Slugs that pull during a stamping operation can end up in the work zone and potentially cause damage to either the stamped part or to the very expensive die itself. DTC Products, a division of Dec Tool Corporation, has developed a patented device, the Slug Retention Machine, that prevents slugs from pulling back onto the die block.
The new Slug Retention Machine uses a pneumatically-powered grinder to precisely machine a small angled groove into the sidewall of the die cavity in a stamping die. A micrometer coupled to the drive of the machine's slide enables precise movement of the machine's carriage to enable the depth of the slug retention groove to be precisely controlled.
The groove is machined in at a precise depth and at a calculated angle to the die surface, which creates a precise amount of interference. During the stamping operation, slugs expand into these precision grooves, which prevents them from pulling back up to the top of the die block and onto the die surface where they can cause damage to the strip, final part or even to the die. This solution helps reduce downtime by eliminating the need to stop the press and remove slugs off the die and stripper surface, and also eliminates the significant costs associated with sorting parts looking for slug marks. The retention grooves can be machined into the die openings while the die is still in the press, resulting in even greater savings by eliminating the need to remove the die from the press, disassemble it and return it to the press.
The Slug Retention Machine measures less than 10 inches high, and features a magnetic base that allows it to be mounted temporarily but firmly in place on the die surface during the grooving operation. The machine can also be used to put grooves into die bushings and die inserts, as well as to vent guided stripper openings. At less than 10 pounds, this lightweight unit is easily transportable within a sturdy carrying case. The Slug Retention Machine can be used on dies in the tool room as well as on a die while it is in the press, requires only a compressed air connection to operate, and comes with multiple bits and accompanying tools . It can easily be set up and operated by a single person.
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