specifically for the job. The traditional process is to contract the production of that retainer to a tool maker, sometimes waiting weeks for it to arrive, and receiving a retainer that works for only that job.

But machining custom retainers doesn’t have to require a specialist. In fact, with the tools you already have in your die shop and HP Accu-Lock® retainer inserts, you can machine your own retainers in a matter of hours with expert results.

By following the simple instructions and using an easy straight-line machining process to create the ball hole, you’ll be running parts in less time then it would’ve taken you to have a PO cut. Your parts will be completed on schedule, with no added cost or impact on quality.

Learn more about how HP Accu-Lock retainer inserts can help you do-it-yourself faster, or watch the video above.

Impax Celebrates 21 Years

 On Tuesday, May 16th Impax Tooling Solutions® celebrated its 21st birthday in business by hosting a stamping forum and open house in Minnesota. Customers from the Upper Midwest came to hear from industry experts and solutions oriented support personnel. The day was separated into three parts; an educational forum, a plant tour and a celebration. Guest speakers included Ed Severson from Bohler Uddeholm and Jim Glynn from Special Springs. Educational topics included:

  • A depiction of how the sheet metal industry is changing, including material applications, the latest in new tool steel development and the best methods of determining how and when to make changes to improve your operations with tool steel.
  • An overview of when a nitrogen spring is a good alternative to a die springs. The session included information around why safety is so important when it comes to nitrogen springs, easy ways to calculate stripping force needed and which spring to use for your application.
  • A depiction of the advancements in tooling technologies, such as design software, machine tool advances, coatings and lubrication.
  • A review of the changing industry and the needs of the industry based on over 100 voice of customer interviews and industry trends.  

Plant tours provided customers the ability to see the latest in machine tool technology and Wilson Tool’s in-house heat treat, Nitrex® and coatings process. 

At the conclusion of the educational forum, customers were invited to stay for a happy hour. The post forum celebration provided the opportunity for customers to discuss different needs with Wilson Tool team members, along with the occasion to network and catch up with others in the metal stamping industry.

On behalf of all of Wilson Tool, thank you customers and partners. We know the last 21 years would not have been possible without you and your desire to be the best in the industry.


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Watch our Accu-Lock® Webinar On Demand

With today's production demands, waiting for a retainer can cost you big time. Why not do it yourself? Our patented HP Accu-Lock retainer design allows you to create or modify your custom retainers in-house. In this informative webinar, you'll learn how you can use the HP Accu-Lock system to get you to production more quickly and efficiently. 

Go to our Resource Center to watch more free Wilson Tool webinars.