Bending operations can go smoothly or it can affect an entire production line depending on the condition of the gauging. These challenges are often seen in pressbrake when handling workpieces that are oddly shaped or with very small tolerance for error.
For experienced operators, the best course of action is to gauge the part with the help of a number of gauging techniques such as pin gauging and laser stitching. The downside with these is that it takes time before the end result can be seen.
Thanks to technology, a new alternative has presented itself. In order to create oddly shaped parts or ones that are hard to create because of certain limitations, it is time to turn to the talk of the town which is the 3D printer.
When looking at it in a technical standpoint, the process is referred to as FFF or short for fused filament fabrication. Nowadays, it is not surprising to witness 3D printers creating plastic parts in every industry where it is needed. These are often seen in educational institutions but it is has now found its way to fabrication shops.
The volume of the part is one consideration because in order to print a gauge one must plan and take their time. With a handy 3D printer, a backgauge insert can be easily printed in very little time. It is a better alternative to laser stitching and pin gauging.
In order to guage a pressbrake part, one way is to focus on the blank edge going to the direction of the bend line. This is the simplest method and also the most ideal for materials with tight tolerances. Second way is by gauging from one bend to another bend. It works majority of the time but the errors compound therefore after numerous bends there is a possibility that one part could break out of the tolerance. The third way is by gauging a hole with a pin gauge. It is recommended if the location is quite critical. Last but not the least, gauging can also be done on the tapered edge going to the straight bend.