The Most Important Things You Should Know About Press Brakes

Press Brakes

Press brakes are a necessity to almost any metal fabrication shop. Unfortunately, despite being one of the most important and desired pieces of machinery in a shop, they’re still misunderstood—even by professionals. To help you better understand press brakes, we put together this short, layman’s-level guide.

What Are Press Brakes?

Press brakes are machines that form lengths of sheet metal. These sheets are typically used in manufacturing, industrial applications, or as components for other devices. Most press brakes are rated by their capacity to press metal and their overall bending length; this is expressed in numbers (e.g., total PPI, or pounds of pressure per inch). They come in many forms and often are equipped with tooling and add-ons designed to create highly customized components. Press brakes fall into two main categories: mechanical and hydraulic. In the next sections, we’ll break down the difference and explain the prominent features of each style.


Mechanical Press Brakes

Mechanical press brakes operate via a motor inside the device. This motor spins a large flywheel at high speeds. The machine operator controls the flywheel through a clutch, which then sets the rest of the parts into motion to bend the metal. The mechanical press brake is much more straightforward, especially regarding its electronics, making maintenance and operation easy. They can also handle tonnages two to three times higher than their inherent rating, due to the nature of the mechanisms. The primary disadvantage of using mechanical press brakes is that the ram inside the machine must complete a full cycle when engaged and cannot be reversed. This creates some safety concerns if the operator makes a mistake and sets some limitations on the machine. One possible hazard is the potential for the press brake to become locked if the ram travels too far.


Hydraulic Press Brakes

Hydraulic press brakes apply pressure via hydraulics to force the ram down, instead of relying solely on mechanics. They may have more than one cylinder and give the operator more precise control over the bend. The result is a highly accurate and customizable bend. Like mechanical press brakes, hydraulic press brakes do have some specific disadvantages. Primarily, they cannot exceed the range of their rated tonnage. If your project requires flexibility, mechanical press brakes may be preferred.


Press Brake Controls

Early generations of press brakes only had one axis of motion to make bends. They were much more limited compared to modern machines with 12 or more programmable axes of movement. Modern press brakes are highly precise and create graphical representations of the end result to aid the operator. Newer computers have dramatically reduced the setup time as well. They’re able to quickly calculate optimal settings based on materials being used, its dimensions, and the desired results. These calculations used to be done by hand, back in the day.


Types of Bending

There are two ways press brakes can bend metal. The first is called bottom bending because the ram will press the metal to the bottom of the die. Bottom bending results in highly accurate bends and relies less on the press brake machine itself. The downside is each tool is they're made to create one specific bend, so you’ll need to purchase a new one for every angle you want to make. Air bending leaves an air pocket between the ram and the bottom of the die. This allows the operator to accommodate for any spring back the material might provide. These types of dies only need to be changed if the material’s thickness is too much. Air bending’s drawback is the accuracy of the angle is affected by the material’s thickness, so the ram needs to be changed out accordingly.

There’s no denying that press brakes are one of the most useful tools an industrial-grade metalworker can have. Does your practice need an excellent press brake? Quantum Machinery Group has everything your business needs to succeed.

Metal Fabrication and Machine Shop Manufacturing Trends for 2018


For 2018, there are several trends that are developing in the metal fabrication and machine shop manufacturing industry. In order to remain competitive and have a successful operation, it is worth your time to review the following trends and determine which of these could have an impact on your business, earnings, and revenues.

  • “Smart” Metalworking Machinery

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not limited to consumer goods and households. Metalworking machinery is starting to feature “smart” technology enhancements to improve production processes. This trend is going to continue as IoT technologies continue to advance and machine learning improves.

For instance, a “smart” band saw would be able to save your most frequently used cuts. When you needed to perform one of these, instead of having to set up the machine, you would simply choose it from the list, and the machine would automatically adjust to those settings.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

VR and AR technologies continue to move ahead. These technologies allow you to develop and create finished goods in a virtual setting. You can set parameters to see how various factors could affect output, such as changes in humidity or temperature levels inside the facility.
You can also experiment with post-production features, like durability, to pre-determine the quality of your finished goods before they are even produced. In addition, these technologies can help reduce errors, improve quality, lower production costs, and increase productivity.

  • Robotic Automation

The use of automation and robotics is nothing new in manufacturing. As technologies have advanced, so, too, have the types of tasks robots can perform. Robots can take the place of a human worker to complete hazardous and dangerous processes, while a human worker safely oversees the production process. The use of robotic automation will also help increase productivity and shorten job run times, improving the overall efficiency of the business.

  • 3D Metal Printing (Additive Manufacturing)

Traditional machine shops and metal fabricators used to take raw metals and transform them into new products by shaping, bending, cutting, welding, and performing other such processes. 2018 will see 3D metal printing to continue to grow within the industry. These machines produce finished goods by slowly adding layer after layer of metal during the printing process.

The benefit of additive manufacturing is that the technology allows for complex and complicated pieces to be produced. At the same, overall waste is reduced because only the materials required to create the finished product are used.

  • New Regional Market Opportunities

Metal fabricators and machine shops will start to notice newer regional market opportunities. As production costs decrease and output increases, there is no need for businesses to source finished goods from overseas. Rather, they will be looking locally and regionally for suppliers.

These trends could benefit your business this year and into the future, as long as you start implementing now. To learn more about the latest metalworking machinery and equipment for your business, please feel free to contact Quantum Machinery Group at (909) 476-8007 today!

Basic Welding Terms Welding Equipment Buyers Need to Know

Basic Welding Terms Welding Equipment

Understanding basic welding terms can better enable metal fabrication and machine shop owners and equipment buyers to select the best machines for their needs. It is not uncommon for the person controlling the capital resources to not know much about welding.

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Sure, they might know you ignite a torch of some type and then go about welding together different types of metals. Yet, this is just one type of welding process. You could easily use other types of welding processes at your shop. To help you better understand welding and the various processes used, the following are some of the more commonly used terms you should know.

  • Arc Welding: This is one of the more common processes used to weld materials together. It involves using an electric arc and welding along the seams. Filler materials may or may not be required.
  • Filler Materials: The materials that will be used to secure two or more pieces together to create the weld.
  • Arc Cutting: This type of welding is where the metal is cut using an electric arc.
  • Carbon Arc Welding: A carbon arc is used to weld and fuse materials together.
  • Bare Metal Arc Welding: The materials are fused together by producing heat between the base metals and often includes using some form of filler material.
  • Pressure Welding: Pressure is applied to the metal to fuse them together.
  • Cutting Torch: The part of the welding machine that is used to cut metals and helps regulate the gases used to generate the heat required to cut the metal.
  • Tempering: This process is where the metal is heated, cooled, and reheated to help make it stronger.
  • Welding Torch: The part of the welding machine that is used to weld and fuse meals together. It also helps regulate the gases used to generate the heat required to weld metals together.
  • Bond: This term refers to the joint created when welding materials together and is the part of the finished piece where the base metals and filler materials connect.
  • Nonferrous Metals: These types of metals are those that are iron-free, such as copper, aluminum, titanium, and so on.
  • Base Metals: The primary metals you want to cut or weld together.
  • Ferrous Metals: These types of metals are those that contain some level of iron in their composition, such as steel.
  • Metal Alloys: These metals are those that are a mixture of metal and other elements, such as bronze or brass.
  • Gas Welding: This type of welding is where gas is used to create the flame require to generate the required heat to perform welding processes.

Please keep in mind, this is just a small sample of the wide array of terms used in welding, and there are numerous others you may want to learn.

If you are shopping for welding machines and welding equipment, please feel free to contact Quantum Machinery at (909) 476-8007 today for assistance in selecting the best machines and equipment to suit your needs!

Increase Work Efficiency in Your Company with These Master Tips

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In order to remain competitive and adapt the changes in the industry, machine shops and metal fabrication operations need to look for ways to increase their work efficiency without sacrificing quality. The primary objective of achieving efficient work processes needs to include processes that not only can increase output, but also improve quality.

Review Current Work Processes

The first and most crucial step is to determine your current level of efficiency by reviewing current work processes. You should review all processes for every product your manufacture, as well as the processes used to set up and configure each piece of equipment and machinery. Important questions to answer include:

·         Are there certain jobs or types of output that seem longer to produce?

·         How much waste is being generated from manufacturing processes?

·         How frequent is maintenance performed?

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Gather Input from Your Employees

Most managers are not fully aware of the intricate processes required to produce output even when they have a general understanding of how each machine works. Talk to your employees to find out what would make production more efficient. Listen to their needs and concerns. Sometimes, your employees will have great ideas that can benefit both them and your business.

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

Once you have identified what work processes and equipment could stand some improvement, the next step is to establish realistic goals and expectations. If you set these too high, quality can suffer, as your employees will attempt to meet production output goals. If you set these too low, while quality could improve, you may fall short on being able to deliver products on time. You need to find a careful balance between the two.

Update Equipment and Machinery with Newer Technologies

As your budget allows, it is beneficial to upgrade your equipment and machinery to the latest technologies. Some of the newer advances can help automate work processes and improve efficiency.

If you have numerous pieces of equipment you want to upgrade, start with the one that is used the most often first. Next, upgrade the second-most used machine, and so on. This way, your most popular product lines are being upgraded in order to allow you to potentially increase output and your revenues.

Constantly Train Your Employees

You need to develop ongoing employee education and training courses for your employees. These courses are necessary to ensure they understand how to properly operate machinery and equipment. Anytime you upgrade to a new machine, remember to include training.

Do Not Overlook Maintenance Programs

Preventative maintenance programs are essential to improving efficiency. This type of maintenance helps identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems causing work stoppages.

Rinse and Repeat

Going through these tips is something you need to do frequently to monitor your efficiency levels. Get into the habit of reviewing work processes anytime there is a noticeable problem, as well as every six to twelve months.

For more tips or to learn more about the latest machinery with technology to improve business efficiency, please feel free to contact Quantum Machinery Group at (909) 476-8007 today!

The Future of Manufacturing in the USA

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It is no surprise that the manufacturing industry in the United States is not at the level it once was. Compared to the rest of the world, where manufacturing jobs are on the rise, it feels like the industry in the U.S. is not as far ahead as it once was.

However, as we move into 2018, there is renewed optimism among manufacturing leaders and American companies are planning out their strategies for how to move forward. Understanding trends in the industry allows company leaders to develop a successful strategy. Whether it is through enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, or investing in new equipment like cold saw blades, manufacturing businesses should keep the following trends in mind when making decisions this year.

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Reducing Costs Through Automation

As has been going on for years now, automation continues to affect manufacturing processes. While this trend is not exactly new, it is important to find opportunities with automation and take advantage of its benefits where possible. Automation allows you to have repeatable processes that deliver consistent, accurate, and high-quality results.

A major part of this change for manufacturing companies is investing in the right tools and equipment that deliver a healthy ROI for the cost. You can work with Quantum Machinery Group to identify your individual needs for things like cold saw blades, band saws, laser cutting systems, and more.

Offering Services to Customers and Clients

Another shift on the horizon for manufacturing in the United States is the role of a company as a service provider in addition to selling products. This has been seen for some time in the electronics field, where large businesses not only sell to a B2B partner or end user but also offer services and support to continue the relationship with the consumer.

As you research and develop new products to sell, consider how you can expand the services and support that goes along with it. This includes things such as phone support, repairs (if applicable), and on-site training and servicing.

Enhancing Efficiency with Tools

The biggest trend in 2018 and beyond is the focus on improving all-around manufacturing efficiency. Whether it is in factories or the office, manufacturing companies are taking a hard look at existing processes and strategies to see where they can trim down costs without sacrificing quality and output volume.

Many may be cautious about automating processes and replacing human jobs with the precision and power of machines, but a retrained workforce to manage these systems allows for an adapted business model that benefits from technology without compromising the commitment to human investment.

By working with Quantum Machinery Group, manufacturing companies are able to invest in machinery and parts that enhance the efficiency and productivity of their existing equipment. The full-service approach not only allows businesses to get the tools they need for a particular job, they also get the support and knowledge needed to best maximize the value of the investment.

From replacement cold saw blades to press brakes and plate benders, Quantum Machinery Group has all of the solutions your company needs to stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the next phase of manufacturing in the United States. Learn more by contacting a representative today at (909) 476-8007.