In the insightful article “How the sheet metal fabrication bend evolved,” as reported by The Fabricator, the focus is on the transformative journey of sheet metal fabrication bending over the past decade. The shift is notable, with increased spending on bending surpassing that on laser cutting—a significant trend identified by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International.
A decade ago, precision metal fabrication predominantly invested in cutting technologies, particularly the transition from low-powered CO2 lasers to high-powered CO2 and, eventually, solid-state technology. The advent of fiber lasers has further revolutionized the landscape, outperforming their predecessors.
The Capital Spending Forecast by FABTECH® reveals a remarkable shift in spending patterns, with shops collectively allocating more resources to bending than laser cutting. This surge is attributed to the industry’s pursuit of high-end press brake technology, featuring offline programming software, intuitive controls, angle measurement and correction, and automated tool changing (ATC). The investment in a single press brake has become a significant consideration.
Another contributing factor to increased bending spending is the rise in purchases of alternative sheet metal bending equipment, such as panel bending and folding. This surge, reaching historical highs, addresses the bending bottleneck created by the unprecedented throughput from the cutting department.
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Photo and article with all rights reserved, courtesy of thefabricator.com