Times Square Lighting Doubles Punch Press Tool Life while Eliminating Secondary Sanding Operations with a Switch to the Latest Mate Strippit Style Tooling


Stony Point, New York: Times Square Lighting punches up to 1000 components an hour used in its broad line of architectural and theatrical light fixtures. With complete in-house manufacturing facilities, the company recently upgraded its punch press tooling and more than doubled its tool life by replacing worn out tools with Mate Precision Tooling's latest thin turret tooling for Strippit CNC punch presses.

For over 70 years, Times Square Lighting has been a leading manufacturer of high quality theatrical lighting. 10 years ago the company added lighting products for the architectural and display industries. All are high end products requiring accurately punched components fabricated from stainless and galvanized steel. These hard materials can have an abrasive effect on ordinary punch press tooling causing premature dulling which also creates burrs and flawed edges to the punched components. In addition to compromised part quality, frequent sharpening requires tool removal from the press causing expensive machine and operator downtime.

Tools Requiring Weekly Sharpening Replaced With Mate Tools That Operate For Months With No Sharpening

"We were sharpening tools for our Strippit presses every week," reports Dany Figueroa, programmer and tooling engineer for Times Square Lighting. "We punch over 6 tons of sheet metal a month so that tool sharpening became a regular part of the fabricating process until we talked to David Kerbaugh, Mate sales engineer. "To reduce machine downtime for tool sharpening and to improve part quality, he suggested we try Mate's new thin turret tooling designed for Strippit presses. The difference was amazing. We went from sharpening every week to over 6 months with no sharpening at all with Mate."

Times Square Lighting's goal is to manufacture unique products that enable lighting designers to transform even their most creative ideas into effective visual presentations. To do this, the company continually searches for new breakthroughs in technology to create an even more extraordinary line of lighting than it does today. With 40 employees operating in modern 35,000 sq. ft. facilities, the company has steadily improved its punching, welding, powder coat painting and assembly facilities, most recently with the addition of Mate tooling.

Mate Punches Run At High And Low Press Speeds With Equivalent High Quality Results, States Figueroa Of Times Square Lighting

Mate Precision Tooling introduced its new thin turret tooling line for Strippit presses in 2003 with the idea of providing Strippit machine users with a better tooling option for achieving longer tooling life. With that in mind, David Kerbaugh, Mate sales engineer, suggested trying a series of basic square, oval, and rectangle tools and see how they did versus the tools they had been using in its two presses, a Strippit 1000/20 and a 1000/20XP. Both machines produced a wide variety of components punched from .020 to .062 inch thick stainless and galvanized steel with runs varying from 200 to 1000 parts an hour.

"We started using the new Mate tools in January," reports Figueroa. "What we noticed right away was that the new Mate tools punched components more cleanly so edges were smoother without burrs. The tools gave us better finished parts so we didn't have to sand the edges. Over a period of weeks, the Mate tools consistently produced burr-free parts so we eliminated the secondary sanding operation altogether. And we didn't have to sharpen the tools at all to maintain this high level of part quality."

The new Mate tools are run at both slow and fast speeds, according to Figueroa. Both Strippit punch presses have a 330 per minute hit rate on 1 inch centers so at top speeds, the tools are getting a good workout. Rated at 23 tons, these are high performance machines with 20 station turrets capable of holding many different Mate thin turret tool shapes. The machines can handle sheets up to 51 x 51 inches square without repositioning. Figueroa reports that at all press speeds, "the Mate tools make both machine and operator more efficient with far fewer tool sharpenings and by not having to move parts over to an adjacent machine for sanding."

Mate DuraSteel(TM) Punches With Maxima® Coating Ensure Top Tool Performance

Four important design features influenced Times Square tooling performance. First, Mate's Strippit punches are made of DuraSteel, a new material formulated just for the high performance requirements of thin turret punching. DuraSteel resists the abrasive effects of punching stainless and galvanized steel while reducing heat build-up in the punch.

Second, the stronger DuraSteel punch material is coupled with punch points machined with a ¼ degree back taper to further reduced friction during stripping.

The third reason for improved tool performance is the coating called Maxima® used to coat the punches. This coating bonds with the DuraSteel and adds both durability and lubricity.

Fourth, the stripper guides have superior strength with exceptional accuracy and concentricity. All four features complement each other to extend tool life.

New Mate Tool System Eliminates Slug Pulling

A significant feature of Mate's thin turret tooling that Times Square Lighting press operators liked for its punching operations is the Slug Free® dies. With every tool system, consideration needs to be given to the problem of slug pulling, a problem experienced with Times Square previous tooling. Mate's Slug Free die is designed with a slight hourglass shape and has a ½ degree taper coming into and a two degree taper coming out of the die. When punching, that dimension becomes a pressure point that acts like a one-way door to keep the slug from pulling back out of the die. Once the slug is squeezed through the pressure point, it is free to fall away from the punching zone where it won't cause problems. According to Figueora, "The Slug Free feature eliminated slug pulling and chipped corners on the punches."

As for its future tooling usage, Figueora said his operators are pleased with the new Mate tooling, even asking "Why did it take so long to get started with Mate." While he hasn't quantified the savings, Figueroa reports, "I know we're experiencing a large cost savings now on tooling because of Mate's durability and high quality. We haven't had any problems with the tools and don't expect any. We've operated the tools for nearly six months and still haven't had to sharpen them."

For more information about Times Square Lighting products, call 1-845-947-3034. Email: info@tslight.com or write to Times Square Lighting, 5 Kay Fires Drive, Stony Point, New York 10980. Fax: 1-845-947-3047. Website: www.tslight.com

For more information on Strippit CNC punch presses, call 1-800-828-1527 or write to 12975 Clarence Center Road, Akron, New York 14001. Fax: 716-542-5957. Website: www.lvdgroup.com

For more information on Mate's Strippit tooling, call for FREE brochure in USA and Canada, 1-800-328-4492. Outside USA and Canada, call 763-421-0230.

Or write to MATE PRECISION TOOLING, 1295 Lund Boulevard, Anoka, Minnesota 55303. USA and Canada, Fax 1-800-541-0285. Outside USA and Canada, Fax 1-763-421-0285. Website: www.mate.com. Email: marketing@mate.com

Mate Precision Tooling
1295 Lund Boulevard
Anoka, Minnesota 55303
1-800-328-4492 Fax: 1-800-541-0285
Website: www.mate.com
Email: marketing@mate.com

Anderson-Madison Advertising, Inc.
7710 Computer Avenue South
Edina, Minnesota 55435
952-835-5133 Fax: 952-835-4977
Email: jm@andersonmadison.com
CONTACT: Gerald F. Madison

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