9 Essential Steps to Sheet Metal Blanking Process

Are you confident that your sheet metal blanking products deliver consistent precision that will elevate your business? The blanking process is essential for achieving accurate cuts and maximizing efficiency in metal fabrication.

With years of experience in metal fabrication, I understand the challenges and goals of business owners seeking streamlined production without compromising quality.

Sheet metal blanking is a foundational fabrication technique that enables precise cutting and optimized material usage. An efficient blanking process directly contributes to product quality and cost-effectiveness.

In this guide, we’ll discover a detailed breakdown of the 9 steps involved in sheet metal blanking. Delving into preparation, cutting methods, and more to guarantee your business gets the best results.

Read to analyze this blanking process now!

Step#1 Design and Template Creation

To begin the blanking process, businesses must carefully design and create templates for each part. Here are the essential steps for developing an effective design and template:

  • Determine Dimensions: The team establishes the precise measurements of the part needed based on specifications or client requirements. This information will inform the overall design and secure accurate blanking.
  • Develop CAD Model: Creating a CAD model of the part must be performed to visualize the final product and identify any potential design issues. With the CAD market expected to reach $17.22 Bn as per Maximize Market Research, no wonder why it is used in this industry.
  • Create Tooling Template: Once satisfied with the design, a tooling template is produced to guide the die and punch setup. This template provides a practical framework that maintains consistency during production.
  • Verify Template Accuracy: Finally, the template is verified against specifications to confirm its accuracy. Here’s the bottom line, testing the template ensures that the blanking operation will produce precise results.

Step#2 Material Preparation

Following the design and template creation, the team shifts focus to preparing the material for blanking. Here are the critical steps for this stage:

  • Select Material Type: The team chooses the appropriate metal based on the part’s requirements and client specifications. This certifies that the selected material will align with the intended product’s characteristics.
  • Inspect Raw Stock: Inspect the raw sheet metal stock to verify its quality and check for surface imperfections. This step helps avoid potential defects that could compromise the blanking process.
  • Cut Initial Sheets: The raw material is pre-cut into manageable sheets or coils to streamline handling during blanking. Amazing, isn’t it? This approach makes feeding into the die more efficient.
  • Clean Surface Area: Finally, make sure that the sheet surface is clean and free of contaminants that could affect quality. This step is crucial to achieving precise blanking results.

Step#3 Die and Punch Setup

Once the material is ready, the next step is setting up the die and punch for the blanking operation. Here’s how the team approaches this stage:

  • Inspect the Die: The team carefully inspects the die to certify it is free from any damage and ready for consistent blanking. Proper inspection prevents errors that could lead to defective parts or tool wear.
  • Align Die and Punch: They align the punch with the die cavity for accurate cuts during blanking. It all boils down to this. The precision in this alignment must directly impact the quality and repeatability of the operation.
  • Secure in Press: The team securely mounts the die and punch in the press to maintain stability throughout production. This setup minimizes vibrations and allows accurate cuts at high speeds.
  • Perform Test Blanks: Lastly, conducting the test blanks to verify that the setup is producing clean, accurate cuts. For example, the team may cut several test pieces to assess edge smoothness and dimensional accuracy.

Step#4 Setting the Clearance

With the die and punch setup complete, the next critical step involves setting the clearance between them. Here’s how the team handles this process:

  • Determine Optimal Clearance: The team calculates the ideal clearance based on the material type and thickness. This allows the cutting forces to be appropriately distributed, resulting in a precise cut.
  • Adjust Die-Punch Gap: Adjusting the gap between the die and punch to reflect the calculated clearance. Proper adjustment is crucial to minimize burrs and maintain part quality.
  • Test Initial Blanks: The team punches a few initial blanks to verify that the clearance is correct. This testing identifies any issues and allows them to refine the gap if needed.
  • Monitor Wear Over Time: As production progresses, they monitor the tool wear to maintain the proper clearance. That’s when I realized that periodic checks allow consistent quality throughout the production run.

 

Step#5 Positioning the Sheet Metal

After setting the clearance, it’s essential to position the sheet metal accurately for the blanking operation. Here’s how the team manages this step:

  • Align Material Feed: The team aligns the sheet metal feed to match the template and tooling setup. Sound good? Additionally, proper alignment guarantees that each blank is positioned precisely for cutting.
  • Set Guides or Stops: An installation of guides or stops to secure the sheet metal in place during blanking. This setup prevents movement or slippage, ensuring consistent part sizes.
  • Calibrate Sensors: With automated machinery, sensor calibration is done to detect and verify the sheet metal’s position. This allows continuous monitoring to minimize misalignment.
  • Run Test Blanks: They run test blanks to verify that the material is positioned correctly and the cuts align with specifications. This testing identifies any alignment issues before production starts.

Step#6 The Punching Operation

With the sheet metal positioned correctly, the team proceeds with the punching operation. Here’s how they approach this stage:

  • Activate the Press: The team activates the press to drive the punch through the sheet metal into the die cavity. This motion shears the metal precisely to create the desired blank shape.
  • Monitor Cutting Quality: Monitoring each punch to guarantee that the cuts are clean, with minimal burrs or imperfections. Consistent cutting quality is crucial to reduce rework and meet client specifications.
  • Adjust Speed and Force: Adjusting the press speed and force is done to optimize cutting performance based on material properties. Here’s why that’s important that these adjustments help balance productivity with quality.
  • Inspect Tools Regularly: The inspection of the die and punch is performed regularly throughout production to detect any damage. Quick tool maintenance minimizes downtime and offers uninterrupted production.

Step#7 Ejecting the Blank

The punching operation separates the blank from the sheet metal, leaving the next step to safely eject the blank. Here are the key actions involved in this process:

  • Install Ejector Pins: The team sets up ejector pins or similar devices to push the finished blank out of the die. These pins offer efficient removal without damaging the blank.
  • Check Ejection Timing: They verify that the ejector mechanism operates promptly after each punch. This step prevents the blank from sticking to the die, reducing the risk of jams.
  • Guide Blank Path: The operators guide the blank path to a collection bin or conveyor system for further processing. Here’s the interesting part, this control minimizes the risk of damage during ejection.
  • Monitor Ejection Process: Regularly monitor the ejection process to guarantee each blank is removed smoothly and without delay. Continuous monitoring reduces disruptions during production.

Step#8 Collection and Quality Inspection

After ejecting the blanks, the next step involves collecting and inspecting them for quality. Here’s how this process unfolds:

  • Collect Finished Blanks: Blanks are directed into a designated collection area or onto a conveyor belt for easy handling. This setup allows a smooth transition from the blanking press to the inspection station.
  • Inspect for Defects: Each blank is inspected for defects like burrs, rough edges, or incorrect dimensions. For instance, the use of automated systems identifies defective pieces that need reworking.
  • Compare to Specifications: Operators compare a sample of blanks against specifications to verify they meet the required dimensions. In the second place, this step helps maintain consistency throughout the production run.
  • Separate Defective Pieces: Any blanks with noticeable defects are sorted out by Beska for further processing or rejection. Identifying and separating faulty pieces early reduces waste and maintains product quality.

Step#9 Post-Processing Steps

Once the blanks pass inspection, the final step is to complete any necessary post-processing. Here’s how this process is managed:

  • Deburr and Smooth: At Beska, blanks are deburred to remove sharp edges or residual burrs that remain after blanking. This smoothing offers a safer, more polished product ready for subsequent fabrication.
  • Apply Surface Treatments: Surface treatments such as cleaning, coating, or plating are applied to protect the blank or prepare it for final assembly. These treatments add durability and enhance the blank’s appearance.
  • Label and Organize: Blanks are labeled and organized for tracking and inventory management. And on top of that, clear labeling guarantees that parts are correctly identified for further processing or shipping.
  • Package for Delivery: Finished blanks are securely packaged to protect them during storage or transport. Proper packaging minimizes damage and certifies the blanks are ready for delivery or additional fabrication stages.

Here’s a table outlining key aspects of packaging for delivery to ensure the protection and readiness of finished blanks:

Step Material Used Technique Purpose
1. Cushioning Bubble wrap, Foam Layer around the blanks Absorbs shocks and prevents scratches
2. Wrapping Stretch wrap Tightly enclose the bundled blanks Keeps blanks clean and secure
3. Boxing Corrugated cardboard Place in appropriately sized boxes Provides structural protection
4. Sealing Heavy-duty tape Seal all box openings Prevents box contents from spilling out
5. Labeling Waterproof labels Apply on the box exterior Identifies contents and handling instructions

 

Conclusion

Sheet metal blanking is a detailed process requiring accurate preparation, tooling setup, and quality control at each stage. Beska’s expertise guarantees that each blank undergoes thorough inspection and post-processing, providing your products with reliable and consistently high-quality results.

We hope this guide helps you understand the critical steps involved in the sheet metal blanking process. If you have any questions or want to enhance your production efficiency, contact us today to learn how we can support your business needs.

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