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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Taking a long-term view of press brake productivity

June 14, 2005

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Reducing nonvalue-added time—back guauge origin, nonprecison clamping surfaces, die shimming, scrap, and inefficient tooling storage—over time can save thousands.

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Up Around the Bend

April 11, 2005

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Red Dot Corp., forced by eroding margins to consider lean manufacturing and reduce lead times, embarked on a project to reduce wasted time, materials, and space. As part of this project, the company decided to move some of its manufacturing processes from its main plant in Seattle, Wash., to one of its distribution hubs in Ipswich, England. Because the facility would rely on a single press brake, Red Dot shopped around for a press brake that would run continuously with a minimum of service calls. The company's success in press brake operations in Ipswich led it to overhaul its press brake operations in its facilities in Seattle and Memphis, Tenn.

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How to reduce press brake setup times

August 10, 2004

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Over the past several years the sheet metal fabrication industry has witnessed a number of technological advancements in both machines and tooling. Machines are now capable of punching, cutting, and bending faster and more accurately than previously imaginable.

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Pumping up productivity on older press brakes

June 8, 2004

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You may be able to improve press brake productivity and eliminate bottlenecks with more advanced tooling, anti-deflection [crowning] systems, and clamping systems. Such advancements have made it possible to form a larger range of materials and part configurations with fewer tools than before.

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Air forming and V-die selection

May 4, 2004

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Air forming, bottom bending, and coining are metal forming methods. Air forming, the most common, is a three-point operation. The actual inside radius produced is based on a percentage of the V-die width, regardless of the sharp–radius relationship. Selecting the correct die width can be...

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New bends in the roll

April 6, 2004

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As more commercial buildings are designed with larger open spaces, the beam spans grow longer, and the beams must be bigger and heavier. This requires ever-larger section bending rolls to accommodate this demand. In addition, the trend toward the use of higher strength steels has taxed the capabilities of plate roll bending equipment. These changes and other emerging demands have driven the trend toward the use of CNCs, inline material handling, and larger angle bending rolls.

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Building the perfect tool cabinet

March 25, 2004

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Have you ever wondered about the best way to store your press brake tooling? An expensive part of your press brake operation, tooling is damaged enough just by daily wear and tear and accidents. You don't want to damage it further by storing it improperly.

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Why should you care about inside bend radii?

January 29, 2004

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Operators, designers, and engineers, why should you care about the inside bend radius if the customer doesn't? Because, ultimately, just how easy or difficult it is to produce a part depends on decisions made during the design stage. Misunderstanding terminology, process capabilities, or production methods can lead to mistakes that can make production more difficult. The most common mistake is incorrectly calculating and achieving the correct minimum inside bend radius.

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Improving bending operations

November 20, 2003

The Ottenweller Company Inc. is a heavy sheet fabricator that produces fabrications and assemblies for construction and agricultural equipment manufacturers and heavy-duty truck builders. The family-owned business employs 150 and operates from a 120,000-square-foot facility in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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New PC-based controls open path to better press brake utilization

November 6, 2003

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Press brake forming always has been a labor-intensive process. Shrinking lead-times and smaller lot sizes demand more frequent setups, which cut into productive output hours and put more pressure on manufacturing efficiencies. Fabricators need to find ways to reduce machine downtime for setup and operator adjustments.

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John Henry's last challenge or a Rube Goldberg device?

September 10, 2003

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Picking the right press brake has never been an easy task and it continues to get harder all the time. New hydraulic systems offer unbelievable control and sophisticated hydraulic valving that were unimaginable just a few short years ago.

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Hot spots for U.S. metal fabricated exports

July 10, 2003

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Increased global competition for customers on their home turf has driven U.S. metal fabricators to throw their nets wider to international markets. With this in mind, fabricators should look at the lists of the countries purchasing the most U.S. metal fabricated tools, machinery, products, and partially assembled goods as a road map to export opportunities.

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Press brakes: the quest for a happy ending

June 26, 2003

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Screen some press brake owners and manufacturers these days, and it's like they're all reading from the same script:

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Making your own punch and dies

May 29, 2003

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How many times have you looked through huge piles of blueprints for a prototype part or short-run job and thought, "If only I had that tool, this job would be a piece of cake?"

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Gauging difficult parts at the press brake

March 27, 2003

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Gone are the days when engineers and draftsmen slaved for hours over drafting boards with a pencil and slide rule in hand (does anyone remember slide rules?). Today we've moved beyond slide rules and even beyond hand-held calculators to personal computers and mainframes to do much, if not all, of our design work. CAD and CAM software has made this possible.

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