Smart punch

What top drilling and notching machines have to offer
January 5, 2009

Glass fabricators looking to invest in drilling and notching equipment have numerous factors to consider and many questions to ask machine manufacturers. Can the machine be incorporated into our line? Is it vertical or horizontal? What size and thickness of glass can it handle? What separates this drilling or notching machine from others on the market?

Below are descriptions of 10 drilling and notching machines and tools from leading manufacturers to help answer some of those questions. To submit information about machines not included, please email  


Manufacturer: Bavelloni, a business of Glaston, Finland
Distributor: Bavelloni

The NRG-Series machines are fast, easy-to-use and can perform a wide variety of functions including edging, drilling and milling. The NRG-330 incorporates a proven design with state-of-the-art technology. With a workable dimension of 3300 millimeters by 1700 mm, it is suitable for architectural, furniture, shower door and interior design glass processing. The NRG-330 features a modular design and a large range of accessories that make it highly customizable.

NRG-330’s bridge moved by gantry axis, with motors built into the structure itself, offers a high speed of 65 meters per minute, in addition to impressive acceleration, precision and no mechanical vibrations. The machine can handle glass thicknesses from 3 mm to 19 mm.

Its compact construction and ergonomic design can meet all space-saving and price-quality ratio requirements. It incorporates a safety fence with a sliding door and is available with a 19-position tool storage onboard the machine. Rapid data transfer is possible with maximum control of movement at high speed, since the NRG is available with an integrated Windows XP graphics interface and an optional touch screen. In addition, a parametric library of doors and door accessories makes it simple to upload and customize models.

336/299-8300 |

AquaDrill for Tiles and Glass

Manufacturer: Bohle America, Charlotte, N.C.
Distributor: Bohle America

AquaDrill, Bohle America’s high-performance cordless wet drilling machine, punches holes with diameters of 5 mm to 70 mm. It provides vibration-free drilling in ceramic tiles and hard materials like porcelain stoneware, granite and marble. The machine operates on 18-volt rechargeable batteries; no safety switch or insulating transformer is required. This is a great advantage, particularly for working safely in wet rooms. It also features integrated water cooling that results in shorter drilling times and a longer service life for drill bits.

Additionally, Bohle America offers a comprehensive range of accessories for the AquaDrill, which can operate at three different speeds: 450, 1,450 and 2,000 rotations per minute. The various drilling aids prevent the drill from slipping and damaging the tiles. The top model Profi with vacuum suction holder is equipped to drain off the drilling dust and coolant. This keeps the entire drilling area clean. For coolant circulation, Bohle offers a 12-liter pressurized water tank.

704/887-3457 | 

CRL Diamond Notch and Saw Machine Cat. No. DNS1

Manufacturer: C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles
Distributor: C.R. Laurence Co.

The DNS1 Diamond Notch and Saw Machine is currently the only hand-held notching tool of its kind on the market, according to the supplier.

The machine's 110-volt saw utilizes a high-quality 5 3/4-inch stainless steel, 360-degree diamond-plated ring blade that provides smooth, fast cutting in all directions of glass up to 1/2-inch thick, including laminated glass. A sponge within the tool’s body soaked with a coolant mixture keeps the blade cool and lubricated, eliminating the need for an external pump system.

The saw can be used freehand to reduce labor time up to 75 percent on glass edge patterns for hinges, locks, clamps and crown molding cutouts with smooth, chip-free results. An adjustable jig tool with ¼-inch radius corner templates is included.

CRL offers an optional corner radii set for the jig tool, as well as templates for its shower door clamps and hinges.

800/421-6144 |

Forvet Francesca FC 1250

Manufacturer: Forvet, Italy
Distributor: IGE Solutions, Jupiter, Fla.

The Forvet Francesca FC 1250 model is a numerically controlled glass working center capable of performing drilling, countersinking and milling operations on flat glass sheets, including those of irregular shape. Applications include frameless shower doors, solar panels and furniture glass. There is no minimum distance between successive drilling operations. It is completely automatic, requiring no manual intervention. The numerical control optimizes the approach speed of the heads; controls the glass transport feed, drilling speed and water quantity; and adjusts the drill length to compensate for wear.

The machine is capable of automatically drilling and milling a shower door with two holes and two “mouse ear notches” in less than five minutes. There is no need for manual tool changes due to its unique 16-spindle design—eight spindles per turret, with two turrets. Larger models offer up to 32 spindles.

Infinite glass length is possible due to an X-axis conveyor system, and multiple models are available to accommodate various glass widths. The Forvet Francesca’s conveyor system and compact size allows fabricators to add it to full production lines or use it as a standalone operation. In addition, optical sensors automatically set tool-length offsets, extending the life of diamond tools.

800/919-7181 |

D1144 In-Line Drill

Manufacturer: Glassline, Perrysburg, Ohio
Distributor: Glassline

The In-Line Drilling System from Glassline provides optimum throughput on a variety of products and can be installed in-line with an edging or conveyor system. This system can be configured for different types of products depending on customer needs, including appliance glass, shower doors, entry doors and cabinet doors.

The system handles glass sizes from 12 inches by 12 inches to 40 inches by 40 inches, and in thicknesses from 3 mm to 12 mm. Larger and thicker glass options are available. Drill hole diameters range from 4 mm to 45 mm.

The In-Line Drilling System features two drill heads on each side of the conveyor system, each consisting of top and bottom spindles. Two heads allow for faster cycle time, as no tool change is required, and opposed holes can be drilled simultaneously. The precise linear drill movements lead to accuracy and longer drill life. Drills can be powered pneumatically or via servo-driven ball screw. Servo-driven heads are required for milling and routing.

Split entry and exit timing-belt conveyors allow for faster throughput. A lift table is installed in simpler drilling operations to allow for entry and exit of parts while drilling. The system also offers automatic lubrication of all ball nuts, ball screw end bearings, linear bearings and spindles.

419/666-5942 |

V Series Flexible Drilling Machine for Jumbo Sheets

Manufacturer: Intermac, Charlotte, N.C.
Distributor: Intermac

The V Series machines perform all the operations necessary to produce structural glasses and doors with a single cycle, without the need to carry the grinding and squaring of the glass sheet on another machine. The machine control is carried through a commercial Windows PC.

The machines provide quick tool change mounted above the working area for cleanliness and longer working life; the capacity to handle glass measuring 2.6 meters by 5 meters in size; the ability to handle out-of-square pieces; fast cycle times due to quick loading and a glass positioning system; a new generation of liquid cooling electro-spindles to assure tightest tolerances; and recirculating ball screw drives for maximum acceleration to reduce production times.

704/583-3133 |

FPD 60 Drill

Manufacturer: Schiatti Angelo, Italy
Distributor: De Gorter, Monroe, N.C.

The FPD 60 Series Drill accommodates glass from 2 mm to 28 mm thick and is available in manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic versions. Both heads operate by oleopneumatic controls with micrometric adjustment. An electromechanical system is used for setting drill depth with lighted indicators, allowing precise and fast setting of the machine for different glass thicknesses. Cooling water flows through both heads, starting when the cycle commences and stopping when the cycle is complete. Options include laser centering, a large pneumatic castor table and a positioning jig for repetitive drilling. Other multi-station models are available.

800/334-9399 | 

topDRILL 130 Easy

Manufacturer: Schraml Glastechnik, Austria
Salem Distributing, Winston-Salem, N.C.

The topDRILL 130 Easy is a versatile horizontal drilling machine built upon a rugged steel frame to ensure years of trouble-free precision drilling. This versatile drill offers easy-to-use PLC-controlled drilling, including automatic hole alignment, drill-bit speed and feed rates for fast, clean and accurate operation.

The topDRILL 130 Easy was designed to expand into a complete processing line. Sawing and glass washing can be affordably added to the drill as precision fitted components.

800/234-1982 |

TD25 Vertical Two-sided Drill Machine

Manufacturer: Sommer & Maca Machinery, division of C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles
Distributor: C.R. Laurence Co.

The Sommer & Maca TD25 is a compact, accurate and affordable vertical two-sided glass drill machine. It handles glass 1/8 inch to 1 1/4 inches thick and operates on 110-volt power. Two opposing, variable-speed spindles perform hole drilling.

Unlike horizontal drilling machines, the TD25 can be loaded by hand or overhead crane. X-Y coordinates help to locate the panel for drilling and eliminate the need to mark the glass. To drill, the operator shifts a joystick control to initiate automatic movement of the front and rear drill spindles. During operation, the drill coolant falls directly into a recirculating tank below the drill spindles for reuse.

Vertical drilling reduces the floor space requirement for this process to about 50 percent of what is needed by a horizontal drill, and there is no need for industrial power or location as this unit operates on 110 volts.

866-583-1377 |

Deway DZ1345

Manufacturer: Zhongshan Deway Machinery Co., China
Distributor: Jordan Glass Corp., Miami

A dual-spindle, semiautomatic horizontal glass drilling machine, the DZ1345 can operate top-down or as a dual-side driller. When in dual-mode, the bottom drill is activated first and rises using an advanced damping control system that precisely engages the bottom side of the glass. Bottom-up drilling depth is controlled via an operator-adjusted limit switch. Once the bottom drill has automatically released, the top drill starts and is manually lowered by the operator.

The machine offers six different operating speeds for varying diameters and glass thicknesses. The unit comes with stop guides for repetitive drilling and has a unique water flotation system for maneuvering thin glass. This system also can be used for preparing the drill table area and assuring there is no leftover debris that may scratch the glass.

With a table height of 3 feet, the DZ1345 is ideal for loading and drilling glass of all shapes and sizes. The machine can drill holes from 3/16-inch in diameter to 7 7/8-inch in diameter, and accommodates glass thicknesses from 1/8-inch to 1 ½-inch.

305/482-0116 |