The tooling was critical, because any deviation in the angular orientation of
the rhombus perforations would cause the pattern to become visually asymmetrical.
“A;er punching, the entire panel surface [was] coated in an ultrahigh-metallic
Kynar® paint coating to achieve a burr-free punched edge so the paint [dried]
smoothly,” said Graves. “It was critical that the shear edge inside each punch was
free from any defects throughout the punching cycle. We needed the punched
edges to allow the metallic paint flake to lay as smoothly and uniformly as possible over the entire face of the panels. The Mate tools achieved that.
“One of the key features of the diamond cluster forming tooling is the tool’s
extreme degree of orientation accuracy,” Graves continued. “The precision of
Michael Graves (right) and Craig Stephens (le;) managed the massive fabricating
project for Architectural Systems Inc. Pictured in the foreground is one of the forming tools used to punch the panel hole patterns shown beneath the tools.
Finished panels were positioned using large cranes. Each panel measures 65 by 72
the machined punch and die’s cutting edges, along with Mate’s engineering expertise in the design of the roo;op shear face of the punch, allowed us to meet
the required angular orientation of the panel perforations while maintaining
their visual symmetry. That allowed us to meet both of those challenges and
exceed design expectations on the project.”
Panel Production Parameters
Each of the 4,486 panels was punched from ¼-in. aluminum plate on presses
with 36-toolstation capacity (see Figure 3).
Each panel rhombus punchout required four hits per second, with each punch
press producing five completed panels per hour. Minor secondary machining
operations followed punching, along with finishing, folding return legs, pre-treating, painting, and packaging. Total production time per panel was about
“Edge quality a;er punching was burr-free and required no cleanup,” explained Graves. “The design of the tools and the staggered punch order dictated
by our programmers resulted in finished panels with no measurable deviation in
flatness from the original raw aluminum plate. That was important both from an
appearance standpoint and for easy panel assembly at the Transbay site.
“When installed, the overall crystalline screen façade really is breathtakingly
di;erent,” Graves concluded. “The entire project went forward very smoothly
without downtime or scrap.”
Architectural Systems Inc., 800-300-4288,
Mate Precision Tooling, 800-328-4492, www.mate.com