Ablation : The removal of material from a surface by melting or evaporation.
Absorbance : A measure of a material’s ability to absorb radiant energy such as light.
Active Medium : A collection of atoms or molecules which can be stimulated to emit electromagnetic radiation.
Aperture : A small hole through which electromagnetic radiation such as a laser beam passes.
Assist Gas : A gas such as nitrogen or oxygen, or sometimes one of several inert gases, used to blow molten metals away from the cut.
Attenuation : The reduction in the energy or power of a laser beam due to absorption or scattering as it travels through a medium.
Beam : A group of light rays. A beam may be parallel, convergent or divergent.
CAD : Computer Aided Design. Software used to design parts prior to manufacture.
CAM : Computer Aided Manufacture.
CNC : Computer Numerical Control. Use of a computer to control the movements of the laser cutting machine.
CO2 Laser : A laser which uses carbon dioxide gas as its lasing medium, typically with a power of up to 40,000 watts. Can be either continuous wave (CW) or pulsed.
Collimation : A laser beams ability to have a low divergence over distance
Collimator : A system of two lenses whose separation is the sum of their focal length, which produces a collimated laser beam.
Continuous Wave (CW) : Continuous emission mode of a cutting laser, as opposed to pulsed mode.
Depth of Field : The range at which the focused laser beam works. Dictated by the diameter of the unfocused beam, focal length of the lens and the wavelength of the laser. A bigger focal length produces a larger depth of field.
Divergence : The angle at which the rays of a laser beam spread away from each other.
Drift : unwanted variations in laser amplitude or frequency.
Dross : A residue which forms on the bottom edge of a laser cut, formed from material which has been melted by the cutting laser solidifying. May be due to use of low quality materials. Increasing gas pressure or using pulsed laser output can reduce dross.
DXF File : Drawing Exchange Format. Export file format originating in AutoCad, which has become a standard CAD file format.
DWG File : Auto Cad drawing file format.
Edge Quality : The state of the edge produced by laser cutting, which is determined by the stability of the motion system and the accuracy and control of the cutting laser.
Energy : Measured in Joules, energy is calculated by multiplying the power in Watts by the duration in seconds.
Etching : marking the surface of the material without cutting through it completely, by using the laser at a lower power setting.
Feed Rate : The speed the cutting head of the laser moves at.
Focal Point : The point at which the light rays refracted by a lens meet, giving the highest concentration of energy.
Gas Jet : Gas which blows into the cutting zone to clear away molten materials.
Gas Mix : A mixture of gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and helium. Different laser cutting applications may require the gases to be mixed in different proportions.
Gas Pressure : The pressure of the laser cutting assist gas measured in psi.
Helium-Neon Laser : A laser which uses a mixture of neon and helium as its medium. It produces a visible red laser beam and is typically used to assist alignment of laser optics, measurement and recording.
Hold Tolerance : The variations in a laser cut relative to a specified target value.
Home : A reference point on the laser cutting machine.
IGS File : Standard CAD file format used for 3D or formed components.
Intensity : A measure of the amount or brightness of light energy.
Kerf : The width of the groove made by a laser cutting tool.
Laser : Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Laser Cavity : A laser cavity or laser resonator is the system of optical mirrors, the active medium and pumping system where lasing takes place.
Laser cutting : A process using an industrial laser to cut metals or other materials in fabrication. Typical materials suitable for laser cutting include aluminium, mild steel or stainless steel.
Laser Fusion Cutting : Laser cutting by melting and blowing with a gas jet. Also known as melt shearing.
Laser Generated Air Contaminants (LGAC) : Laser cutting can produce fumes which may be toxic, and therefore safety precautions may need to be taken.
Laser Oscillation : The build-up of coherent energy caused by the wave bouncing back and forth between the mirrors in the laser cavity.
Lens : An optic that causes light rays to converge to a point by refraction or reflection.
Melt Shearing : Laser cutting by melting, in which the molten material is blown out of the melt zone by a gas jet. Also known as fusion cutting.
Melting Point : the temperature at which a substance changes from a solid to a liquid state.
Micron : One millionth of a meter. Also known as a micrometer.
Monochromatic : Light consisting of only one wavelength.
Moving Optics Laser : A cutting laser in which the work piece is kept stationary while the cutting head and mirrors move around it.
Moving Work piece Laser : A cutting laser in which the work piece is moved around a stationary cutting head.
Multi-Axis Laser Cutting : A process which allows laser cutting of 3D shapes. It is more complex than flatbed laser cutting.
Nozzle : Part of the gas jet which forces the assist gas into a narrow column in order to push molten material through the kerf.
Oxygen Assist Laser : A cutting laser in which oxygen is used as the assist gas. It induces an exothermic reaction, in the material, so that the oxygen does the cutting while the laser beam maintains the reaction.
Photon : A quantum of light energy.
Power Density : Laser output per unit area, measured in W/cm2.
Pulse : A single burst of laser energy, which can achieve higher power than continuous wave lasers.
Pulse Frequency : The number of laser pulses per second, measured in Hz.
Pulse Length : The duration of laser pulses, in fractions of a second.
Reflection : The bouncing of light waves from a surface.
Reflective : The measure of the reflection provided by a particular material.
Refraction : The deflection which occurs when a light wave passes from one medium to another at an angle, such as from air to the glass of a lens.
Vaporization : Conversion of a liquid or solid into a gas. A laser vaporizes material as it cuts.
Taper : The difference between the width of the top and the bottom of a laser cut. Generally it is slightly narrower at the bottom than the top.
Thermal Conductivity : Measures a material’s ability to conduct heat energy from one place to another. Materials with a high conductivity are slower and require more energy for laser cutting as energy is dissipated as heat from the cutting zone.
2-axis : A 2 axis CNC machining system has the ability to modify objects on a plane. This plane has only two coordinate systems, the x and the y axis. Objects can be moved on a plane. If the plane is upright then an object can be modified top to bottom and left an
3-axis : On a 3 axis CNC machine, an object can be modified in space. It can be modified, left and right, top to bottom, and forward and back.
A-axis : A rotational axis describing motion around the X-axis.
AC servo : A type of servomechanism that is more reliable and less energy consuming than the DC servo.
ASCII : American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is a standard for information exchange.
Axes : An imaginary line that passes through the centre of an object. Axes are used to measure the distances of objects in the Cartesian coordinate system.
Ball screw : A long, threaded device that rotates to move the worktable of a CNC machine. The balls crew is powered by a motor.
B-axis : A rotational axis describing motion around the Y-axis.
Canned Cycle : A predetermined machining sequence used to simplify programming.
Cartesian coordinate system: : The numerical system that describes the location of an object by numerically expressing its distance from a fixed position along three linear axes.
C-axis : A rotational axis describing motion around the Z-axis.
Closed-loop System : A control system that provides feedback to the controller.
CNC Lathe : A lathe that is controlled by a computer running programs driven by numerical data.
CNC milling machine : A milling machine that is controlled by a computer running programs driven by numerical data.
Computer Numerical Control : The use of a computer with numerical instructions and program codes to carry out various machining operations.
Continuous Path : A type of control system where cutting can take place as the tool moves from one position to the next.
Contouring : tool movement along two or more axes at the same time.
Control System : A method of tool and part movement in CNC machining. Point-to-point and continuous path are the two main control systems.
Cutting Tool : A device made of hard, tough material that is used to remove metal by creating chips.
DC servo : A common type of servomechanism.
Drill : A machining tool used to penetrate the surface of a work piece and make a round hole.
Dry Run : A trial run of the part program without any parts or cutting fluids
EIA : Electronics Industry Association. It publishes Recommended Standards (RS) for transmitting data between devices.
Feed Rate : The rate at which the cutting tool and the work piece move in relation to one another.
Feedback : A return signal that confirms the position of the tool or worktable.
Feedback Device : A device that sends information back to the controller in the closed-loop system.
Floppy Drive : A device that reads magnetic data from a floppy disc.
Hardware : The physical components of a CNC machine.
Horizontally : Parallel to the horizon, like a table top
Hydraulic Servo : A type of servomechanism that is driven by fluids.
Linear Axes : The axes that describe movement along a straight line.
Linear Scale : A device that relies on the size of an electrical current to convey the position or distance on a CNC machine. A linear scale is one of the most accurate feedback devices.
Lot : A group of similar parts created during the use of a particular tooling setup.
Machine Control Unit : A small, powerful computer that controls and operates a CNC machine.
Machining Centre : A sophisticated CNC machine that can perform multiple machining operations at the same location with a variety of tools.
Mylar Tape : A thin, yet strong polyester film that was used to transmit programs to numerically controlled machines.
Open-loop System : A control system that does not provide feedback to the controller.
Optical Encoder : A type of feedback sensor that records light reflections and converts the reflections into feedback signals.
Origin : The fixed, central point in the Cartesian coordinate system. The origin has a numerical value of zero.
Paper Tape : A way of transmitting programs to numerically controlled machines. This is a somewhat older method.
Part Program : The instructions for the CNC machine about how to create a part.
Point-To-Point Positioning : A type of control system where no cutting takes place during the movement of the tool from one position to the next.
Punch Presses : A machine that uses force to either cut or form a work piece.
Rectangular Coordinate System : Another name for the Cartesian coordinate system.
Right-hand Rule : A quick reference that shows the X-, Y-, and Z-axes. A person displays his or her right hand, and the first three fingers from the right each represent the X-, Y-, and Z-axis in order.
Rotary Resolver : A device that sends signals back to the CNC controller to indicate position or speed.
Rotational Axes : The axes that describe turning or spinning movement.
RS232 : A standard that defines a computer's serial port and interaction with other devices.
Second Operation : A lathe with No leadscrew. Often setup with a cut off slide and a turret, but could just be a 'plain' lathe with a cross slide and tail stock.
Servomechanism : A special motor used in CNC machines that moves with precision.
Signal : A message sent electronically.
Slide : The part that moves and holds a tool.
Software : The coded instructions, formulas, and operations that structure the actions of a computer.
Spindle Speed : The rate that the cutting tool or work piece moves at the point of contact.
Stepper Motor Servo : A servomechanism that generates steps to move the tool and the worktable.
Turning Centre : A sophisticated CNC machine that specializes in turning, boring, drilling, and threading operations, all at the same location.
Vertical Line : A line that travels up and down.
Work piece : A part that is being worked on. It may be subject to cutting, welding, forming, or other operations.
Worktable : The table that supports a work piece during a manufacturing operation.
X-axis : The linear axis that represents motions and positions to the left or right of the operator.
Y-axis : The linear axis that represents motions and positions both toward and away from the operator.
Z-axis : The linear axis that represents motions and positions both up and down. The Z-axis is always parallel to the main cutting device.
Assemblies : the putting together of complex machinery, as airplanes, from interchangeable parts of standard dimensions.
Assembly : Utilising a dedicated assembly area, we are able to meet customers' needs for added-value assembly work such as for Sheet metal Inserts, Helical Insertion, Fastenings, Sub-Assembly.
CNC Milling : CNC is short for Computer Numerical Control -it refers to a computer "controller" that reads instructions and drives the machine tool. CNC's are able to perform precision cuts reliably in machine shop settings. Most machine shops would have CNC lathes, CN
CNC Turning : Turning is a machining process in which a cutting tool, typically a non-rotary tool bit, describes a helical toolpath by moving more or less linearly while the work piece rotates. The tool's axes of movement may be literally a straight line, or they may b
Machining : Make or operate on with a machine
Plant List : a list of machinery used in an engineering plant
Back Gauge : An adjustable stop, automated on modern CNC machines, which acts as a stop for the work piece centering the bend line over the v opening of the die.
Back Gauge Origin : A present position for the back gauge, set form the centre of the v opening. The back gauge origin is typically 4” from the centre of the v. This origin will determine all positioning of the back gauge, so it’s crucial that it runs even to the die.
Bed Plate : The stabilizing and supporting foundation of any Brake Press. This feature is often at ground level, though for some heavy duty brakes and stamping machines it will be located below ground and isolated from the floor in order to minimize the transfer of v
Bottom Dead Center : This is the position of the brake when it is fully closed into the die. This position will be different for each die set.
Capacity / Tonnage : This is going to be the maximum force that the press brake can exert on the work piece.
Clutch : The mechanism which engages the fly wheel on a mechanical brake, transferring its energy through a gear set to the crankshaft bring tonnage down on the work piece.
CNC : An abbreviation for Computer Numerical Control, this is a term applied to computer controlled press brakes.
Crank Shaft : The component of a mechanical press brake which transfers the energy of the flywheel to the ram.
Day Light Through : A term used to describe the maximum open space a brake can open to given a specific die set.
Down Acting Brake : A press brake where the upper beam moves the punch down into the die.
Flywheel : A large weighted wheel which is spun to store the energy necessary to close and re-open a mechanical press brake.
Foot Pedal : The part of a mechanical press brake which is used by the operator to engage the clutch.
Gibb Adjustment : Fine tuning motion control for the beam which will move.
High / Low Speed Change : The point during the bending operation where the brake transitions from a high speed motion, to approach the work piece, to a low speed motion, to bend the work piece. The bending is done at a slower rate to prevent dangerous whip up of the work piece.
Housing Brace : A structural component of the upper beam which holds the two driving cylinders of a press brake together.
Hydraulic Brake : A press brake which is driven through the high pressure transfer of a fluid into a cylinder. Hydraulic press brakes can be very accurate and well controlled, so they are the dominant form of computer controlled precision brakes.
Hydro-mechanical Brake : A press brake which uses a flywheel to push fluid to a hydraulic cylinder, offering even tonnage throughout the stroke, an advantage over typical mechanical brakes.
Length : The overall working length of the Brake Press beams from left to right.
Lower Beam : The lower portion of a press brake which holds the die or rail in position.
Mechanical Brake : A press brake which relies on a flywheel and clutch mechanism to mechanically transfer energy to cycle the ram. Found on older machines this type of brake suffers from uneven tonnage application and poor vertical control.
Mechanical Stop : A physical stop which prevents older mechanical brakes from over travelling and improves repeatability.
Pinch Point : The moment the punch touches and begins to apply tonnage to the work piece. At this point the back gauge may retract to allow the work piece to form upwards freely.
Pit / No Pit Machine : Whether or not the machine requires a hole in the floor, and subsequent base, to stabilize and secure the lower beam. Pit Machines are going to be much larger than No Pit machines.
Ram : Both Upper and Lower Rams are the driving, or resisting components of the press brakes. Typically machined from large, strong steel plates, they can be complimented by internal hydraulic cylinders to resist crowning.
Repeat-ability : The accuracy with which the press brake is able to return to a specific position.
Stroke Length : The maximum open size of the Brake Press, i.e. the distance between the top of the lower beam and the bottom of the upper beam when the brake is fully open and there is no tooling installed.
Swing Up Fingers : – Special adaption to the back gauge which allow the work piece to whip upwards without damaging the back gauge. These fingers are able to move freely with the part and out of the way.
Tandem : Two or more press brakes controlled by the same controller which are used to bend extremely large parts.
Throat : The depth of the press brake before the vertical supports limit flange length. Most press brakes are only constrained by the throat of a brake around the driving cylinders.
Top Dead Center : The compliment to bottom dead centre, this is the position of the press brake when it is opened to its maximum height.
Tonnage Control : The ability of the machine to regulate its tonnage up to its maximum tonnage. This is greater with modern hydraulic brakes which can control their tonnage very accurately.
Up Acting Brake : A press brake where the lower beam moves the die upward into the punch.
Upper Beam : The upper portion of a press brake which holds the punch holder.
X Axis : The front to back motion of the back gauge. The X Axis controls the flange length, positive motion moves the back gauge towards the operator and results in a smaller flange.
R Axis : The vertical motion of the back gauges.
Z Axis : The left to right motion of the back gauges. This is used when bending with multiple setups down the press brake, allowing the gauges to move with the operator as he moves the work piece from one setup to the next.
Y Axis : The vertical motion of the moving beam. This does not mean the motion of the back gauge.
Alloy : A substance comprised of an elemental metal and other elements that expresses metallic properties.
Annealing : A process that is used to soften and alter the material by heating and cooling the sample.
Anodizing : A process in which a oxide layer is controlled and applied to the surface of aluminium.
Automatic Press : A press with electrical controls that is mechanically fed the material to be pressed.
Bending : Applying strain to metallic material in a way the deformation remains permanent.
Blank : A metal piece pre-cut for future press operation.
Blanking : Shaping the raw material to a general shape to be used for several operations.
Burr : A raised and very sharp edge of metal due to cutting, punching and drilling.
Burr Height : The height the burr or raised edge is at above the surface.
CNC LASER Cutting : CNC technology, which stands for ‘computer numerical control’, uses a LASER programmed by a computer to cut materials.
Coining : A process that uses a closed-die to confine the piece in order to produce detailed imprints.
Compound Die : A die that is designed to perform several different processes on a part within one stroke of the press machine.
Coordinate Measuring Machine, (CMM) : A machine that is used to measure in the third dimension, gathering coordinates on a part for inspection.
Corner Radius : The outer radius of a part.
Counter boring : A process used to generate a cylindrical shaped hole with a machining or coining operation.
Countersinking : A similar process to “counter boring”, machining a part to create a conical hole.
Crimping : The process used to complete a seam or an arc using a corrugations.
Deburr : Removing sharp protrusions from finished parts.
Dedicated Tooling : A type of tooling that is specified to a particular part, also called “hard tooling”.
Deep Drawing : Using a punch and flat blank of sheet metal, the punch draws out the sheet metal into a die cavity to form a particular shape.
Die : A type of tool that has a cavity specifically designed for a certain shape with a punch to match it.
Die Clearance : The approximate area that is located between the punch and die opening.
Die Marks : Marks created by tooling on the sheet metal such as; scratches, indentations or scrub marks.
Die Stamping : The term used to refer to a piece that is formed, shaped or cut by a die in a press.
Draw Die : A special die used to “draw” sheet metal out by using a punch to push into the die cavity.
Drawing : Using a flat piece of sheet metal to be stretched out to fit a specific, 3-dimensional shape. Also used to refer to the documents an Engineer uses to describe a part.
Ductility : Refers to a materials’ ability to submit to bending or forming.
Edging : A process used to reduce a parts’ flange radius which involves retracting the punch a little after the initial stroke without relieving the pressure. Also refers to rolling the metal where the axis of roll is parallel to the area that considered the “thic
Embossing : A type of process that is used to produce indented designs in a piece of metal. This is done through the use of a die with a cavity and a matching punch or matching die.
Extruding : A drawing out process that uses a previously punched hole.
Finite Element Analysis : A method used to analyse a deforming metal in areas such as; instantaneous velocity, strain rates, strain, stresses and temperatures.
Flange : A rim or projection from a part formed for stiffness or to aide in assembly.
Forging : A process that uses extreme temperatures (hot or cold) and a punch to deform a piece of metal to the shape of a die cavity.
Forming : A term used to refer to the process of forming a 3-dimensional part from a flat sheet of metal.
Gage : A measurement given to the thickness of sheet metal or wire.
Gauge : A tool that is used for measuring or testing.
Grain Direction : The general orientation of the finish on the surface of a part, often generated by an abrasive method.
Hydraulic Press : A mechanism that uses a fluid pressure controlled ram.
Insert : A separate piece of steel that is used to assist in repair or to extend wearabiity.
Master Die : The main tool that has the ability to house different tool systems.
Mechanical Press : A forging mechanism that uses mechanical means to operate a ram, such as; a flywheel, a crank and a clutch.
Metal Fabrication : The process of taking multiple sheet metal parts or blanks and welding them together.
Metal Stamping : An economical manufacturing process that is ideal for customers with short lead times, repetitive low to medium volumes.
Metal Thinning : A process in which the thickness of metal is reduced during a forming operation.
Multiple-slide Press : A press consisting of individuals often connected into a main slide or main shaft that can be adjusted based on the timing and length of stroke that the current operation calls for.
Normalizing : A metal forming process in which the steel is heated to above its’ critical temperature and then air cooled.
Notching : A process where the punch is used to remove material from an edge, corner of a strip or blank.
Orange Peel : A term that refers to type of texture of steel that gives the outward appearance of an orange peel, often the result of after forming or a steel mill.
Perforating : A process in which a sheet of metal or part is uniformly punched numerous times with identical holes. Also referred to as multiple punching.
Piercing : An operation in which a part or sheet of material is cut, sheared or punched to produce holes and slots. This is a very similar process to that of blanking.
Press : A type of mechanism comprised of a stationary bed and a slide which is used to shape and form metal.
Press Bed : A stationary piece of a press that the lower die assembly is normally mounted to in a metal forming operation.
Press Brake : A mechanism that uses a single action to deform a piece of sheet metal.
Press Capacity : The total rated force a specific press has the ability to exert to a distance above the lowest point of a stroke.
Press Forming : A metal forming operation that calls for the use of a mechanical or hydraulic press.
Progressive Die : A die consisting of several stations, each performing an operation.
Prototype : The first production of a design, used for testing and improving performance.
Punch : The part that reciprocally matches a die and forces the material into the die cavity.
Punch Press : The mechanism that uses compression force in order to reshape materials.
Punch Side : The side of the material that the punch enters through.
Quick Change Inserts : A section or part that can be removed or exchanged without removing the whole tool and interrupting the process.
Reduction : The measure that the diameter decreased when going from blank to a cup. Also refers to the percentage decrease of a cross-sectional area, when discussing forging, extrusion, rolling or drawing. In general the term refers to a percentage decrease from an
Prestriking : A process that uses striking to improve alignment, surface condition, hardness and tolerances. Only used when parts are misaligned or forged incorrectly.
Reverse drawing : An operation in which a part is drawn in the opposite direction to which it was originally drawn.
Scrap : Unused pieces that are leftover from the operation which go straight to recycling.
Screw press : A press that operates under high speeds with a ram that is actuated by a screw assembly connected to a drive mechanism.
Shearing : A procedure in which a cutting force is applied perpendicular to the surface of a material, forcing the material to its yield point and resulting in a break.
Sheet forming : A technique in which a piece of sheet metal is deformed into a 3-dimensional shape without disturbing the sheet thickness.
Shut Height : The amount of space between a ram at its lowest point and the adjustment at its highest.
Stamp : The term that refers to all pieces produced by a press. Also refers to the impression of a design or letters into a material’s surface.
Stress cracking : When a part reaches its maximum yield point, the result is a fracture or stress crack. This is often due to residual stresses from cold forming, heat treating or rapid cooling.
Stroke : The vertical motion that the ram makes in going from top dead center to bottom dead center or half the cycle.
Tapping : A process of cutting or forming that is used to generate internal threads in a piece.
Tensile Strength : A ratio that relates the maximum load of a material to the original cross-sectional area.
Tolerance : Variation from the original specifications of that product that is allowable.
Transfer Die : A smaller or sub die that is combined with others and attached to a transfer press that presses pieces that are then transferred to the next die through the use of a mechanical device.
Transfer press : A complex type of press that has several different dies and a transfer mechanism that moves the piece from one die to the next.
V Die : A die with a die cavity in a “V”-shape to counter-match the V punch.
V Punch : A “V”-shaped tool that is used to form specific angles.
Vibratory Finishing : A process that is used to remove burrs off a product, using an acceleration method and an abrasive material enclosed in a container.
Wear plates : Plates that are mounted where the piece or product will receive the most wear and usage. Often made of steel or bronze and provides for easy replacement.
Yield strength : The specific stress point at which a material deters from the original stress to strain ratio.