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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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Press brake bending and notching: A symbiotic relationship

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.

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Reggin Industries Reinvents Procedures to Create a Whale of a Sculpture

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.

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Press brake basics: 10 tips for bottom bending aluminum

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.

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Grand unifying theory of press brake bending: Part IV

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.

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How a plate rolling rookie becomes a guru

December 3, 2015 | By Tim Heston

How does a plate rolling rookie become a guru? According to Ken Pecho, project engineer at Chicago Metal Rolled Products, it requires good communication. So how do you really define good communication? For plate rolling (and many other shop skills), you can break it down into three critical components: collaboration, observation, and patience.

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Press brake training: Passing the torch

December 1, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s press brake veteran will be retiring at the end of 2016, and he is now passing the torch to someone who never worked on a press brake until 2009. So how did the rookie learn so quickly? Technical aptitude plays a role. But more important than that, the veteran and rookie get along and just work well together.

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A grand unifying theory of press brake bending: Part III

November 11, 2015 | By Steve Benson

In this installment of the Grand Unifying Theory of bending, press brake guru Steve Benson describes bending calculations for aircraft tooling. He also covers the basics of bottoming

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Dutch metal fabrication: About flow

November 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston

One theme carried throughout a recent LVD press tour of custom fabricators in Holland: With fast changeover and the ability to access the right information at the right time, even a custom fabricator with the highest product mix can achieve smooth part flow.

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