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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Troubleshooting sheet metal forming: Determining the root causes of bending failure

September 15, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When determining the root causes of part failure, look to not just the forming method and tooling, but also the quality of material. Cheap material can be extremely costly over the long run.

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Press brake bending: Forming long and skinny

August 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Phoenix Products has more than doubled its size during the past year, and much of that growth has to do with tackling an unusual niche: the bending of long, skinny parts.

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Bending Basics: How to locate the press brake’s backgauge position

August 17, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When determining the backgauge position, you need to know the outside flange dimension and bend deduction, based on the actual radius you achieve.

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Applying sheet metal forming principles to plastic

July 12, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Anytime the inside radius or material thickness varies, there will be a change in the bend deduction. This is just as true when bending plastic as it is when bending sheet metal.

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The human side of the skilled-labor crisis

July 8, 2016 | By Tim Heston

In metal fabrication, companies need technical skill, but there’s a humanity to the skill that’s often overlooked. It’s about the relationship between the technician, his machine, and the workpiece.

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Tooling: The heart of choosing a press brake

July 5, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When considering a new press brake purchase, focus on the tooling and forming method first. How will your staff react to changes? How steep will the learning curve be? Also, think about where your company is headed and the markets it serves.

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Managing part flow in custom metal fabrication

July 1, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Think of how fast modern laser cutting is; now think of a typical press brake. There’s no contest. With this in mind, how can a fab shop best manage part flow? Elements of quick-response manufacturing (QRM) can help.

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Big press brake bending, high throughput

June 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston

In large-workpiece bending, material handling and tooling changeover can take serious time. Shorten that time, and bending throughput levels, even for the largest jobs, can jump significantly.

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Drive systems, automation, and flow: a press brake evolution

June 1, 2016 | By Marcel Fiedler, Paul LeTang

Over the years press brake machines have undergone three big changes: how the machines are driven, how they are automated, and, finally, how parts flow through them.

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Applications: Electric press brakes set the pace for lighting products manufacturer

May 23, 2016

Situation: Kenall Mfg. is a manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting products for challenging environments. In late 2014 the company moved its production and office operations from Gurnee, Ill., to Kenosha, Wis., while also reducing its fabrication operation from three shifts to two....

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Which press brake is best?

May 9, 2016 | By Steve Benson

No press brake is best for every application, but you can find a press brake that’s best for you. To find that press brake, you need to match what’s available—hydraulic, hybrid, electric, mechanical, and other styles, along with the tooling—with what your operation needs.

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The sheet metal bending department evolves

April 27, 2016 | By Tim Heston

As cutting productivity rises to unprecedented levels, fabricators tackle their next bottleneck: bending. Today, panel benders, folders, and press brakes with automated tool changing are expanding forming possibilities and making new levels of bending productivity possible.

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Press brake bending: Applying the 20 percent rule to 6061 aluminum

April 13, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Four areas to consider when bending include (1) formability; (2) thickness and bend radius; (3) tensile, yield, and elongation; and (4) how to deal with bending tempered materials. This month, Steven Benson applies these to forming 6061 aluminum.

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How one fabricator maintains quality in bending

March 31, 2016 | By Dan Davis

DeWys Manufacturing, Marne, Mich., used to rely on quality personnel running all over the plant to check parts, but that caused downtime as people waited for the quality check. As the company explored lean manufacturing and refined its training process, it sought to make quality the job of everyone, not just a select few. The results of this thinking are particularly evident in the press brake department.

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Press brake bending and the notch: A deeper dive

March 28, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Bending guru Steve Benson continues his discussion of notching, which has a symbiotic relationship with bending. Nowadays CAD systems take care of the layout calculations. Nonetheless, manual notch layout is still used for one-off products or in prototype shops.

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