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Title:
PUNCHING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/079252
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A punching apparatus (1) comprises a punch holder (2) and a punching tool (3; 13; 23); the punch holder (2) comprises a guiding body (4) provided with a mounting cavity (5) suitable to slidably receive the punching tool (3; 13; 23) and a driving assembly (6) connected to said guiding body (4) and provided with a beating element (7; 17) having a first connecting end (9; 19) coupled to a second connecting end (32; 42; 52) of the punching tool (3; 13; 23) by means of a threaded coupling that enables a relative rotation for a linear movement of the punching tool (3; 13; 23) with respect to said beating element (7; 17) along an adjustment stroke (C); the punching apparatus comprises a stopping element (10) having a first end (11) fixed inside a connecting cavity (15; 45) made in one of said connecting ends (9; 42) and arranged to receive the remaining connecting end (32; 19) and a second end (12) inserted into a stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) of said remaining connecting end (32; 19) and sliding inside the stopping cavity (34; 24; 54); the second end (12) of the stopping element (10) is provided with first stopping means (22) arranged to abut second stopping means (35; 25) provided at an opening of said stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) so as to prevent the stopping element (10) from disengaging from said stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) and to stop the adjustment stroke (C) of the punching tool (3; 13; 23).

Inventors:
FIGATTI, Diego (Via Guido Salvagnini 51, Sarego, IT)
SAGGIN, Stefano (Via Guido Salvagnini 51, Sarego, IT)
Application Number:
IB2020/059803
Publication Date:
April 29, 2021
Filing Date:
October 19, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SALVAGNINI ITALIA S.P.A. (Via Guido Salvagnini 51, Sarego, IT)
International Classes:
B21D28/34; B21D45/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CICCONETTI, Andrea (Via Garibaldi 3, Bologna, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Punching apparatus (1) for a punching machine, comprising a punch holder (2) and a punching tool (3; 13; 23), said punch holder (2) comprising a guiding body (4), provided with a mounting cavity (5) suitable to slidably receive said punching tool (3; 13; 23), and a driving assembly (6) connected to said guiding body (4) and provided with a beating element (7; 17) having a first operating end (8; 18) suitable to interact with a ram of the punching machine and a first connecting end (9; 19) coupled to a second connecting end (32; 42; 52) of said punching tool (3; 13; 23) by means of a threaded coupling, which enables a relative rotation between said beating element (7; 17) and said punching tool (3; 13; 23) for a linear movement thereof with respect to said beating element (7; 17) along an adjustment stroke (C) between an initial adjustment position (A), in which an engagement portion (20) of said threaded coupling has a maximum length (LI), and a final adjustment position (B), in which said engagement portion (20) has a minimum length (L2), said punching apparatus (1) being characterized in that it comprises a stopping element (10) having a first end (11) and a second end (12), said first end (11) being fixed inside a connecting cavity (15; 45) made in one of said connecting ends (9; 42) and arranged to receive the remaining connecting end (32; 19), said second end (12) being inserted in a stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) made in said remaining connecting end (32; 19) and sliding inside said stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) during said linear movement of said punching tool (3; 13; 23) between said initial adjustment position (A) and said final adjustment position (B), said second end (12) being provided with first stopping means (22) arranged to abut second stopping means (35; 25) provided at an opening of said stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) so as to prevent said stopping element (10) from disengaging from said stopping cavity (34; 24; 54) and to stop said adjustment stroke (C) of said punching tool (3; 13; 23) in said final adjustment position (B).

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said punching tool (3; 13; 23) comprises a second operating end (36; 46; 56), opposite to said second connecting end (32; 42; 52), provided with a cutting end (36a; 46a; 56a) capable of interacting with a piece (100) to be punched and having a defined sharpening length (Ls) that is longer than said adjustment stroke (C) of said punching tool (3; 13; 23).

3. Punching apparatus (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said punching tool (3; 13) comprises a punch tip holder (31; 41) provided with said second connecting end (32; 42) and a punch tip (33; 43) reversibly fixed to said punch tip holder (31; 41) on the opposite side to said second connecting end (32; 42) and provided with a second operating end (36; 46), which is opposite to said second connecting end (32; 42), provided with a cutting end (36a; 46a) and adapted to interact with a piece (100) to be punched.

4. Punching apparatus (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said punching tool (23) comprises an single-body punch provided with said second connecting end (52) and with a second operating end (56) that is opposite to said second connecting end (52), provided with a cutting end (56a) and adapted to interact with a piece (100) to be punched.

5. Punching apparatus (1) according to any preceding claim, wherein said beating element (7; 17) is driven by said ram in order to linearly move said punching tool (3; 13; 23) along a longitudinal axis (X) with respect to said guiding body (4) according to a working stroke (W) comprised between a non-operating internal position (N), in which a second operating end (36; 46; 56) of said punching tool (3 13, 23), which is opposite to said second connecting end (52) and adapted to interact with a piece (100) to be punched, is contained inside said punch holder (2), and an operating external position (T), in which said second operating end (36; 46; 56) protrudes from said punch holder (2) and penetrate with a respective cutting end (36a; 46a; 56a) into an underlying punching die (60) so as to punch said piece (100).

6. Punching apparatus (1) according to any preceding claim, wherein said punch holder (2) comprises an extractor element (27), which is fixed to a first end part (4a) of said guiding body (4) from which said punching tool (3; 13; 23) protrudes, is adapted to keep said piece (100) in abutment against an underlying punching die (60) and is provided with a respective opening for the exit of a second operating end (36; 46 56) of said punching tool (3; 13; 23) that is opposite to said second connecting end (52) and adapted to interact with a piece (100) to be punched.

7. Punching apparatus (1) according to claim 6, when claim 6 is appended to claim 5, wherein said stopping element (10) is sized and fixed with its first end (11) inside said connecting cavity (15; 45) in such a way that said punching tool (3; 13; 23) also in said final adjustment position (B) with respect to said beating element (7; 17) and in said operating external position (T) with respect to said guiding body (4) does not collide with said second operating end (36; 46; 56) against said extractor element (27). 8. Punching apparatus (1) according to any preceding claim, wherein said connecting cavity (15) is made in said first connecting end (9) of said beating element (7) and comprises an outer portion (15a), which is threaded and adapted to receive and engage the second connecting end (32; 52), externally threaded, of said punching tool (3; 23), and an inner portion (15b) adapted to receive and fixed to said first end (11) of said stopping element (10), said second end (12) thereof being slidably housed in said stopping cavity (34; 54) made in said second connecting end (32; 52) of said punching tool (3; 23).

9. Punching apparatus (1) according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein said connecting cavity (45) is made in said second connecting end (42) of said punching tool (13) and comprises an outer portion (45a), which is threaded and adapted to receive and engage said first connecting end (19), externally threaded, of said beating element (17), and an inner portion (45b) adapted to receive, and fixed to, said first end (11) of said stopping element (10), said second end (12) thereof being slidably housed in said stopping cavity (24) made in said first connecting end (19) of said beating element (17).

10. Punching apparatus (1) according to any preceding claim, wherein said stopping element (10) has a cylindrical shape.

11. Punching apparatus (1) according to claim 10, wherein said first stopping means (22) of said stopping element (10) comprise an annular protrusion made on an edge of said second end (12).

12. Punching apparatus (1) according to any preceding claim, wherein said second stopping means (35; 25) comprises at least one elastic ring that is housed in a respective inner annular groove made at said opening of said stopping cavity (34 ; 24; 54).

13. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said driving assembly (6) comprises a base element (16) that is fixed to a second end part (4b) of said guiding body (4), opposite to a first end part (4a) from which said punching tool (3; 13; 23) protrudes, and is arranged to slidably guide said beating element (7; 17) along a longitudinal axis (X), and elastic means (28) interposed between said base element (16) and said first operating end (8; 18) of the beating element (7; 17) to return the latter to a raised position so as to extract the punching tool (3; 13; 23) from a piece (100) after the punching of the latter.

Description:
Punching apparatus

The invention relates to machines for working metal pieces and/or sheets and in particular regards to a punching apparatus that can be installed on a punching machine and allows to adjust and control the position of the punching tool positioned inside the relative punch holder, in particular following assembly after a sharpening operation of the said punching tool.

The use of punching machines provided with one or more punching apparatuses, each comprising a punch holder and a punching tool or punch, slidably and removably housed in the punch holder, is known in the field of metal sheets working and the like.

More precisely, the punch holder generally comprises a guiding body which has a mounting cavity adapted to axially slidably receive the punch and a driving assembly adapted to transmit the punching force from a ram of a press assembly of the punching machine to the punch. The driving assembly comprises a base element, which is fixed to the guiding body and slidably supports a beating element which is axially movable and provided with a first upper end adapted to interact with the ram of the press assembly and a second lower end that is couplable to a connecting end of the punch and is opposite an operating or cutting end of the latter.

The driving assembly further comprises elastic means, so-called “spring pack”, which are interposed between the guiding body or the base element and the first upper end of the beating element and are arranged to reposition the latter in a raised position (in order to disengage the cutting tool from the machined piece) after driving of the ram.

In lieu of large, complex, and expensive standard punches, cutting tips or punch tips and respective punch holders or adapters can be used in punch apparatuses as punching elements. Punch tips having smaller sizes and therefore being cheaper are mounted inside the punch holder by means of specific tip holders or adapters, the latter being connected to the beating element.

Cutting tools, meaning both standard single-body punches and punch tips mounted on respective adapters, comprise at least one operating portion having a cutting end provided with one or more cutting edges and a connecting portion which generally has larger dimensions (diameter) of the operating portion and is arranged for the connection with the beating element or with the adapter.

The punch holder generally comprises an extractor element which is fixed to the end of the guiding body, is provided with an opening from which the cutting end of the cutting tool protrudes and is maintained in abutment with the workpiece by pressing it against an underlying punching die in order to facilitate the extraction of the cutting tool from the workpiece during retraction or return and to improve the quality of the punching and the accuracy of the workpiece positioning during the punching execution.

Several other configurations and embodiments of punching apparatuses are known, but generally the connection between the beating element of the driving assembly and the punching tool (punch or adapter supporting the punch tip) for forming the so-called punch assembly, is always carried out by means of a threaded coupling. In fact, this coupling allows to adjust a length of the punch assembly, i.e. to adjust the position of the cutting tool and more precisely of the cutting end with respect to the beating element, by rotating the latter with respect to the punch or punch holder.

The adjustment of the position of the cutting tool (punch or punch tip) with respect to the beating element, i.e. the adjustment of the length of the punch assembly, is necessary after mounting the cutting tool in the punch holder after the sharpening of the cutting edge(s) of the cutting end, a maintenance operation which must be carried out periodically following the progressive loss of cutting capacity of the tool due to wear in use.

However, the sharpening of the cutting tool results in a reduction in the overall length of the tool itself, more precisely the operating portion thereof, whereby once the tool is reassembled in the punch holder it must be suitably connected (directly or via the adapter) to the beating element, in particular by screwing the two components by a settled amount or length, so as to position the cutting end of the tool inside the punch holder in a settled position with respect to the beating element, i.e. forming a punch assembly having an settled length, to properly cut or punch the piece.

In fact, the working stroke of the ram is preset, defined based on the thickness of the sheet or piece to be cut/punched and a settled penetration depth of the cutting tool in the die below the piece. Therefore, the initial operating position and the final operating position of the cutting tool, and in particular of the cutting end thereof, are defined by the length of said working stroke.

An incorrect management of the adjustment of the length of the punch assembly can therefore lead on the one hand to an incorrect execution of the machining on the piece (insufficient penetration into the piece), and on the other to a damage of the cutting tool, the punch holder and also the punching machine.

The latter case occurs when excessive sharpening of the cutting tool is performed, beyond the maximum allowed limit, i.e. the length of the operating portion is excessively reduced, which becomes shorter than the working stroke of the ram.

The excessive reduction in the length of the cutting tool (operating portion) can therefore cause the cutting tool (in particular the main body thereof) to collide with the extractor element during the working stroke, damaging the extractor element and in some cases the entire punch holder and punching apparatus.

The excessive reduction in the length of the cutting tool further causes (in order to maintain the position of the cutting end unchanged) the reduction of the screwing or engagement portion of the threaded coupling between the beating element and the punch (or adapter), such screwing portion being insufficient to support and transmit the punching force exerted by the ram. More precisely, the engagement threads of the punch and the beating element can be damaged if excessively stressed in operation, requiring the replacement not only of the punch, but also of the beating element which must be disassembled from the punch holder.

To overcome these drawbacks, punching apparatuses are known which allow to adjust and control the length of the punch assembly and in particular the length of the engagement portion of the threaded coupling between the beating element and the punch (or adapter) by displaying by means of appropriate visual references the width of the final relative rotation angle between the beating element and the punch or by allowing to count the number of angular pitches (of known length) with which the beating element and punch are rotated with respect to each other, in both cases knowing the threading pitch of the threaded coupling.

These solutions allow an operator to know the amount of the adjustment performed and consequently the length of the punch assembly after the adjustment, i.e. the position of the cutting end, and avoid the drawbacks described above as long as he knows precisely, in addition to the stroke of the ram, the extent of the sharpening performed on the cutting tool, i.e. the length thereof, and the maximum and minimum lengths of the screwing portion of the threaded coupling between the beating element and the punch. The adjustment procedure is therefore quite laborious and requires a lot of care and attention from an experienced operator.

Furthermore, such known solutions do not prevent the operator from inadvertently making an incorrect adjustment to the length of the punch assembly.

WO 9407663 discloses a variable-length punching assembly, which allows to adjust the overall length of a punch, comprising an axially-adjustable operating element of the punch and a punch holder. The punch holder is at least partially contained in a guiding bush and is axially thrust by a loaded spring with respect to the guiding bush. The punching assembly comprises locking means operable in the locking position to lock the punch driving element with respect to the punch holder and prevent the adjustment of the length of the punch. The locking means comprise a locking component having at least n locking teeth which are engaged in a corresponding set of N first locking teeth made on the punch holder in both locking and releasing positions and in a plurality m x n of second locking teeth made on the axially adjustable punch driving element to provide m x n possible engagement orientations of the at least n locking teeth with respect to the axially adjustable punch driving element.

An object of the present invention is to improve the known punching apparatus for punching machines, in particular the punching apparatuses comprising a punch holder and a punching tool reversibly fixed to a beating element of the punch holder to form a punch assembly.

Another object is to obtain a punching apparatus which allows to control the adjustment of the length of the punch assembly, in particular the position of the punching tool with respect to the beating element, preventing incorrect adjustments which could cause damage to the cutting tool and/or punch holder.

A further object is to provide a punching apparatus in which the adjustment of the length of the punch assembly can be performed safely without risk of accidental errors even by an inexperienced operator.

Another object is to obtain a punching apparatus of simple, robust, and reliable construction.

These and other objects are achieved by a punching apparatus according to one or more of the claims set out below.

The invention can be better understood and implemented with reference to the attached drawings which illustrate an exemplifying and non-limiting embodiment thereof, in which: figure 1 is a front view of the punching apparatus of the invention associated with a punching die and a workpiece; figure 2 is a section according to the plane II-II of figure 1 illustrating in particular a punch holder that slidably houses a beating element connected to a punching tool comprising a punch tip holder supporting a punch tip, in an initial adjustment position and in a non-operating internal position and, in dashed line, in an operating external position; figure 3 is a section as in figure 2 illustrating the beating element connected to the punching tool in an operating external position and, in dashed line, in a non-operating internal position; figure 4 is an enlarged detail of figure 2 illustrating a stopping element inside connecting ends of the beating element and the punching tool in the initial adjustment position; figure 5 is a section as in figure 2 illustrating the beating element connected to the punching tool in a final adjustment position and in the non-operating internal position; figure 6 is a section as in figure 5 illustrating the beating element connected to the punching tool in the final adjustment position and in the operating external position; figure 7 is an enlarged detail of figure 5 illustrating the stopping element inside the connecting ends of the beating element and the punching tool in the final adjustment position; figure 8 is a section as in figure 2 illustrating a variant of the punching apparatus of the invention illustrating the beating element connected to a single-body punching tool in the final adjustment position and in the operating external position and, in dashed line, in the non-operating initial position; figure 9 is a section as in figure 2 illustrating another variant of the punching apparatus of the invention illustrating a beating element connected to the punching element comprising a punch tip holder supporting a punch tip in the final adjustment position and in the operating external position.

Referring to figures 1 to 7, the punching apparatus 1 of the invention is illustrated, which can be associated with a punching machine, not illustrated, for performing cuts and punching on a piece 100, in particular a piece of sheet metal.

The punching apparatus 1 comprises a punch holder 2 and a punching tool 3. The punch holder 2 includes a guiding body 4 provided with a mounting cavity 5, in particular a through cavity and extending along a longitudinal axis X, adapted to slidably receive the punching tool 3 and a driving assembly 6 connected to the guiding body 4 and provided with a beating element 7 having a first operating end 8 arranged to interact with a ram of the punching machine and a first connecting end 9 coupled to a second connecting end 32 of the punching tool 3 by means of a threaded coupling. The latter allows a relative rotation between the beating element 7 and the punching tool 3 for linear movement of the latter with respect to the beating element 7 along an adjustment stroke C, between an initial adjustment position A and a final adjustment position B.

In the initial adjustment position A the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling that joins the two connecting ends 8, 32 of the beating element 7 and the punching tool has a maximum length LI, while in the final adjustment position B the engagement portion 20 has a minimum length L2. The minimum length L2 is such as to guarantee a number of engagement threads in the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling suitable to the force transmitted by the beating element 7 to the punching tool 3, i.e. such as to prevent them from being excessively stressed in operation and being damaged.

Anti-rotation means 63, 64 are provided to prevent rotation of the punching tool 3 with respect to the guiding body 4 when the beating element 7 is rotated about the longitudinal axis X. The anti-rotation means comprise, for example, a transverse pin 63 fixed to the punching tool 3, almost orthogonal to the longitudinal axis X, and slidably engaging by means of a protruding portion thereof with a longitudinal slot 64 made on a side wall of the guiding body 4.

The punching tool 3 comprises a second operating end 36 opposite the second connecting end 32, adapted to interact (in particular cut, drill, punch) with a cutting end 36a with a piece 100 and having a defined sharpening length Ls which is longer than the adjustment stroke C of the punching tool 3 with respect to the beating element 7, between the initial adjustment position A and the final adjustment position B.

In operation, the beating element 7, 17 is driven by the ram of a press assembly of the punching machine so as to move the punching tool 3 linearly along the longitudinal axis X with respect to the guiding body 4 along a working stroke W between a non-operating internal position N and an operating external position T. In the non-operating internal position N of the punching tool 3 the second operating end 36 of the punching tool 3 is contained inside the punch holder 2, in particular inside the guiding body 4, while in the operating external position T the second operating end 36 partially protrudes from the punch holder 2 and inserts with the cutting end 36a thereof into the underlying punching die 60 so as to punch the piece 100.

The punch holder 2 is provided with an extractor element 27, of known type, fixed to a first end part 4a of the guiding body 4 from which the punching tool 3 protrudes, adapted to abut and press the piece 100 against the punching die 60 and provided with a respective opening for the exit of the second operating end 36 of the punching tool 3 when moved by the beating element 7 in the operating external position T.

The driving assembly 6, of a known type, comprises a base element 16 fixed to a second end part 4b of the guiding body 4 which is opposite the first end part 4a and is arranged to slidingly guide the beating element 7 along a longitudinal axis X. The driving assembly 6 further includes elastic means 28 interposed between the base element 16 and the first operating end 8 of the beating element 7 to return the latter to a raised position (corresponding to the non-operating internal position N of the punching tool 3) so as to extract the punching tool 3 from the piece 100 after the working.

The punching apparatus 1 further comprises a stopping element 10 having a first end 11 fixed inside a connecting cavity 15 made at one of the connecting ends 9, 42 of the beating element 7 or the punching tool 3 and arranged to receive the remaining connecting end 32 of the punching tool 3 or the beating element 7 and a second end 12 inserted into a stopping cavity 34 made at the remaining connecting end 32 and slidable inside said stopping cavity 34 during the linear movement between the initial adjustment position A and the final adjustment position B.

The second end 12 of the stopping element 10 is provided with first stopping means 22 adapted to abut second stopping means 35 provided at an opening of the stopping cavity 34 so as to prevent the stopping element 10 from disengaging from the stopping cavity and stopping the adjustment stroke C of the punching tool 3 in the final adjustment position B. In the embodiment illustrated in figures 1 to 7, the connecting cavity 15 is made in the first connecting end 9 of the beating element 7 and comprises an outer portion 15a that is threaded and adapted to receive and engage with the second connecting end 32, externally threaded, of the punching tool 3. The connecting cavity 15 of the first connecting end 9 of the beating element 7 further comprises an inner portion 15b adapted to receive, and fixed to, the first end 11 of the stopping element 10, while the second end 12 thereof is slidably housed in the stopping cavity 34 made in the second connecting end 32 of the punching tool 3.

The stopping element 10 is sized and fixed with its first end 11 inside the connecting cavity 15, so that the punch element 3 also in the final adjustment position B with respect to the beating element 7 and in the operating external position T with respect to the guiding body 4 does not collide with the second operating end 36 against said extractor element 27, as better explained in the following description. dimmiThe stopping element 10 has, for example, a cylindrical shape and the first stopping means 22 comprise an annular protrusion made on an edge of the second end 12 and adapted to be abut by the second stopping means 35 provided in the stopping cavity 34 and comprising an elastic ring, in particular a split ring, housed in a respective inner annular groove made at the opening of the stopping cavity 34.

Similarly, the first end 11 of the stopping element 10 is fixed inside the inner portion 15b of the connecting cavity 15 by fixing means 14 comprising, for example, a respective elastic ring mounted on a first annular seat made on an outer wall of the first end 11 and engaging in an assembly configuration with a second annular seat made on an inner wall of the inner portion 15b of the connecting cavity 15.

In the embodiment illustrated in figures 1 to 7, the punching tool 3 comprises a punch tip holder or adapter 31 provided with the second connecting end 32 and a punch tip 35 or cutting tip that is reversibly fixed to the punch tip holder 31, opposite the second connecting end 32 and provided with the second operating end 36 with the cutting end 36a adapted to interact with the piece 100.

More precisely, the punch tip holder 31 comprises a third connecting end 37 opposite the second connecting end 32 provided with a connecting seat 38 adapted to receive a connecting portion 39 of the punch tip 33 opposite the second operating end 36. The connecting seat 38 and the connecting portion 39 have, for example, a complementary truncated-conical shape and are coaxial to the longitudinal axis X of the punch holder 2.

In an assembled configuration, illustrated in figures 1 to 7, the punch tip holder 31 and the punch tip 33 are fixed to one another by means of a screw 61. To this end, the stopping cavity 34 that is made in the second connecting end 32 of the punch tip holder 2 is a through cavity in order to allow the end 61 of the screw to be screwed into a threaded hole made on an upper wall of the connecting portion 39 of the punch tip 33. The stopping cavity 34 comprises a shoulder intended to abut the head of the screw 61.

The punch tip holder 31 is configured to be mounted on the respective beating element 7, the first connecting end 9 and the second connecting end 32 being complementary, and is capable of receiving in the connecting seat 38 one of a set or plurality of punch tips 33, each of which is adapted to perform a respective working on the piece 100.

In an initial operating step of the punching apparatus 1 of the invention, in which the punching tool 3 (more precisely the punch tip 33 in the example of the figures) is new and sharp, the latter is screwed to the beating element 7 so as to be arranged in the initial adjustment position A. In this initial adjustment position A the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling, which joins the two connecting ends 8, 32 of the beating element 7 and of the punching tool 3, has a maximum length LI, i.e. the second connecting end 32 of the punching tool 3 is completely inserted in the first connecting end 9 of the beating element 7 since the second operating end 36 of the punching tool 3 has a length equal to the maximum sharpening length Ls.

In the initial adjustment position A the distance between the first stopping means 22 of the stopping element 10 and the second stopping means 25 provided in the stopping cavity 34 is also maximum (figures 2 to 4). In this initial adjustment position A, with the punching tool 3 having a maximum sharpening length Ls, in the working stroke W, between the non operating internal position N and the operating external position T, the punching tool is able to correctly perform the cutting or punching of the piece 100.

The punching tool 3 (punch tip 33) during its operating life is subjected to periodic sharpening operations following which the length of its second operating end 36 progressively decreases.

In order to ensure that in the predefined working stroke W the beating element 7, driven by the ram of the press assembly of the punching machine, moves the second operating end 36, in particular the cutting end 36a thereof, between the non-operating internal position N and the operating external position T, so as to appropriately cut or punch the piece 100, the position of the punching tool 3 along the longitudinal axis X with respect to the beating element 7 must be adjusted by appropriately rotating the beating element about the longitudinal axis X. By measuring the number of rotations and/or rotation fractions and knowing the thread pitch of the threaded portion 20, it is possible to adjust and control the position of the punching tool 3 with respect to the beating element 7, i.e. the position of the second connecting end 32 inside the first connecting end 9 and thus the position of the cutting end 36a.

With progressive reduction of the length of the second operating end 36 of the punching tool 3, the length of the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling, which joins the two connecting ends 8, 32 and the distance between the first stopping means 22 of the stopping element 10 and the second stopping means 25 provided in the stopping cavity 34 decreases by the same value.

When adjusting the position along the longitudinal axis X of the punching tool 3 with respect to the beating element 7, after mounting following a sharpening operation, the stopping element 10 prevents the punching tool 3 from being screwed insufficiently to the beating element 7, i.e. it prevents the length of the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling from being less than the minimum length L2 in an incorrect mounting condition. In fact, below this minimum length (with a tolerance range of about 1 mm) the second operating end 36 collides with the extractor element 27 causing damage to the latter and to the whole punch holder 6 since the working stroke W is longer than the remaining length of the second operating end 36.

Such incorrect mounting condition is prevented by the locking element 10 since the first stopping means 11 thereof and second stopping means 35 of the second connecting end 32 abut each other, avoiding further displacement of the punching tool 3 away from the beating element 7, when the length of the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling is equal to the minimum length L2.

In this manner, if a punching tool 3 is sharpened excessively, reducing the length of its second operating end 36 below the defined sharpening length Ls, the punching tool 3 cannot be remounted on the punch holder 2, i.e. fixed to the beating element 7 and adjusted in the axial position so as to collide in operation against the extractor element 27.

Thanks to the punching apparatus 1 of the invention, it is therefore possible to control the position of the punching element 3 with respect to the beating element 7 and to prevent operators from making incorrect adjustments, in particular in the case of excessive sharpening of the punching element 3, which could damage the extractor element and/or the punch holder 1 in operation. Hence the adjustment can be performed safely without risk of accidental errors even by inexperienced operators.

The stopping element 10 further allows to have a minimum length L2 of the engagement portion 20 of the threaded coupling between the beating element 7 and the punching tool 3 capable of guaranteeing a number of engaged threads of this engagement portion 20 that is appropriate for the force which is transmitted by the beating element 7 to the punching tool 3, and prevents the engaged threads from being excessively stressed in operation and being damaged.

Moreover the punching apparatus 1 , which is provided with a locking element 10 positioned inside the connecting ends 9, 32 of the beating element 7 and the punching tool 3, is of simple, robust, and reliable construction.

With reference to figure 8, a variant of the punching apparatus 1 of the invention is illustrated which differs from the embodiment described above and illustrated in figures 1 to 7, for the punching tool 23 that comprises a single-body punch or cutting tool provided with a second connecting end 52 connected to the first connecting end 9 of the beating element 7 and a second operating end 56 opposite the second connecting end 52 and adapted to interact by means of the cutting end 56a with the piece 100. The second operating end 56 is substantially the same as that of the punch tip 33.

The second connecting end 52 comprises the stopping cavity 54 inside which the second end 12 of the stopping element 10 is slidably inserted, which is slidable inside said stopping cavity 54 during the movement of the punch 23 between the initial adjustment position A and the final adjustment position B.

At an opening of the stopping cavity 54 second stopping means 35 are provided, which are adapted to abut the first stopping means 22 of the stopping element 10 in the final adjustment position B.

The operation of this variant of the punching apparatus 1 is substantially the same as that of the embodiment of figures 1 to 7.

Figure 9 illustrates in section another variant of the punching apparatus 1 of the invention which differs from the embodiment described above and illustrated in figures 1 to 7 in that the connecting cavity 45 is made in the second connecting end 42 of the punching tool 13 and comprises an outer portion 45a, threaded and adapted to receive and engage the first connecting end 19, externally threaded, of the beating element 17, and an inner portion 45b adapted to receive and fixed to the first end 11 of the stopping element 10. The second end 12 of the stopping element is slidably housed in the stopping cavity 24 made in the first connecting end 19 of the beating element 17.

At the opening of the stopping cavity 24 second stopping means 45 are provided, adapted to abut the first stopping means 22 of the stopping element 10 in the final adjustment position

B.

The beating element 17 also comprises the first operating end 18 adapted to interact with the ram of the punching machine.

The punching tool 13 comprises a punch tip holder 41 or adapter provided with the second connecting end 42 and a punch tip 43 or cutting tip that is reversibly fixed to the punch tip holder 41 on the opposite side to the second connecting end 42 and provided with the second operating end 46 or cutting end adapted to interact with the piece 100 with the cutting end 36a.

Apart from the configuration of the second connecting end 42, the punch tip holder 41 and the punch tip 43 of this variant are substantially identical to the embodiment of figures 1 to 7.

The operation of this other variant of the punching apparatus 1 is substantially the same as that of the embodiment of figures 1 to 7.