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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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A grand unifying theory of press brake bending: Part II

October 28, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Radius bends—defined here as any bend with an inside radius greater than 125 percent of the material thickness—require careful calculation, not only because of their significant springback, but also because of the tooling these bends require. This includes the use of relieved dies.

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6 ways to boost press brake productivity

October 12, 2015 | By Gunter Glocker

Improved tool storage at the press brake, easier tool identification, fast tool loading/unloading (including heavy tools), and proper positioning of tooling in the press brake can make life easier for any press brake operator--experienced or not.

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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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