Guillotining Aluminium: Common Causes of Edge DeflectionBlog | May 24th, 2018
Properly configured aluminium guillotines drop fast. They cut edges but never deform the boundaries of that edge. There’s a machine in a workshop that fits the former description, but, just today, it’s started to exhibit the latter deformation defect. That’s not acceptable, not in a machine shop that demands high tolerance cuts. It looks like the repair tech has his work cut out for him.
Apprehending the Cut Culprit
Moving away from that pun, look at the cut edge for clues. If there are ugly burrs and bent edges messing up the last cut, turn to the blade. It’ll need to be taken out of service and put in maintenance mode. Now that the blade is visible, are there any obvious problems? Check that test sheet again. The burrs and edge defects are occurring at the same point every time, so there’s a chip or discontinuity breaking the clean profile of that slender piece of cutting metal.
Seek Out Abrasion Incidents
But what if there are no discontinuities, just a long warped edge covering the entire length of the sheet metal cut? This time around, the protective coating or lubricating agent covering the blade has somehow worn away. Friction is entering the process. Check for this equipment defect by assessing the vertical surfaces of the cutting edge. If those surfaces are marked with abrasive lines, then the frictional action is causing the sheet metal edge to rub against the blade metal. The sheet metal lifts and warps as it encounters this sticky rubbing effect.
Tune All Work Processing Factors
Aluminium is a soft metal. However, different alloy variants do exist. Some are harder than others, or one variant is more ductile than its neighbour. Either way, not every heat treated or post-processed aluminium metal sheet reacts identically. Furthermore, panel thickness will obviously impact the cutting operation. These factors need to be evaluated and offset before the workpieces are subjected to this irreversible action. No one likes to see reject sheets and wasted workpieces strewn around a shop floor, after all.
How do the machine operators offset these varying factors? First off, is the blade sharp and free of discontinuities? Is there a rubber sheet underneath the parts, an impact-absorbing layer that assures a clean cut? Last of all, adjust the controllable parts of the cutting station so that the part’s thickness and grade are accounted for before the cut is triggered. Adjustable process parameters include cut speed, applied impact speed, and cardboard or rubber force absorption deflections. By the way, if the error still stubbornly occurs, consider replacing the cutting force sensor.
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