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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Why automate your press brakes?

October 7, 2015 | By Scott Ottens

Automated bending technology has changed significantly in recent years. Knowing which works best for your operation starts with a simple question: Why do you want to automate?

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A grand unifying theory of bending on the press brake: Part I

September 8, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Press brake guru Steve Benson proposes a new theory of bending, altering some long-held labels and definitions and introducing new formulas. Those long-held definitions worked well, but these new definitions and formulas may help a press brake technician become even more accurate in predicting how a part will form.

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Predicting the inside radius when bending with the press brake

August 12, 2015 | By Steve Benson

You can use some common rules of thumb to predict the inside bend radius when air forming, and the results you get are usually close enough, but with the help of a few online calculators, you can get even closer.

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Peace of mind with single-piece flow

August 4, 2015 | By Dan Davis

The Minneapolis manufacturing facility for Unison Comfort Technologies was being stretched to the limits trying to keep up with orders for its HVAC products. New fabricating technology was seen as the only way to meet current production needs and add capacity, but the company needed a new approach to its part flow as well if it were to make the most of any reshuffling of the shop floor.

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8 questions for efficient bending on the press brake

July 27, 2015 | By Tim Heston

At S&B Machine in Mobile, Ala., Head Programmer Danny Brown streamlines bending by making sure the right operators have the right information at the right time.

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How to calculate the air-formed radius of different bend angles

July 21, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Using the 20 percent rule works well when calculating the floated radius in an air form, but what about the radius at different bend angles? To calculate this, we start with geometry to find the arc length and radius at different bend angles. We then manipulate these results by factoring in real-world bending conditions.

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Horizontal bending on the press brake

July 15, 2015 | By Greg Flaherty, Michael Sosnoski

With the right tooling, you can accomplish horizontal bending—that is, where the sheet remains horizontal during the bend cycle—on the press brake. In general, horizontal bending on the press brake is accomplished with either wiping tools or rotary-style tools.

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

June 29, 2015 | By Steve Benson

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 | By Dan Davis

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 | By Tim Heston

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 | By Eric Lundin

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 | By Steve Benson

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 | By Steve Benson

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 | By Kevin Bartels

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 | By Steven Parrow, William Q. Tingley

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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