Before the technology to bend metal was developed, technicians used to bend tube metal and sheet metal by hand, often resulting in imperfect components, lower levels of production and longer production times.
With the creation of the CNC bending process and machinery, components made from tubes or sheets could be produced with more accurate measurements and designs. Among several other benefits, which we will expand upon in this article, accuracy is a major reason why OEM suppliers and manufacturers have implemented computer numerical control (CNC) machines and processes into their productions.
Ready to learn more about the CNC bending process, its benefits and which industries benefit most? Let’s dive in.
What Is CNC Bending?
Bending is one of the most frequently used fabrication methods for forming sheet metal and tubes, which are then used to create a variety of components. Although the market value of CNC machines has consistently increased over time due to demand by manufacturers, the 2020 global pandemic — affecting production and demand — is a contributing factor to the predicted growth rate over the next four years.
Here are some of the basic, most important qualities of CNC machines:
1. CNC machines are fully automated.
CNC machines automate the bending process by using a computer to control the machinery and hydraulic system to shape the component. This way, the components are shaped with more consistent bends and exact dimensions.
2. CNC machines have a wide range of applications.
CNC machines can handle sheet metal and tubes ranging from a few millimeters to multiple meters long. Additionally, they are fully capable of producing complex components due to the high-level technology that allows the machinery to run.
3. Pairing the right metal size to the right machine is crucial.
One of the very few restrictions in the CNC bending process is the size of the machine and tensile strength of the metal. This can cause overbending and breakage of the component if the wrong machine is matched with an incompatible metal.
Companies looking for custom components can partner with an OEM supplier that has the right CNC bending machine for their needs and can assist in the design process.
What Are the Benefits of CNC Bending?
In manufacturing, time is money. When components are not produced to the highest standard, they are not usable, which means more material needs to be used and deadlines get pushed out.
With a CNC bending process, the benefits OEM suppliers gain can be passed down to customers. These benefits include:
Because the CNC bending process is automated, it is one of the most efficient services compared to manual services, such as welding:
Each process requires only one machine, not several steps across multiple machines.
Automation makes it so that fewer laborers are needed in the production process.
The laborer’s primary function in this process is to feed the machine the metal sheet or tube, cutting down on human error and inaccurate components.
Besides the initial investment costs, maintaining a CNC machine does not require a significant amount of capital. Cutting down on the number of laborers means a lower cost of labor.
One of the greatest benefits of any automated machine in manufacturing is the amount of time saved in the production process. CNC fabrication accelerates the production process by reducing the need for manual labor. Plus, the improved accuracy and consistency of CNC machinery removes the need for fixes that would need to be accomplished manually.
Consistent, Accurate Components
As customers become increasingly more particular about tolerances, CNC machines are well suited to deliver precision components. Because mathematical precision is built into the manufacturing process, customers can expect consistency and accuracy in the quality of their components.
Which Industries Use CNC Bending?
Many industries greatly benefit from the time and labor costs saved and the high quality of components produced by the CNC bending process. These include but are not limited to aerospace, agriculture, automotive, medical and power sports vehicles:
Aerospace requires as much safety and high performance as possible because of the amount of strain that the aircrafts must endure.
Automotive parts require a lot of sheet metal and tube metal for exterior and interior components. Like components in the aerospace industry, they need to withstand a lot of pressure and last for the lifetime of the vehicle.
Medical tools can have incredibly small diameters, and a mass production of accurate components requires a machine that is capable of manipulating these smaller pieces of metal.
Power sports vehicle components must be able to withstand consistent general use and the high possibility that damage will come to the vehicle over time.
With so many potential uses for the CNC bending process, it is important to be sure you are partnering with an OEM supplier with the capabilities you need.
VPIC’s CNC Bending Process Capabilities
As a leading CNC manufacturer, we support a wide range of CNC machining services on components coming from lathe machines, milling machines, wire EDM and other manufacturing processes. As a full-service manufacturer, we have the ability to support CNC bending processes in-house, saving you both time and money.
If you are ready to partner with an OEM supplier that emphasizes customer service and precision component manufacturing, contact us today.