Sheet metal productivity improvement through a new press brake design

N. Gwangwava, K. Mpofu, N. Tlale, Y. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A new press brake design proposed as a reconfigurable bending press machine (RBPM) is reported. The design is a means of increasing sheet metal bending productivity. Conventional press brakes are dedicated machines with fixed capacity, but the RBPM has characteristics of a reconfigurable machine tool, which enables the new press brake to be scalable, customisable and flexible. The RBPM design has two major objectives, namely geometric transformation and productivity adjustment. Geometric transformation is achieved through vertical and horizontal reconfigurability, while productivity adjustment is enabled by plug and produce devices. Geometric transformation allows sheet metal benders to adjust the press brake’s height and length, thus improving the capability of the RBPM. This allows small-scale manufacturers of sheet metal products such as door frames to be able to adjust their machines to produce various sizes of products at low cost. A scaled-down prototype was made to specifications of 1.2 m total length and total capacity 30 kN (3 tons) for bending aluminium sheets of up to 0.51 mm thickness. © 2014 African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalAfrican Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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