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Holes & Slots

Making holes through punching, drilling or using the plasma cutter are all viable processes and are selected depending on the need, time scale and equipment availability for each project.


If we are cutting profiles in-house then it is often possible to draw in the positions of the holes or slots on the flat pattern so they can be cut by the plasma, this does depend however on the thickness of the material. Sometimes another process will be required to form the holes or slots, capabilities of the plasma cutter are great for cutting mild steel because the system uses a function called TrueHole, this process allows us to cut bolt-ready holes of a diameter of 0.7 x thickness of the material eg. example 7mm hole in a 10mm plate.


We punch holes and slots in aluminium, stainless and carbon steel plates. A great option if only a limited number of holes are required and are not needed to be of as high quality as a drilled hole.

A punch uses sheer force to mechanically push through the metal and is best for working with thicker materials. The punched hole diameter must be greater than the plate thickness. Hole diameters less than the plate thickness must be drilled.

The shape that is punched out does not have to be a circle – many different punch designs are also available.

Punching is much quicker than drilling or milling.

Depending on the size of the part, along with the thickness & grade of the material, it may be more suitable to have parts plasma cut instead. You will be quoted for the most efficient & cost-effective way to create the holes or slots for your project.


The CMA drill we use has a bed of 4.5m x 600mm but we can rotate the material on the bed to accommodate up to 9m x 600mm wide & 300mm high.

The CNC programming allows us to produce drilled, milled, and countersunk holes and slots in any type of steel section or plate. The tooling enables a wider range of hole and slot sizes, that are not dependant on the thickness of the material.


Countersinking is the process of widening the diameter of a hole and creating a sinking angle to allow the head of the countersunk bolt, screw or rivet to sit flush with the surface of the material when it is placed in the hole. Countersinking is used in a variety of applications.

Parts that are cut on our HD plasma can have the holes countersunk for an additional charge.


Tapping is the process of forming threads in a hole to prepare it for a fixing. To achieve this precision holes are drilled to the desired tapping size and then internal threads are applied using a manual tap and wrench or a semi-automated tapping tool on our Radial Arm drill.

Tapping laser-cut holes is possible on certain size configurations and sometimes allows for a more effective solution compared to drilling and tapping.

The smallest or largest tap available changes depending on the material and its thickness, for further information please ask.