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Aluminium sheet metal enclosures

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Aluminium sheet metal enclosures

Aluminium sheet metal enclosures

Aluminium sheet metal enclosures

These aluminium enclosures were laser cut and folded up from 1.5mm 5251 aluminium alloy sheet. All the details for the exact blank size and hole positions were calculated using Radan sheet metal software from the initial 3D model, 2D parts and the final CNC laser nest lay out. All the files being saved off line on our server before being called down to the specific machines in production when required. These enclosure parts had their corners TiG welded up and then cleaned of smooth before being powder coated.

The final finished enclosure housings and front panels are used for LED display panels.

If you have a sheet metal enclosure project please contact us and we would be happy to work with you to get the best price and product.


Sheet metal work supplier August 2015

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

CNC bending sheet metal work

CNC bending sheet metal work

Now we have had our new Safan e-Brake in production for a couple of months we can already see the advantages of its quiet, quick no nonsense approach to folding sheet metal work. We have got to grips with the CNC programming system really quickly and are already seeing some common parts repeating with stored CNC programs coming in very handy. The ability to swap jobs up to 1M long between the Safan and our 2 Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes will be really useful at busy times to help reduce production bottle necks. These mild steel housings were one of the first major bending projects to come off the new CNC press brake but we have already folded stainless steel, aluminium and pre-painted mild steel parts. We are certainly looking forward to a busy month in August.

Mild steel formed sections

Mild steel formed sections

These mild steel formed sections are part of a series of items manufactured for heater air curtain units. They have been laser cut and then folded up on our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes using a multi-bend programming technique to create the curved sections out of a series of flats. We have produced these before but this time the volume was bigger and some design changes were made which is easy to accommodate with these machines as the old CNC program is saved on the system server and easily modified ready for the latest batch of parts. We can use this to save the cost of special form tools on a host of material types and gauges. Please give us a call and we will be happy to look at your sheet metal work projects and see if this technique can help you.

Folded sheet metal chassis housings

Folded sheet metal chassis housings

Sheet metal chassis housings such as these are typical of the work that V and F Sheet Metal make on a regular basis. These chassis were made from zintec coated mild steel but they could just as well have been made from aluminium alloys or stainless steel. Volumes from just a few off samples to many hundreds in a batch are quite typical for us and with our CNC punching, CNC laser cutting and range of CNC press brakes anything from the simplest to the most complex parts can be taken on for you.

For any of your sheet metal work project needs please give us a call on 01489 57786 or e-mail us your drawings at sales@vandf.co.uk and we will be happy to take a look for you.


New CNC press brake tooling speeds up production times

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Safan CNC press brake tooling

Safan CNC press brake tooling up to 3M long

With the installation of a new CNC press brake, the Safan e-Brake, we had to make a decision on which tooling system to go for. We wanted the tooling to be able to be used on both the new Safan press brake and our 2 existing Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes. The Trumpf tooling system was available on the new Safan so it was the best tooling to go for. This decision has immediately given us more tooling options across all 3 machines and the ability to swap work around when production pressures might need it without any impact on the component design or blank cut size. You can see the back stop design enables us to fold difficult shapes where a flat back stop end would not be suitable.

Safe edge bend tooling

Safe edge bend tooling

Having 3M worth of safe edge (dutch fold) tooling enables us to produce bend and crushed features in 2 simple operations all built into one simple to set tooling system. The sheet metal component is simple bent into a V form on the top part of the tooling and then the V is flatten right down onto the sheet surface in the open section of tooling below in 2 bend cycles.

Automatic top tool clamping

Automatic top tool clamping

The new Safan e-Brake has the ability to automatically clamp the top V tooling in place. This certainly reduces setting up times when moving from job to job. Being able to just press a button and have all 3M worth of top tooling clamped in position and when adjusting tooling is a nice feature for the machine setter and all adds to the ability to produce sheet metal components quicker enabling us to keep part prices down.

Segmented tooling for complex shapes

Segmented tooling for complex shapes

Being able to set up a vast range of tooling lengths is vital if we want to fold up trays, boxes, chassis components etc that have many bends. Having a range of bottom and top V tooling in segmented parts is perfect in allowing us to be very flexible when quoting new work and setting programs in production.


Sheet metal projects in June 2015

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Ventilation louvres in sheet metal panels

Ventilation louvres in sheet metal panels

Louvre tooling in a CNC punch press

Here’s a great view of a recent sheet metal project (June 2015) showing just what can be achieved with a Trumpf CNC punch press and tooling. We have an up-form louvre tool that has been used to press into the sheet metal (2mm Zintec coated mild steel) to produce a large area of ventilation. In this product some electrical equipment needed to be housed and could not be allowed to overheat so the louvre tool solution was perfect. The tooling used enabled a close pitch pattern of louvres to be pressed in both the x and y direction over the sheet without any stress or sheet distortion.

Tapping threads in mild steel sheet metal

Tapping threads in mild steel sheet metal

CNC punched mild steel components with tapped threads

When producing thin sheet metal components we often have to produce points within the designs with threads. These chassis trays could have had M3 self clinch or anchour rivet bushes inserted which would have done a good job but there wasn’t room within the design. Luckily for us we have a Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press which allows us to form a plunged hole and then form a thread within the parent sheet metal all on the CNC punch press. The positions where this has been carried out is automatically lubricated and can clearly be seen in the photo.

Bent stainless steel sections

Bent stainless steel sections

Stainless steel formed sections

When folding up stainless steel sections you need to have a CNC press brake that can deliver sufficient tonnage and tooling that can cope with the loadings produced. With our brand new Safan e-Brake 3M 100 ton machine we just such a machine. These 3mm thick stainless steel sections were needed as support sections on a large ventilation cover project we have be developing with our customer for the last few months and they were no problem for the Safan e-Brake. The ability to quickly produce CNC programs at the machine, in 3D if needed, is an advantage as well as the ease with which we can make alterations to bending programs and save them directly to our system server for use again when the projects repeat.

Safan e-brake with mild steel enclosures

Safan e-brake with mild steel enclosures

Safan e-brake with mild steel enclosures

And here’s the new machine itself. We are pleased to invest in a new Safan e-Brake CNC press brake to go along side our other 5 CNC press brakes. This machine enables us to support bending up to 3M long now which is in line with the 3M x 1.5M sheet that we can cut on our Trumpf 3030 fibre laser cutting machine. Also, having increased pressing force to 100 tons enables us to fold thicker sections again supporting the increased material thickness that we can offer with our laser cutter.

June 2015 has been a busy month finishing off a busy year for V and F Sheet Metal with investments in a brand new CNC press brake, 2 new spot welders, a down draft welding ventilation system and an additional 3D Radan software licence. We are always trying to improve the service we offer our customers, please call us and see how we can help you with your sheet metal projects.


A brand new CNC press brake for V and F Sheet Metal

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Edwards Pearson CNC press brake

End of an era in CNC bending

We have had our Edwards Pearson PR6 from new and it’s time for it to go. I wouldn’t like to try and work out how may bends its completed but it’s easily into the 10 of millions. With over 20 thousand CNC programs it’s been a really good machine and earned its keep every day of the week. But all good things come to an end and at nearly 20 years old it was time for an update. It was surprising how quickly the press brake was disconnected and made ready to be lifted onto the lorry and off to it’s new owner. The space was free for just minutes before it’s replacement was heading into the factory, just enough time to sweep up and catch our breath.

Safan e-brake CNC bending

Perfect position for bending sheet metal on a sunny day

The brand new Safan e-Brake 3M 100 ton CNC press brake was driven direct to our factory from the manufactures in the Netherlands and then lifted onto our factory yard ready to be maneuvered through the factory door. Perfect day for this kind of operation shame we couldn’t keep it here and work outside everyday but it is England. It looks a really smart machine and we can’t wait to get in inside and get started with bending up our sheet metal work but first we have to position it and connect it up.

Don't drop it!

Don't drop it!

Always a nervous time when your new baby is being lifted and swung around to get it ready for positioning onto the factory floor. I’m never sure whether to look and make sure all is ok or stay in the office until it’s all done. Usually my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to see what’s happening and take some photos for the archive.

I'm sure I measured the door height correctly!

I'm sure I measured the door height correctly!

No matter how many times you check something and know that you are right it’s always good to see a new machine fit through the door and be moved into the factory without any issues. These guys are doing this everyday of the week with kit like this and bigger and make it look so easy but I’m still impressed how quickly they can have tons of machinery positioned to the inch and bolted down before you know it.

Safan e-brake in position

Safan e-brake in position at last

At last after viewing several machine styles and numerous meetings all the planning has worked out and the new machine fits exactly where we need it. Once the electricity and the data connection to our network is completed we can start our training and then start to see the new CNC press brake earn its keep.

I certainly expect the Safan e-Brake to be as productive as the Edwards Pearson was except with improved accuracy, easier programming software and the ability to cope with a greater range of work being 3M long and having 100 tons force at its control.