Punching makes holes in a piece of material by punching a tool into a die, with the workpiece in between. This creates a
hole in the workpiece. By doing this repeatedly, it is possible to punch holes in patterns. It is also possible to let the
holes overlap each other, making punching an efficient process to cut large pieces of sheet metal.
A modern punch press can hold several tools at the same time. The tools are mounted in the machine tool's turret. The machine tool can be programmed to use them in a sequence, which significantly reduces the machining time. Therefore punching is somtimes referred to as CNC turret punching.
For large volume production, punching can be highly automated. However, it is also possible and cost-effective to punch smaller volumes, especially since the tools are not custom-made for each project.