These are digital articles written by the author of this site and TheArtofPressBrake textbook for www.thefabricator.com and provide a rich topic resource for review.

FMA


Dissecting bend deductions and die openings

Changing the die opening can dramatically change results during air forming. In precision sheet metal fabrication, choosing the correct die opening should not be a guessing game.

The basics of applying bend functions

Why calculate values such as bend allowance, outside setback, and bend deductions? Because sometimes you will need to work your way around a bend on a print, and you may not have all the information you need to complete a flat pattern.

Die width selection

Most designers and engineers usually place very little importance on achieving the correct inside radius of a formed part. Why? Because the functionality of the part is unaffected if the specified inside radius is 0.062 in. and actual measured… Read more…

Managers are not necessarily leaders

There are business leaders and there are business managers. And while some leaders are managers and some managers are leaders, many times leaders and managers are very different animals. All too often we fail to recognize these differences in our… Read more…

Making your own punch and dies

Speaking from 30 years of experience, I’d say this situation probably is a fact of life for 99 percent of us. Whether we are doing some in-house engineering and design or working at the press brake, the thought is the same. An End to the… Read more…

Gauging difficult parts at the press brake

Even with the advancements in computer design systems, parts layout still can still be a very difficult process, particularly when ease of forming is a major concern. But when is ease of forming not an issue at some time in almost every shop?… Read more…

How air forming works

In one form or another, air forming always has been a part of the forming process on a press brake. This was true even when coining and bottom bending were the dominant methods of forming. Without the use of custom-made tools, all bends other… Read more…

But we have always done it this way

Some of the following story may seem somewhat strange for an article about precision sheet metal and press brake operation, but my hope is that by reading this article, you will find that history can shed some light into a few of the darker… Read more…

What the? This can’t be done!

“What the …? This can’t be done!” How many times have you heard that expression? Or seen someone scratching his head in bewilderment when trying to decide which flange to form first or last, not unlike the operator pictured in the lead… Read more…

Can I form a box that deep?

One of the more common questions asked in day-to-day press brake operations is “Can I form a box that deep?” If you select the wrong tool, the side of the box will crash into the ram. This can produce the wrong bend angle… Read more…

Using benchmarking for bend deductions

Benchmarking is using measurement or evaluation to judge similar processes, parts, charts, and methods. The term benchmark is believed to come from medieval times—more specifically, form the stonemasons who built the great cathedrals of… Read more…

Bumping up large-radius bends

Figure 1 It often is impractical to buy or build a custom tool just for large-radius bends. Perhaps it is a one-of-a-kind part, or the radius that needs to be produced is too large to be done practically in a single… Read more…

Reviewing bottom bending and nested parts

Figure 1 Air forming is a three-point bending process. The metal is in contact with, and bent by, the two top corners of the die and the punch tip. Hey, it’s a brave new world—a world in which the reality of precision sheet metal… Read more…

Press Brakes and (much) More

I was looking into information about feng shui (pronounced fung SHWAY) in an effort to apply it to my home when I realized that the principals of balance, harmony, and an uncluttered path could apply easily to precision sheet metal manufacturing… Read more…

Mobilizing equipment-saving time and talent

Think about the increased production that would be possible if one operator could manage two machines simultaneously. You could make it work simply by varying access to different pieces of equipment as needed anywhere in your facility. OfRead more…

Fighting springback in profound radius bends

Figure 1: With a profound-radius bend, springback increases dramatically. Under normal press brake bending conditions, an inside bend radius that falls between 63 percent of the material thickness and 10… Read more…

Bend deduction charts

In reviewing a couple dozen bend deduction charts from a variety of sources, I couldn’t find any that agreed with another, with the exception of a single number here and there. For the most part, they varied widely. Figure 1 shows data from… Read more…

Discovering the limits of press brake tooling

One of the most important aspects of press brake forming is tooling selection. What are the tools capable of? What kinds of loads can they withstand? Figure 1: A standard straight press brake punch withstands more tonnage… Read more…

Brake Line: Press Brakes and More: Planning to cut corners on safety?

Plainly put, press brake safety is a common sense issue. Most accidents are caused by operator inattentiveness or lack of training. Two major categories of press brake safety are machine setup and operational safety. Along with proper… Read more…

 


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