Collet Punch Former

What is Collet Punch Former?

A collet punch former is a machine that is used to hold work pieces in place for machining processes. The collet punch formers are also known as the collet dividing punch formers. A collet is a small piece of device that is used for clamping or fastening the work pieces onto the punch former. Though a collet is commonly referred to as a base for parts to place, in this case it is used to hold the work piece and secure it. It is not very complicated to operate a machine as such. With the collet punch former, the machining of a work piece becomes easier and faster. The collet punch formers are also called ER collet punch formers.

In the modern manufacturing industry, the collet punch formers are used as a clamping device to secure a work piece in place. The work piece will then be machined into cutting tools or drill bits. The cutting tools are vastly used in CNC machining operations for cutting work pieces. The collet punch formers are the machine that is included in manufacturing the cutting tools. The cutting tools come in with a wide selection of sizes and length. As a result, there are clamping components in various sizes for the collet punch former to clamp the work pieces. Generally speaking, a collect punch former is like a chuck or a vice to hold work pieces in place for other machining works.

Anatomy of a collet punch former

A collet punch former has the appearance so much alike to a pencil sharpener. On the front end, there is a clamping component to hold a shaft-like work piece in place and on the rear end there is a crank for the operator to roll. The primary components of a collet punch former are the base, the spindle body, the lock nut and the crank. The base is where the spindle body of the punch former lies, which serves as a datum for the machining operations.

The spindle body is a cubical device where the main components are mounted to. There is usually a split locating pin on one top side of the spindle body. On the front of the body lies the ER lock nut. The ER lock nut is the part that holds the work piece. On the lock nut, there is a clamping position hole where the work piece is placed. A spring collet, or so-called an ER spring collet, is needed to secure the work piece. The work piece shall be placed into the ER spring collet and then it can be put into the positioning hole.

At the back of the spindle body, there is a rotation stroke positioning pin and a central through hole. The crank is attached to the central through hole for the operator to spin. When the ER spring collet is not inserted into the clamping position hole with a work piece, the position hole on the front and the central through hole are actually a consistent hole that the operators can look through.

How to setup a collet punch former?

To begin with, it is essential to know that there are ER spring collets in different sizes and diameters. The operator of the machine should choose the spring collet based on the size of the work piece to be clamped. The size of typical spring collets ranges from four, six, eight, ten, and all the way to twenty mm. The concentricity of the collets is mostly adjustable to better hold the work piece in place.

Before inserting the work piece and the spring collet into the clamping position hole, the lock nut should be loosened first. The loosening and fastening of the ER lock nut are usually manually done by the operator with a wrench. The lock nut is removable so that the operator can put it together with the spring collet before it goes into the position hole. When the collet is mounted into the position hole, the operator can insert the work piece into the hole while adjusting the lock nut at the same time.

The next step is to place the spindle body onto the base, the datum of the machine. One thing to notice here is that the central through hole and the base should be parallel. This process should be done with a dial indicator or a dial gauge. Only when the machine is calibrated accurately can the precision of the operation be assured.

The machining operation

When the preparation is done correctly, the operator is now ready to place the collet punch former onto a lathe for the machining operation. At this stage, the operator should make sure that the collet punch former is secured on the turning center and positioned properly. Once the machine is positioned on the turning center, the lathe should be fixed so that the punch former will not slide away during the machining process.

When the positioning is ok, the operator can deposition the split location pin and turn the crank while the work piece is being machined by the lathe mill. The operator should keep turning the crank during the whole machining process until it comes to a desired result. Once the machining operation is done, the mill should be turned off and the operator detaches the collet punch form from the milling lathe and loosens the ER lock nut to retrieve the machined work piece.

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