Companies seeking fabrication services will be looking for certain types of shops. That usually means shops that own certain types of machines that can produce high-quality results, quickly and cost-effectively. Most companies prefer a one-stop option for the fabrication, as dealing with multiple shops can be a hassle and can increase the chances of something going wrong with schedules or production details. If you have all of the necessary machines in your shop, you will more likely win bids you go after.
Here are the 6 types of machine tools that every fabrication shop needs for big jobs:
Machine 1: Hydraulic Press Brakes
These machines bend metal into simple or complex shapes. They come in a variety of sizes and tonnages (higher tonnage means more power available to bend thicker metal plates).
Machine 2: Swing-beam Shears
Shears are a fast and easy way to cut metal quickly and accurately. The swing beam type can cut thicker material, and come in manual NC, or CNC formats. Cutting capacities of ¼” to ¾” are typical, as are lengths of 10’ to 13’. Despite the increase of plasma cutting and other technology advancements, the use of shears in fabrication shops is still very common and very effective. Because they are less expensive to purchase, quick to set up, easy to use, and cheap to operate, many shops prefer them to plasma and other more expensive options. For some large-scale jobs, plasma cutting makes more sense, but most small-piece jobs are better done with a simpler tool, and the shears fit the need nicely.
Shears come in a variety of types too:
Shears Type 1: Ironworkers
This a jack-of-all-trades type of shear. It punches, notches, shears and provides other modifications quickly, and with a minimum of labour requirements.
For example, the heavy-duty Ironworker has 5 work stations that are fully integrated. These include a punch work table; and adjustable, see-through punch stripper; support table; die holder; adjustable hold-down; and includes a variety of shear blades with multiple usable edges. The combination of these features allows the fabricator to hold down objects in precise positions, minimising the risk of shifting during cutting and resulting in a more accurate finished product. All this while minimising the labour required to set up and perform each needed modification.
Shears Type 2: Plate Rolls
Plate rolls transform sheet metal into cylinders or radius parts, and they do it with a minimal amount of fuss and work. The process is quick and efficient, with the machine taking in the flat sheet and rolling it safely into the correct arc and radius without the risk of creasing or another deformity. It can do this for a variety of roll diameters and lengths, as well as a variety of metal thicknesses.
Obviously, you will want to know what the maximum thickness you’ll be working with may be, and purchase a machine that is easily able to handle that thickness, for multiple jobs, and without straining the machine too much or too often. Plate rolls come in mechanical or hydraulic forms, so be sure to check both types for the one that best suits your intended needs.
Three-roll variable axis plate rolls are more expensive than three-roll benders, but they are also more precise, produce the rolls more quickly, and rely less on the user’s ability. Many of the functions are controlled by the machine’s user-friendly controls.
Plate rolls are most suitable for medium and thick plate bending. Unlike typical cylinder machines, plate rolls have upper rolls that move horizontally to the right and left, while the upper roll moves up and down. The material loads parallel to the floor, not at an angle – this is more like a four-roll machine, not like a three-roll.
The setup of the upper roll and two lower rolls allows pre-bending of both sides of the plate without having to remove it from the machine and turn it between each bend. This cuts down labour and time by a lot, and also reduces the chances of mishaps as the plates are being moved around less by hand. The variable geometry 3-roll technology has more ability and efficiency when it comes to pre-bending than other 3-roll machines.
You can also adjust the gap on the side rolls, allow thick plates to be bent to smaller diameters and wider angles. Most machines can perform a conical bending to about three times the top roll diameter, but the rolls can achieve bending to 1.5 times the diameter – much tighter and therefore more versatile.
Sheers Type 3: Profile Rolls
For bending tubes, pipes, channels and beams, you will want a profile roller like the angle roll. The rugged steel frame is machined after welding, which increases rigidity. All welds are stress-relieved before machining too, and the use of precision bearings and large shaft diameters increases the accuracy of bending even within tight tolerances.
This excellent construction also means that the machine will last a long time. The hydraulic and electrical components are long-lasting and work well. The high torque drive system and machine speed mean short cycle times. The close roll stance and powerful guide rolls and hydraulic adjustments reduce straight edge. The close roll stance also minimises flat spots. The low maintenance and energy costs are achieved by friction-free planetary swing guides.
Horizontal Band Saws
Machine Tools has a wide variety of saws for machining applications of many types. The line includes everything from mitre band saws to semi-automatic ad fully automated band saws. High priorities in the production of these tools include reliability and precision. This is true of simple tools, as well as more complex and versatile ones, such as the fully automated band saws that can cut entire packages of materials to length. The fully automated mitre band saws include a programmable cutting angle and an automatic workpiece feed.
Saws should fulfil EU standards and bear the CE mark. They have each also passed out rigorous testing. The designs are user-friendly both with regard to work, and to care and maintenance. The quality is high, and the price provides great value.
The performance and reliability of these saws are at the top of the market. The automatic band saws cut bundles with excellent accuracy, saving you time and money when on a job, not to mention the saving of effort and potential mishap when handling material – let the saw do it for you instead. They are excellent for solid steel up to 12” round.
Despite being much less expensive than the competitors’ similar products, the frame is designed to give better accuracy and stability, and to allow the efficient completion of work to the highest quality.