Folding sheet metal brackets from mild steel laser cut blanks
CNC punched sheet metal blank waiting to be folded
Before we can fold up a sheet metal angle bracket we need to produce an accurate flat blank with all the necessary holes, slots and profiles cut. Accuracy is key to producing a consistent final component so that each blank can be bent with the same bend sequence within the CNC press brake program. It can either be produced by laser cutting but in the case we used a CNC punch press to punch out the blank and then with edge deburring on a vertical deburr belt it was ready for bending up to shape. The punched blanks are all stacked the same way with the burred edges all the same way to speed up bending and reduce the risk of folding the brackets inside out.
CNC press brake safety
The safety system on the Trumpf 7036 CNC press brake is a laser guard consisting of a digital send and receive unit. The laser light guard is active when the top and bottom tool are further apart than the width of a finger and inactive once the tools are safely brought together within the machine. If you look carefully you can see the top V tool and the bottom V block with the back gauge on the left hand side and the work piece on the right hand side. The programming of the light guard is all automatic and integral to the safe operation of the machine.
CNC press brake folding tooling
The top and bottom tooling that is used to produce the bends in these angle brackets are simple to look at but are ground to a high degree of accuracy enabling precise bend sizes and angles to be achieved again and again within the bend cycle of the machine. The machine programmer can specify the tooling type for the top and bottom tools, the angle of bend required and the distance from the edge of the sheet of metal. By building up a sequence of these simple bends more complex brackets can be bent up with bends being formed up and down any angle required and safe edges with bends flattened over on themselves.
Folded sheet metal brackets
And the final folded mild steel brackets with 3 bends. The joints are folded tight together ready for small TiG welded tacks to be used to lock them together. The mild steel brackets are them zinc plated before being shipped to the customer. These angle brackets are quite simple but still have to be correct to the drawing and held within tolerance which the Trumpf 7036 is ideally suited to achieve in thin gauge steel.
Got a sheet metal bracket that needs manufacturing, please give us a call or e-mail use your drawings and we will be happy to help you.