With the development of the economy, places like hotels, restaurants, restaurants, shopping malls, banks, airports have a growing demand for the bend forming of metal decorative materials in middle and high-grade decoration, such as:
- The bending radius of the workpiece should be small;
- The bending angle of the workpiece bending with stainless steel titanium plate or other colored metal plates cannot have great color changes;
- No obvious color difference;
- The curved section of the workpiece is more complicated;
- It can reflect the unique style of the designer.
Traditional bending methods such as forced bending, free bending and even three-point bending have been unable to meet the above requirements.
In other words, bending the metal sheet with press brake alone can not meet the design requirements of the designer, and can not reach the grade and decorative effect of middle and high-grade decoration.
The following workpiece is not able to be finished just with press brake machine.
Therefore, a novel bending technique is developed, which is: V-groove bending technology.
What is the fabrication process of V-groove bend forming?
To put it simply, it is:
Adopt V-grooving (or V cut) method on the metal sheet first, then bend the grooved sheet metal into various angles and shapes by press brake with general mold or special mold.
Such a curved workpiece can meet the special needs of high-end decoration in hotels, restaurants, restaurants, shopping malls, bank and airports.
The main equipment of v-groove bending technology is press brake and sheet metal V-groover (also been called V-grooving machine).
The press brake is a traditional plate bending machine, and the thin plate V-grooving machine is a new type of sheet metal processing machinery, which is the key equipment of V-cut bending technology.
For better understand the press brake machine, you can refer to The Ultimate Guide to Press Brake.
So, what is sheet metal V-grooving Machine?
Definition of V-grooving Machine
V-groover, also been called CNC V-Cutting Machine, V-grooving Machine.
It’s mainly used to realize a certain depth V-cutting of stainless steel plate, ordinary steel plate, aluminum plate, copper plate, composite plate under 4mm before bend forming.
The workpiece produced with such technique has small bending radius, not obvious color changes, small bending force requirements etc. Besides, it reduces the straightness error of the round edge of narrow long workpieces, and the common press brake and toolings can be used to bend the workpiece with complicated section shape.
V-grooving machines are widely used in stainless steel decoration, elevator, security doors and cabinet industries.
Before the special V-grooving equipment been designed, the workshop generally uses the planer to make a V-shaped groove for metal sheet material.
Due to the fact that the planer doesn’t have the effective metal sheet pressing device, the V-grooving depth of the metal sheet and the positioning distance of V groove cannot be precisely controlled.
Besides, the planer has high energy consumption and low efficiency.
At present, the work of v-grooving for metal sheet has been replaced by the metal sheet V-grooving machine
The new type of metal sheet grooving machine is designed and manufactured according to the special needs of the middle and high-end decoration industry and elevator manufacturing industry. It can make V-shaped grooves for materials such as stainless steel sheet, iron plate and copper plate.
If some specially dedicated accessories are installed, the metal sheet V-grooving machine can also be used for grinding, polishing and drawing of metal sheet materials and profiles.
The Classification of Sheet Metal V-groover
Currently, the length of the metal plate for V-grooving is: 2500mm, 3200mm, 4000mm, 5000mm, 6000mm and the processing width of sheet metal mainly is: 1250mm, 1500mm, 2200mm, 2400mm.
The most popular type is 4000×1250 (L*W) V grooving machine.
If classified by the structure style, the sheet metal V-grooving machine can be divided into 4 types:
- Mobile Worktable Type
The structure is fixed for the beam, and the tool holder can be positioned on the crossbeam before the groove.
The processed sheet material is fixed on the worktable by pressing device, and the V-shaped groove is carried out with the worktable moves back and forth along the long rail.
It’s similar to a dedicated planer.
The energy consumption is very high during sheet metal V-grooving because the worktable, which is driven by the motor, is moving back and forth along the long rail.
- Beam Move Along Long Rail Type
The worktable is fixed, and the processed sheet is fixed on the worktable by pressing device.
The tool holder is positioned on the crossbeam by moving left and right.
The V-grooving is realized by the beam moving back and forth along the long rail on the worktable.
During V-grooving process, the worktable is fixed, but the energy consumption is very high due to the reciprocating motion of the beam along the long rail.
- Beam Move Along Short Rail Type
The worktable is fixed, and the processed sheet is fixed on the worktable by pressing device.
The beam conducts the pre-grooving positioning by moving back and forth along the short rail of the worktable.
The tool holder does the left and right reciprocating motion on the beam to conduct V cutting.
The energy consumption is low due to the fixed worktable and beam during V-grooving while the power driving the tool holder do the reciprocating motion along the long rail is much less than the power driving the worktable and beam.
- Fixed Beam & Worktable Type
Fixed beam and worktable, and the processed sheet is conducting pre-grooving positioning by the feeding device moving back and forth.
The tool holder does the left and right reciprocating motion on the beam to conduct V cutting.
During V-cutting, it only drives the tool holder do reciprocating motion along the long rail, and light-duty feeding device is adopted for pre-grooving positioning without the need to drive a multi-ton beam.
Therefore, it has the lowest energy consumption and the most obvious energy saving effect.
If classified by the control method, the thin plate V-groover can be divided into:
- Digital Display V-grooving Machine
- CNC V-grooving Machine
The display resolution is 0.01 mm, enough to meet the actual requirements.
Key Features of V-groove Bend Forming Technology
Fig.1 V-grooving bend forming process
1. Small bending force requirement for bending the workpiece
It can be seen from the bending force calculation formula that the bending force required for bending of the workpiece is proportional to the thickness of the plate.
The bending force is large for bending thick plate, and the bending force is small for the thin workpiece.
In the V-shaped groove bending technique, the thickness of the plate is reduced by V cutting in the bending position of the plate, and reduced the bending force that is needed.
Since the depth of the V-shaped groove is 1/2 plate thickness, it can save half of the bending force.
2. A small bending radius of the workpiece
For free bending, the bending radius is proportional to the V-opening width of the die. The width of the die opening is generally 8 to 12 times the thickness of the plate.
To obtain a smaller bending radius, you need to select a die with smaller V-opening width.
The thicker the plate, the larger the V-opening width of the die, and the bigger the bending radius.
On the contrary, the thinner the plate, and the smaller the V-opening width of the selected die, and the smaller the bending radius.
The thickness of the plate is reduced at the bend position by V grooving, and the bending radius of the workpiece are naturally proportionally reduced.
In the plate strength range, the thinner the remaining thickness, the smaller the bending radius of the workpiece.
3. Small color changes at the bent round edges of the workpieces
During the V-shape bending process of the plate, the inside of the workpiece’s bending radius is under compress force and generate compression deformation. The outside of the bending radius is under stretch force and generate elongation.
The main factors that influence the color changes of the bent round edge of the workpiece are the elongation deformation caused by the lateral tensile strength.
It can be seen from the V-shape bending process of the sheet that the elongation deformation caused by the lateral tensile force is also related to the thickness of the plate.
By V-grooving the plate, the thickness of the plate at the bending position is reduced and the elongation deformation generated by the lateral tensile force during bending is also decreased, therefore realizing the purpose of small color changes at the bent round edges of the workpiece.
4. Small straightness errors of the bent round edge of the narrow long workpiece
Generally, in the process of bending narrow long workpiece, the inside of the bending radius generate compression deformation under compress force in the direction of width. The deformation materials move at both ends in length direction. The outside of the bending radius generates elongation under tensile strength in width direction. The materials move to the center in length direction. In this way, the bent around edge’s line of the workpiece forms center-concave.
The larger the bending deformation, the more serious the center-concave of the edge line. The smaller the bending deformation, the less serious the center-concave of the edge line.
Since V-grooving reduces the plate thickness at the bending position, the bending deformation also reduced, therefore, V-grooving bend forming technique makes the straightness errors of the edge line of the narrow long workpiece becomes small.
5. Adopt general mold to bend workpiece with a complicated or enclosed cross-section
For press brake, just the general toolings are needed to conduct V-grooving bend forming technique.
Some workpiece with complicated or enclosed cross-section can be bent without special toolings by correctly control the grooving depth and edge length (as shown in fig.2), which will reduce the expense incurred by the complex toolings with special design and shorten the processing cycle.
Fig.2 Workpiece cross-section shape
The Application Prospect of V-grooving Bend Forming Technology
Due to the obvious advantages of V-shaped groove bending technology, and the traditional bending method and bending equipment are not changed, only the sheet metal V-grooving machine needs to be added, so V-grooving bend forming technology has been widely used in the emerging middle and high-grade decoration industry in the first place.
It was then used in elevator manufacturing.
Next, some experts in medical device manufacturing, electric control cabinet manufacturing industry also show their interest in V-grooving bend forming technology.
It can be seen that with the deep understanding of the V-grooving bend forming technology, the application field of this technology will be broader.
CNC Auto Metal Sheet V-grooving Machine Operating Instruction
PLC Touch Screen Operation Method
Start the V-grooving machine
Open the air switch on the right side of the electricity box and then open the key switch on the front panel. The whole machine is electrified. The touch screen enters the initial screen after a delay of three seconds.
Light touchscreen, the whole machine enters into operation monitoring. The touchscreen has the following contents:
1). The beam position
The position of the beam relative to the initial point. This position is detected by the screw encoder, and the following numbers represent the number of the grooving line.
2). The target position
Refers to the target position of the current moving beam. If the grooving machine still not start grooving when the beam moved at the right place, press the “beam movement” button, and the machine cannot move.
3). Current distance
Refers to the distance between the current groove and the previous groove.
4). Blade holder position
Refers to the 3D point of the current blade tip relative to the origin point, which is also the initial point. When this position is greater than 29.8mm, the tool holder will not move. The coordinate point is measured by the stepper motor encoder on the screw rod, and the number in the back indicates the number of grooving.
5). Plate width and plate thickness are set working parameters.
6). Press the start button to groove when the position light flashes. When the depth light flashes, press the “Move” button to run to the next position for grooving.
7). Press “manual operation” to control the operation screen by hand.
8). Press the “open groove preparation” button, the beam can be moved to the front of the platform, and the various grooved parameters are initialized to prepare for the grooving of the next metal plate. The beam will not move when the beam position is less than the initial position offset, but the parameter initialization is normal, and the button should not be pressed during the grooving.
9). In order to replace the blade, a grooving pause button is set. When the button is pressed, the grooving machine will stop working, and then press the button to restart the machine.
10). Press “parameter setting” to jump to the parameter setting screen.
Manual operation has the following buttons:
1). “Beam forward” means that the beam moves forward in a manual manner and the moving speed is set in the system parameters.
2). “Beam backward” means to move the beam back in manual mode and set the moving speed in system parameters.
3). “Tool holder to the left” means to move the tool holder to the left in manual mode, and the movement speed is set in system parameters.
4). “Tool holder to the right” means to move the tool holder to the right in manual mode, and the moving speed is set in the system parameters.
5). “Tool holder up” means to move the tool holder up manually.
6). “Tool holder down” means to move the tool holder down manually.
7). “Operation instructions”: press this button to move the screen to the operation instruction screen.
8). “Origin alignment”: press this button to perform the function of returning the original to correct the position of the beam. In general, there is no need to perform the function of returning to the origin (because the computer does not have the function of location memory).
However, if the grooving machine has stopped for more than two days, or if the position is not correctly caused by some other circumstances, the function of returning to the origin should be performed first after electrification to ensure the normal operation of the machine.
1). Press the “parameter setting” button to the parameter setting screen, where the grooving spacing can be set, and 50 grooves can be set totally.
2). The first groove can be set with a minimum value of 8mm and a maximum spacing of 1220mm. The rest grooves have no limits.
3). After pressing the menu you want to set, a digital keyboard appears on the screen。 “ENT” is the input confirmation button, “ES” means the input is canceled, “CR” means the input reset button. All the parameters are positive, if there is a negative number, the machine will report an error.
4). Press the “return” button to return the setting screen.
5). In the parameter setting, press the “system parameters” button to back to the system parameters screen.
6). After setting the parameters, check carefully according to the process sheet to prevent errors.
7). The #1 distance refers to the vertical distance from the 1st groove to the initial point. The #2 distance refers to the vertical distance from the 1st groove to the 2nd groove. And so on, for each of the groove distance.
8). In the parameter setting screen, the current process can be cleared by “parameter full clearance”.
There are several types of buttons in the system parameters:
1). “Deceleration advance” is the position of the beam positioning from high speed to a constant speed. This parameter is important for positioning. If each positioning exceeds the stroke, then increase this parameter, generally set to 8 mm, with a maximum setting of 9.999 mm.
2). “Positioning ahead” is the positioning position of the designated pre-stop. After the stop, the beam moves to the positioning position under the action of inertia. If the grooving machine doesn’t stop at the right position for each stop, it means the parameter setting is too large. Otherwise, the parameter setting is too small. The maximum data of this parameter can be set to 0.8mm.
3). “Allowable error” is the allowable error after the positioning. It is not allowed to groove if not in this range, and manual correction is required.
4). “Initial point error” refers to the distance between the blade tip and the edge after correcting the origin. The minimum setting is 8 mm. Otherwise, front-positioning proximity switch needs to be adjusted in time.
1). Grooves must meet the following conditions
- The emergency stop switch is not pressed;
- Positioning (indicator light flashing);
- The pressing foot at the side pressed the sheet metal;
- There is no limit on the right or left of the tool holder;
- The beam is not out of stroke range;
- The tool holder stop button is not pressed;
- The longitudinal position of the blade tip ≥ 8mm;
2). Moving beam
When confirmed finished grooving, press “Moving Beam” button, the grooving machine will read out the position for next grooving and automatically add to the target position. The beam begins to move and positioning. After automatic positioning, a grooving process must be carried out before the beam can move again. It will keep going back and forth until finish all the grooving line.
3). Conditions for moving beams
- Beam stroke not greater than 1220mm;
- Position positioning does not flash OK;
- The position of the beam is not greater than the target position;
- The follow up pressing device lifting up;
- The emergency stop switch is not pressed down;
- The beam front limit switch is connected;
- The grooved motor contactor is not pull in.
4). Press “Grooving ready” button to move the beam to the front of the platform.
The Grooving Machine Accessories
- Programmable controller
- Step motor
- Step driver
- Proximity switch
- Switch power
The Operation Method for Mechanical Grooving
- Lay the metal sheet flat on the workbench. If the metal sheet has a protective film, then the side with the protective film facing down. One side of the sheet metal clings to the benchmark block in front of the worktable.
- Press the sheet metal pressing button to tighten the edge of the sheet material and complete the positioning of the sheet material.
- Adjust the position of the proximity switch limit block at the left and right side of the tool holder slide block properly according to the length of the plate.
- Determine the spacing of the grooves and the forward and backward adjustment of the beam. Jog the “origin alignment” in the PLC touch screen to realize accurate positioning. That is, the beam displacement to the first groove position, press the follow-up press button to press the plate material tightly.
- The blade block with a thickness of 35mm is used to set the initial point of the blade, lock the pressing screw, and check the blade block to ensure the height of the blade. This is an important preparatory work to ensure the precise depth of the grooves and the production of safe grooves.
- Check whether the blade is in good condition and if the blade is badly worn, loosen the blade. Press the screw and rotate the blade 90 degrees, that is, change it to a new blade edge. Or flip the blade and change another blade surface.
- Press the work-in button on the operation panel of the electrical box to perform the first grooving. Generally, the first grooving depth is 0.3mm, followed by the thickness of the processed plate.
- After the groove depth meets the requirement, let the grooving blade exit the plate surface. The sliding frame automatically moves to the pre-set right limit position. The PLC controls the beam displacement to the next groove, and then the second grooving is processed. Until the whole grooving process is finished, press the “release button” of the follow-up material’s pressing on the mobile operating station and loosen the follow-up press device. The PLC performs the next groove positioning instruction. The beam immediately moves back to the next groove and repeats until all grooves are finished.
- After the completion of the grooving work, loosen all the pressing devices, back the beam to the appropriate position, take out the plate materials, and clean the working table.
- When spray cooling is needed, the switch in the electric cabinet will be opened first, and the cooling system will be automatically lubricated during the cutting process.
Safe Operation Procedure for CNC V-grooving Machine
- CNC Grooving machine should be maintained and operated by the specially-assigned person;
- The operator of CNC V-groover must pass the training of the professional department. After passing the examination and obtaining the qualification certificate, the operator can operate independently;
- Before the operation, wear long sleeve work clothes (to prevent burning by the grooved debris from splashing), and gloves must be worn when loading and unloading the sheet metal;
- Before starting the V-grooving machine, check whether the machine table is clean, especially between clamps and table;
- Reset the origin after starting up. When working, check whether the workpiece conforms to the process requirements and correctly input the size and grooving depth;
- When the operator is put on the small sheet, remember to handle lightly. Before loading, clean the machine surface and the feeding table, and can not residual grooved wire and other sundries;
- When running the grooving machine, check if the plate is pushing to the origin. The staff shall not extend the head and any part of the body into the machine motor area (to prevent hurt by the machine). The air gun and hand should not be placed under the fixed clamp;
- When the grooving machine is in moving, the operation must be stopped in case of a machine collision or a collision of the materials. First, reset the origin to prevent the moving of the origin at the time of the collision;
- After grooving, gently place the sheet in the designated position to prevent the workpiece from being scratched;
- After the operation, conduct the daily maintenance of the grooving machine, cut off the power supply and clean the workplace.
Gantry (Horizontal) V Grooving Machine vs. Vertical V Grooving Machine
When you decide to purchase one V grooving machine, you will definitely face such confusion – which one should I choose between the gantry (horizontal) V grooving machine and the vertical V grooving machine.
Here let’s tell you the difference between gantry V groover and vertical V groover.
Generally the gantry V grooving machine has high working efficiency, however, the accuracy of grooving (slotting) is not as good as vertical V grooving machine.
Besides that, if the sheet metal is in non-specific shape (cut by laser cutting), more grooving line will be needed, then we suggest you to choose vertical V grooving machine.
If it is a whole piece of sheet metal or more symmetrical piece (square or rectangular), we recommend to choose the gantry type or horizontal type V grooving machine.
Further more, the current price of gantry type V grooving machine is a little cheaper than the vertical V grooving machine and the gantry type is still the relatively popular type and selected by most of the customers.