Punch press tool self-locks sheet metal joints

A new punch press tool that creates a self-locking joint at the edge of sheet metal components as part of the CNC machining cycle has been introduced by the US manufacturer, Mate Precision Tooling. It is available in the UK through sole distributor, Burrhart Machinery, Luton. Called SnapLock, the tool allows fabricated assemblies to be produced quickly and economically and is ideal for applications where spot welding, rivetting or bolting may be impracticable or too expensive. The high precision joint is said to be strong and of good cosmetic appearance, even if the materials are of different thicknesses and types, for example aluminium and stainless steel. Available in sizes and styles to suit any punch press and turret type, the tool comprises a lance and form assembly which produces a spring-loaded tab that snaps into a pre-punched hole in the adjacent sheet in a matter of seconds.
A small button on the top of the form is semi-sheared to provide a positive mechanical lock when engaged in a hole in the receiving tab.

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