A corner forming machine processes the corners of flanges, drawing two flanges together and shearing away the excess length leaving a 3 plane corner formed on all sides. This process is done without welding or otherwise fusing the material together. The formed corner is often a desirable substitute for welded and ground corners because of the significant time savings and quality improvements.
The flanges forming the edges of the corner must be formed against a customized bottom v-die or folding blade on a press brake or panel bender respectively. Conventional upper tooling is used for this operation. The tooling is arced downwards at the ends where the corner is going to be formed. This prevents the flange from being fully formed at the corner in a controlled and predictable fashion.
With the flanges partially formed the work piece is inserted into the corner former. The corner former clamps the workpiece and uses customized tooling to wipe down over the flanges drawing the corner down. The two radii of the corners are determined by the tooling though the same tooling is capable of handling different material thicknesses, materials and draw lengths.
The machine releases the work piece which now has a formed corner, in addition to extended flanges around the corner. The workpiece is then transferred to a secondary area of the machine which removes the excess material making the finished edge of the corner flush with the initial flanges.
Pros and Cons:
- For the correct application a corner former can significantly reduce processing time on a part. If your work piece requires that a small corner be welded and finished then the corner former can eliminate processing time.
- The training required to work a corner former is minimal. If a single setup is being used there is practically no skill required. The piece is simply inserted into the machine. Tool changes and material thickness selection are also fairly accessible to most operators.
- A small footprint allows the machine to work within the same area of the welding work cell it is replacing.
- The finished product is going to have a superior finish on both the inside and outside of the corner. No welding slag or grind marks are left behind.
- Profiling can go far beyond a simply square corner, custom profiles are easily formed with proper tooling.
- When using a corner former you are limited in the height of the flange which can be formed. Typically ranging from 1” to 1-1/2” the maximum height can be too small for many applications.
- Customized tooling is required at the brake press, meaning a special setup is required for forming the work piece.
- Designing for the corner is not easily achieved in a 3 dimensional environment. The flat pattern is customized to the tooling, meaning designers need to manually override the square cornered layouts generated by modern software.
- Return flanges are not possible around the are being formed.
- The limited number of manufacturers will hurt you when it comes to pricing on these units. Typically you will be spending around $60,000 and without anywhere else to go your negotiating power is limited.