I need to develop a process with a dedicated fixture/machine (only does this) to make the notches shown in the drawing below. For prototypes, yes, it was easiest to get laser-cut parts. For the future higher volumes (not huge), it will be way cheaper to get the straps sheared (via supplier) and then hopefully an easy way to put in the notches, one on each end as shown. They will only be doing these about once/week and it's around 50-100 week. So here's some factors:
- Since it's not a huge volume, and limited floor space, fine to do one end at a time (grab a strap, slot one end, flip it, slot the other end, put it on the finished stack and do the next one).
- I can see it as either "slitting" with a slitting blade (about 2" dia. x 0.125", shown in the drawing below) or punching in hopefully a pneumatic punch. I would prefer punching since it can easily be made quick and safe, where you just slide it into a narrow opening (can't put your fingers through the guard), maybe a limit switch to ensure it's in deep enough, and cycle it. The slitting would possibly be easier and cheaper to design & make the machine but it would need to be clamped and fed (either the slot of the slitter blade). Might be better to clamp about 10 straps at once and feed the blade though, like you're cutting a slot in thick aluminum).
- Should be able to get sufficient tonnage with at least a 6" diameter cylinder to do punching, probably go 7 or 8 to ensure.
- If we did go with slitting, would like to do it in a manner that wouldn't allow the aluminum to gouge-up on the blade, which those slitter blades seem to do with soft aluminum (might do better on the 5052 that they do on soft extrusions on another process I made to slot the end of an extrusion and we might hopefully change that to punching if we can make this process work).