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Article

April 3, 2014
The next level of air bending
Editor’s Note: This is an edited excerpt from Sheet Metalworking: State of the Art, published by LVD Group. Air bending (also known as free bending) is the most common way for bending sheet metal because of its flexibility. In air... Read more...

Article

September 5, 2013
6 ways to make large-sheet-bending easier
Bending a large sheet in a press brake is never a one-person job (see Figure 1 ). In some instances, it can be a three- or four-person job. For some bending departments, that might translate to “all hands on deck.” Of course,... Read more...

Article

March 7, 2013
Tooling changeover can be a pressing issue
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of CIM-Canadian Industrial Machinery . It’s tough for a press brake department to keep up when jobs coming through are for small quantities, each... Read more...

Article

December 3, 2012
EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency
Leading indices indicate that manufacturing output has declined for almost a year. Certain geographic areas are suffering greatly from very high unemployment rates. Local governments are unable to inject stimulus funds because of skyrocketing... Read more...

Article

October 8, 2012
Punching up productivity
"Everybody wants everything yesterday," said Steve Confer, president, Mid-West Metal Products Co., Industrial Div. Those outside of the metal fabricating business might think Mid-West Metal is in the time machine business after reading a... Read more...

Article

April 3, 2012
Justifying a robotic press brake
Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from “What You Need to Know Before Automating a Press Brake,” presented by Paul LeTang at FABTECH® Nov. 14-17, 2011, Chicago, ©2011 by the Fabricators & Manufacturers... Read more...

Article

May 6, 2011
The big job of high-tonnage bending
The view of a 1,000-ton press brake from 100 feet way and that of a 100-ton press brake from 10 ft. away is somewhat similar. However, the jobs done on those press brakes differ greatly. Bending the big stuff is a much larger endeavor.... Read more...

Article

February 25, 2011
The fundamentals of press brake maintenance
Today's hydraulic press brakes are offered in a broad range of capacities, from portable 50-ton models to custom machines 3,000 tons or larger, and with advanced options, such as CNC sheet supports, programmable tooling, adaptive bending, and... Read more...

Article

September 16, 2010
Where the tool meets the sheet metal
Jerry Ward remembers blue ink, rulers, flat layout, and templates. As a young fabricator several decades ago, Ward would mark a hole location with a vertical and horizontal line, center the tool on those crosshairs and drill, then repeat until... Read more...

Article

May 4, 2010
Report from Europe: Finding the sweet spot in fabricating automation
Walking a block north of the Leie River flanked by the medieval Broel towers—two of the few original structures left standing in Kortrijk after World War II—I noticed the trees. The Belgians pruned them several years ago, leaving... Read more...

Article

May 14, 2009
Keeping the (fire) door open
About a block north of the Cross Bronx Expressway, not far from Yankee Stadium, truck and van drivers brave the city streets and park next to or back carefully into the loading dock of an unadorned brownstone. Drivers get out and yell, "I need... Read more...

Article

January 15, 2008
2 strategies for optimizing bending operations
Metal fabricators must continuously seek new ways to maximize their uptime and improve their staff utilization to combat the skilled worker shortage. Fabricators typically encounter bottlenecks during setup and production in their press brake... Read more...

Article

July 10, 2007
Advances in automation broaden punching capabilities
Increasingly metal fabricators are turning to automated equipment to reduce punching production downtime and costs, streamline manufacturing, minimize material handling, and address a shortage of skilled labor. In some parts of the world,... Read more...

Article

February 13, 2007
Big shoulders, long strides
About 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Hansen Steel Services employees wear T-shirts imprinted with the company's Viking logo—a reference to the owners' Norwegian ancestry. It's not hard to imagine... Read more...

Article

June 13, 2006
Fabricator puts the brake on bend inconsistency
When you think of Nebraska, you probably think of farming. Well-known for endless fields that cover 96 percent of the state, Nebraska produces vast amounts of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and wheat. Look a little closer, though, and you... Read more...

Article

February 8, 2005
FMA goes to China
The group had just spent 11 days last November traveling through Taiwan and China, visiting sheet metal stamping and fabricating operations, as well as the facilities of tour sponsors SEYI Presses and The TRUMPF Group. They had seen global... Read more...

Article

September 14, 2004
The growing versatility of turret punch presses
Press Drive Flexibility Higher hit rates on a mechanical ram system are a direct result of the faster axis speeds and quicker acceleration and deceleration supplied by servo systems. A mechanical ram has a fixed stroke length, which... Read more...

Article

November 20, 2003
Improving bending operations
The company works with materials from 3 to 25 millimeters and produces parts that range from pallet size to 15,000-pound weldments measuring 8 by 12 by 3 feet. Part runs are low to moderate, from five to 500 pieces. The company classifies... Read more...

Article

December 12, 2002
Case study: CO2 Lasers in job shops
Processing thousands of pounds of steel each day using its punch- plasma process required seven employees working in shifts around the clock to prepare part programs, sequence machinery, and load and unload material. Wrayco... Read more...

Article

August 8, 2002
Science Nonfiction
Forty years ago no one would have thought it possible to cut plate steel with focused light. Over time it has not only become possible but common in manufacturing operations. However, making this science fiction into fact wasn't enough,... Read more...

Article

November 15, 2001
Adaptive bending
In conventional press brake bending, the bend angle obtained often differs from the programmed angle even though it is produced on a CNC machine. To overcome this problem, the bend angle can be measured during the forming process and this... Read more...

Article

August 16, 2001
In search of the perfect bend
Press brake manufacturers have made tremendous advances in the art of machine design and manufacturing. Machine frame components are designed to use proven mechanical engineering principles combined with CAD technology to identify the areas most... Read more...