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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 15, 2016 | By Steve Benson
Whether you are a press brake technician or you are programming in CAD, having a basic understanding of notching can lead to better products and a more efficient operation.
February 1, 2016 | By Sue Roberts
The beauty and grace of a baleen whale were the inspiration of the Sei sculpture designed by Michael Yahgulanaas and fabricated by Reggin Industries, Calgary, Alberta, for the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Mall at the Vancouver Airport. Fabricating the smooth, curved lines of the sculpture with a mirrored stainless steel exterior within a tight time frame required a disciplined, revised production flow and innovation.
January 27, 2016 | By Steve Benson
Bottom bending can work well for some aluminum grades, but it requires knowledgeable operators who fully grasp the bending method and know what precautions to take.
December 15, 2015 | By Steve Benson
This month Steve Benson summarizes his grand unifying theory of radius, bend deduction, and die selection with a review and complete rundown of the bend calculations, from estimating springback to working the bend functions.