The plate bending industry is advancing and the challenges are more difficult day by day. How does the best bending companies & operators adapt? What machines do they use? And how do they prepare for the future? Don’t worry, we will explain how and give you the roadmap to the future of the plate bending industry. Together with us (sign up to our news through the form below) You will stay competitive and become even more successful.
The Current situation in the bending industry
Metal fabricators have seen their customers demand materials that are stronger yet lighter than those used in the past. This has pushed the fabricators to turn more and more to better quality material, including abrasion and wear-resistant steels. The main challenges with this material with higher yield strengths is the increased material spring back throughout the forming process.
To overcome this spring back, more bending power is required. SweBend attacks the problem head-on by building customized 4-roll plate rolls with, if necessary, a smaller diameter top roll to more efficiently and effectively roll the customer’s specified diameters, while leaving the shortest flat end physically achievable. This change in the plate rolls calls for tighter machine geometries, higher demands on components and more advanced engineering. The 4-roll plate roll is the fastest and most efficient plate roll when it comes to rolling full cylinders and less-than-full cylinders like excavator buckets, compared to 3-roll double pinch machines and especially compare to 3-roll variable geometry machines, which are the slowest machines for production purposes.
How to adapt to the current bending challenges
In order to keep up with the ever-increasing power demands of the material the fabricators are using more and more often, SweBend has completely re-engineered our plate roll line-up to be able to offer machines with more bending power and drive torque. In addition, we have developed the most powerful yet easiest to operate CNC control software. This software is icon-driven, meaning the operator does not have to be a computer programmer to be able to roll even the most complicated parts like square tanks and ellipses, always in one pass. In addition, the SweBend CNC control can handle an almost unlimited number of “help” functions, including our highly accurate and critically important support rolls under the lower roll which adjust the crowning of the lower roll, also affecting the top roll, and widening the range of thicknesses that can be successfully rolled on the machine.
How to remain competitive in the future
Metal fabricators should expect their plate roll supplier to become more and more a partner in their business, rather than a one-time “sell it and forget it” relationship. With demands of tighter radii and tougher material, the old fashioned “off-the-shelf” solution doesn’t cut it anymore. Customers need to become aware that similar to how the correct drill with correct cutting & descent speed is needed for a drilling operation, the correct plate roll with the right setup and equipment is needed for specific bending operations. The old-fashioned, out of date bending roll types are just not able to roll tight radii without also producing long, costly flat ends.
The perfect cooperation between customer, reseller and producer
To reach perfect solutions for the challenges presented to SweBend and Trilogy by our customers, we see the increasing importance of truly collaborating with our customers to tailor their machines for both their present and future needs. In this way, we also make it a top priority to educate our customers to become expert users. It’s fundamental to build a high proficiency when using these increasingly sophisticated machines. In the total investment of upgrading our customer’s machine inventory, the machine cost is really a decreasing factor, with knowledge and education becoming more important. With over several hundred years of combined experience, both SweBend and Trilogy Machinery have come to realize that the future success of our customers demands customized machines and close collaboration with the customer, educating them in their bending challenge, tailoring the machine to meet their requirements and providing superior machine training and support thereafter.