Why do punch presses always sell for scrap?
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  1. #1
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    Default Why do punch presses always sell for scrap?

    Every auction I go to, I see punch presses selling for scrap. Curious as why they are no longer in demand.

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    Because they probably don’t have any safety on them
    Don


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    If your a job shop.... you'll (die) of buying or making non-standard punches because nobody designs for using them anymore. Designers now only know that a laser can cut whatever the hell they dream up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsergison View Post
    If your a job shop.... you'll (die) of buying or making non-standard punches because nobody designs for using them anymore. Designers now only know that a laser can cut whatever the hell they dream up.
    Yeah, when you try to explain that a 40 year old CNC turret punch can make their parts better, cheaper and 10 times faster than the latest greatest fiber laser, but they have to change a couple minor things that don't matter and they refuse.

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    as mentioned above, a lot of that type of work is done by lasers, plasma, and waterjet these days.
    One of the big issues is dies- a simple cutting die for a shape more complicated than a circle can easily cost a few grand. Old time punch press lines would use progessive tooling, where one die does interior holes, the next does some exterior trimming, and the last one cuts the part loose from the strip its being punched from. A die like that might take a good diemaker a month to get right, and be used for making ornamental stampings.

    Whereas, a laser takes a very short time to make a cutting program for, and it doesnt require a forklift to load the program, or a pallet rack to store it on.

    New punch presses are available, of course, but not used in anything like the quantity. For short run stuff, people often use cnc turret punches, which, like a cnc mill, will have a turret with lots of different tools ready to be rotated into place. If you want a rectangular grill with six screw holes, rectangular holes punched in it to make it grating, and an unpunched 2" edge, say, 12" x 16", dies for a punch press would be crazy expensive and take a long time to make. A Trumpf or Amada or Strippit turret punch can do ONE, with zero tooling costs, in a half hour.

    Also, a lot of things that used to be made on a punch press arent needed anymore. Kevin Potter, who posts here, has been buying jewelry stamping dies from old line manufacturers in the NE that are either out of business, or heading there. He has been declining to buy hundreds of thousands of pounds of progessive stamping dies for purse handles, ornamental trim for lamps or furniture, decorative lighting parts, bobeches, leaves, and hundreds of other products that just dont sell anymore. There used to be hundreds of shops running presses, and most of the parts they made either are not made at all anymore, are made in china, or are now injection molded, powdered metal, or laser cut and brake bent. Plastics, Carbon fiber, cast aluminum, and laser cut sheet metal are all much bigger amounts of the unseen parts that used to be stamped.

    Also, of course, they are dangerous, and require more experience to setup, tool, and run, than you would think. As long as somebody writes the program, it doesnt take much mechanical skill to turn on and load sheet on a laser cutter.

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    What Ries said.

    Progressive die for a hearing-aid chassis we figured cost $9,000, end of the 1950's wage & burden rates. And then.. what with a nest of pins making as many as 26 holes for #30 wire, through-rivets in Silver, structural rivets in brass, had a high maintenance cost for constant pin replacement.

    Ran mebbe ten to fifteen thousands part a year 4 foot by six-foot sheets sheared to strips for 3 to 5 years before obsoleted by a newer model that was more than a cosmetic upgrade and had to have an all-new die made.

    IC 'lectronics and surface-mount devices kilt-off that whole market.

    Friend of mine is (or was) a major supplier to Walmart, all those little ornamentallish things for the ladies and their kit. All out of China.

    "Was" most likely, as even decades ago, never mind the volume - no money in it - margins were slim to non-existent.

    It ain't just about the press. Nor even the dies.

    It's really about the products and their volume.

    "Metallized" molded plastics one of the alternatives even to the value of the metal itself where even poor-imitation of "metal" costs too much.

    Punch press is fast, but does but one or "few" parts at each ago.

    Moulding? How many can I hang off the "tree" per each go? How many dies do I want to send to a molder?

    Our dies for the plastic case those chassis went into cost almost the same. By association, had same volume....but needed near-zero maintenance., could easily be farmed-out and/or run in multiples.

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    Besides all that, I have never heard a machinist say a good word about a punch press. Anyone who has been in this business for long has heard countless stories about fingers cut off, etc. Now if you have OSHA approved guarding, it is next to impossible to use. As aggravating as that may be, there is good reason for it and even the people who have to deal with it usually understand why.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    It ain't just about the press. Nor even the dies.
    It's really about the products and their volume.
    I think here more than anything else. Best run with high volumes and no skill level needed to run.
    One can refit for safety with very little cost so that is not a deal killer. I do not see that side at all.
    Not just these presses in big or small, I'm seeing Blanchard grinders go for below scrap prices as they also are a order volume machine.
    $50 at auction for a 11-18 with half the chuck life still on it. That is 4000 lbs of scrap but you have to pay to move it.
    Most of that fast cycle, low end press work has gone to other countries where 2-5 dollars per hour and no bennies is a good paying job.
    It is a changing world and these do not make the money they once did. A simple and easy process and hunger out there outside our borders for such.
    Bob

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    Punch presses are like old DNA sequencers (ask me how I know) in that they only run as part of a system of staff and support equipment which costs way more than the machine itself. So once obsolete, there aren't really places to reuse them. Contrast that with smaller manual mills and lathes that can go on to careers as support machines or in home shops. May the hobbyists inherit the means of production!

    The positive value of Laser and Waterjets is being understated here too. 2D CNC cutting and CNC presswork is such an efficient way to make things in small to medium volumes and it is such an easy thing to outsource to large shops that in a city like mine, a handful of big lasers can keep a whole pile of small companies supplied. And for anything reasonably standard like electronic enclosures, which I have been told is quite a large fraction of sheet metal work these days, is indeed done with modern CNC punch presses but the result is the same. I'd also agree that as has been noted above, the sort of fancier pressed parts like kitchen devices or more elaborate door lock surrounds have been replaced with other types manufacturing that gives nicer results, like die casting or injection moulding. Our shop for a long time had a ten part progressive die strip from our old tool makers old job at Weiser lock. It was an amazing example of progressive die work but last five hits or so just turned it into a rather kitchy ornamental part. I'm sure that stuff still gets done offshore now but even there the parts are simpler! All this means that I am sure that even if offshoring had never happened, there would still be less press work than there used to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    Punch presses are like old DNA sequencers (ask me how I know) in that they only run as part of a system of staff and support equipment which costs way more than the machine itself. So once obsolete, there aren't really places to reuse them. Contrast that with smaller manual mills and lathes that can go on to careers as support machines or in home shops. May the hobbyists inherit the means of production!

    The positive value of Laser and Waterjets is being understated here too. 2D CNC cutting and CNC presswork is such an efficient way to make things in small to medium volumes and it is such an easy thing to outsource to large shops that in a city like mine, a handful of big lasers can keep a whole pile of small companies supplied. And for anything reasonably standard like electronic enclosures, which I have been told is quite a large fraction of sheet metal work these days, is indeed done with modern CNC punch presses but the result is the same. I'd also agree that as has been noted above, the sort of fancier pressed parts like kitchen devices or more elaborate door lock surrounds have been replaced with other types manufacturing that gives nicer results, like die casting or injection moulding. Our shop for a long time had a ten part progressive die strip from our old tool makers old job at Weiser lock. It was an amazing example of progressive die work but last five hits or so just turned it into a rather kitchy ornamental part. I'm sure that stuff still gets done offshore now but even there the parts are simpler! All this means that I am sure that even if offshoring had never happened, there would still be less press work than there used to be.
    Yup, most of the punch presses I encounter here on the northern parts of these United states are just plain worn out.
    I saw one a couple weeks ago, the bull gears were so bad that when it came over center the apron would free fall about 2 inches before the worn out gear train would catch up. Flat scary.


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