Accurate bending of difficult materials such as tread plate and expanded metals is possible with the metal folding technology from RAS Systems, represented by Sheetmetal Machinery Australia.
Where common press brakes and folding machines are unable to cope with these materials, the RAS GIGAbend and FLEXIbend folders will always come up with perfect and repeatable flange dimensions.
The 120 tons of clamping pressure also offers impressive power reserves for closing hems.
With 6mm folding capacity on mild steel and 4mm on stainless, tread plate or expanded metal, up to 3200mm long can be folded.
The operator pushes a blank against the CNC backgauge stop fingers that position the part, and then the folding beam moves up and folds the flange to the required angle.
The blank rests on the sheet support and backgauge system during the entire folding cycle. Therefore, the operator does not need to support large and heavy blanks as they are folded.
While the bulk of the part is sitting on the table, the flange is bent upwards by the folding beam.
As RAS machines require only one operator, small parts can be handled from the front of the machine whereas larger parts are overseen from the rear position.
This positions an operator to place cut or punch blanks directly onto the sheet support system with ease. Heavy, large sized blanks can be rotated very easily using integrated ballcasters.
Gauging fingers can be moved along the working length of the machine to ensure they touch evenly on the tread when the blank is positioned.
This assures that stops will always be positioned on top of a button. The hardened fingers can reach positions from 10mm - 1550mm in less than two seconds.
The backgauge system can be extended on one or both sides to a J-shape or U-shape backgauge, offering a stop dimension as deep as 3050mm.
Designed for deflection resistance, the GIGAbend and Flexibend folding beams guarantee a torsion free configuration for accurate and precise metal folding parts.
The new and unique crowning system measures the actual deflection of the beam and automatically corrects the deformation during the folding cycle. This new system offers ideal folding results for thick and thin blanks.
As the folding beam always references the outside of the part, material thickness tolerances do not affect the bend angle.
The bend angles are always precise even without any additional angle sensor systems.
Regulated drive motors on each side of the machine provide power force and a folding beam speed of 80° per second.
A pivot point adjustment systems allows the machine to be set up for different material thicknesses instantly.
With a clever tool system that offers maximum free space around the tool for maximum part design flexibility, the upper beam and folding beam tools will be automatically locked into position.
This allows a tool change to be completed in a matter of seconds. With free space in front of the tools as large as 68 mm boxes with large in-flanges can be folded. All tools use high tensile steel with more than 1000 N/mm2 and are plasma hardened.
When folding expanded metals, an operator uses a four-key hand control.
After the operator has started the programme at the control, the backstop bar positions the blank and the upper beam clamps it. Then the folding beam moves up to the required angle and stops.
The first key allows the operator to move the beam down slowly and sensitively so that the springback can be seen. If the beam has been moved down too far, the second key brings the beam back to material contact.
The third key starts a correction movement that compensates for the material springback. When satisfied with the result, the operator can use the fourth key to move the beam down to its home position.
'Touch&More' control allows the operator to use their finger as a pencil. By simply drawing the part with a finger, the operator can then let the control automatically create and simulate the folding sequence.
A set-up menu shows the operator which tools are to be used for correct part length. Because text instructions guide the operator through the bend sequence, a relatively inexperienced person can manage with ease.