Bending Articles

The bending technology area includes all manner of machines and processes for bending sheet metal, including press brakes, folders, panel benders, corner formers, ironworkers, notchers, orbital formers, and roll benders. It also has information on accessories such as gauging and backgauging systems.

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Forming aluminum on the press brake: Bending soft, not sharp

June 29, 2015

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Air bending soft aluminum has such a low tensile strength that it doesn't take much for a narrow punch tip to penetrate the surface and turn the bend sharp.

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Employees set the pace for success

June 25, 2015

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Wisconsin Metal Parts Inc., Waukesha, Wis., has grown its metal fabricating business very aggressively in recent years. The latest machine tool technology has helped, but its employees have made it stay in control and on course.

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Precision sheet metal bending, bump by bump

June 1, 2015

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Bump bending remains more art than science, especially for large and thick workpieces, but using the right tools and setup procedures help make this challenging brake operation much more efficient.

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Bending and brewing

May 11, 2015

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Sheet metal worker Paul Ziegman puts in long days building stainless steel kitchen equipment for restaurants and other food-service businesses in and around Spokane, Wash. He recently opened his own such business using the same equipment and skill set.

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The 4 pillars of press brake tonnage limits

May 3, 2015

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To ensure you always work within the tonnage limits of your press brake and tooling, first calculate how much tonnage you need. Second, identify your tooling’s load limits. Third, calculate the sinking tonnage limit, which, if exceeded, can embed tooling into the ram or bed. Fourth, determine your press brakes’ centerline load limit.

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How an air bend turns sharp

April 30, 2015

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Why do air bends in cold-rolled steel turn sharp at an inside radius that’s about 63 percent the material thickness? It has to do with the relationship between forming forces and a material’s tensile and yield strength.

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The different parts of panel bending

April 30, 2015

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Is producing a hem on a part more suitable for a panel bender or press brake? Does a part less than a foot long make sense for a panel bender? Can a box design with a 13-in. wall be done on a panel bender? Part designs help to reveal the answers to these questions.

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Getting a grip

April 24, 2015

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Setting the grip die securely in rotary draw bending requires close attention to three factors: the pressure exerted by the machine, the contact area, and the material’s coefficient of friction.

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Minimum versus recommended inside bend radius

April 1, 2015

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A material’s minimum inside bend radius shows the smallest radius that’s physically possible in an air bend, though your machines and tooling may not be able to handle the tonnage. The recommended inside bend radius, such as those found on bend allowance charts for air bends, shows you what’s optimal in typical applications

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How a punch press acts like a press brake

March 4, 2015

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Traditionally bending high flanges on a punch press just hasn’t been practical, but new machines and software are changing the situation. Today, flanges up to 3 inches high can be bent not by the press brake, but by special tooling on the punch press.

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4 ways to improve time per bend

March 4, 2015

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The time that a press brake operator spends walking to a control or maneuvering a part is time the customer is not paying for. Those seconds add up over the day and cut into a fab shop's profitability. New approaches to bending, however, can help to remedy that.

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Bending Basics: 6 steps to successful die selection for press brakes

February 16, 2015

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Choosing the right die for an application hinges on the tooling and press brakes you have, and the tonnage limitations of both.

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Automated tooling setup for press brakes

January 22, 2015

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As metal fabricators look to increase throughput in their bending departments while also facing a dearth of seasoned press brake operators, they may find their answer in the form of automated tooling change technology now found on the latest generation of brakes.

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Pass it on

December 12, 2014

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Ron Covell’s 50-year career manually building autobodies for street rods, dragsters, and motorcycles is impressive, to say the least. But he doesn’t plan on hoarding all of the expertise he’s garnered over the years. His latest passion, of the last 20 years anyway, has been sharing information in his traveling workshops to current or up-and-coming autobody enthusiasts. It’s what he hopes is his longest and most impactful legacy.

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Where is your press brake tooling?

October 30, 2014

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An organized workspace is an efficient workspace. Press brake technicians should have all the tools they need to perform a changeover. Unlabeled punches and dies, stored haphazardly on a rack, on the floor, or in boxes, only make their jobs harder.

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