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News > Technical Articles > Stamping > Ball Lock Tooling: Headed Your Way

Ball Lock Tooling: Headed Your Way

Explore the differences between headed and ball lock tooling. 

November 5, 2019

Shop floor optimization boils down to cutting process times and maximizing the life of your equipment. You can aim to minimize downtime between tool changes, extend the life of your tooling, or even minimize operator interaction. Employing any of these methods would produce a streamlining effect to any shop floor, employing all of them is a game-changer.

What’s the Big Difference?

During the design phase, certain measures can be taken to ensure the most economical conditions once you’re up and running. High-stress applications, for example, tend to cause premature wear on tooling, thus requiring more frequent tool changes. When planning a run of this nature, ball lock tooling should be considered as a primary option.

HOW CAN BALL LOCK PUNCHES MINIMIZE DOWNTIME BETWEEN TOOL CHANGES?

With a headed punch, tool changes mean pulling bolts and replacing retainers in and out of the machine. With large tools, this can be an hours long process, repeated throughout the day. With ball lock punches, a punch can be released from the retainer, and a new one inserted in its place, all in just a matter of seconds. With a ball lock system, punches can be swapped out while the die remains in the machine.

WHAT ABOUT THE INITIAL INVESTMENT? 

Making big changes isn’t easy; manufacturers often see the main barrier for entry into ball lock tooling being the initial investment into the new tooling. In reality, that initial investment is quickly diminished against the machine downtime saved and productivity gained by the toolmaker. Ball lock tooling is an upgrade that truly pays for itself.

For applications that require regular tool changes, the benefits of ball lock tooling can’t be beat. Tough applications that require multiple punches also see an advantage in using quick-change tooling. Stop paying for lengthy, heavy tool changes, and step into the optimized world of ball lock tooling.

Click here for more information about our Impax Tooling Solutions line of products. 

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