Sheemetal machinery supplier, Maxitec , are concerned that the necessary maintenance required for sheet metal machinery tooling is not being taken, and as a result fabricators are experiencing costly outcomes.
It appears as though some fabricators who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on sheet metal machinery are blindly economizing when it comes to maintaining the important tools on this expensive equipment.
Managing Director of Maxitec, Mr Andrew Bentrup, says some of the ‘home-made’ methods fabricators use to sharpen and maintain tooling is less than ideal and exposes equipment to massive damage.
"sheet metal machinery is high precision equipment, the condition of the tooling is of utmost importance because it is this very tooling that gives the fabricator quality and precision in each and every job. If the tooling isn't kept accurate and sharp using sensible methods, the quality of the fabricated piece may be compromised," says Bentrup.
Maxitec frequently come across companies that don't have any sort of grinder for sheet metal machinery tooling, instead they choose to use a simple rotational bench grinder or hand-held angle grinder.
“In no way is this suitable. Excessive breakdowns during fabrication are common and this is destroying tooling and in turn the expensive machines which utilise them,” says Bentrup.
Grinders specifically for sheet metal machinery are in fact available, with fixtures for almost all types of tooling styles and can be delivered according to manufacturers’ specifications.
Among the most effective types of grinders used for sheet metal machinery tooling maintenance do not even require an operator to bring the die down to the punch – a procedure that often snaps the small-diameter punches. Some grinders even have reference positions set by laser and pre-set sharpening programs that can be selected from the touch screen to make grinding entirely automatic.