Most sheet metal manufacturing plants are fitted with shears – hand shears, foot-operated punch and shears, or both. Shears are incredibly useful in the sheet metal fabrication industry, so it’s important to keep them well maintained to ensure optimum performance. Read of for some essential shear maintenance tips.

shutterstock_502702249

Know the machine’s limits

It’s important to understand your machine’s function and limits, and to keep loads within the parameters outlined by the original equipment manufacturer. Your shears are designed to cut workpieces of a specified thickness and width, and exceeding load limits will likely damage your machinery. It’s important to set the shear blade properly, allowing for the appropriate clearances. When clearances are too tight, they result in poor cuts due to the metal workpiece being jammed between the blade and the machine. Clearances that are too loose put strain on the machines components, resulting in premature wear and machine failure.

Regular inspections are a must

Regular inspections must be carried out to ensure your shears are in working order. The inspection should include making sure the shears are properly executing their operational functions, checking bearings for lost motion and wear and ensuring that all emergency and safety functions are working.

Repairs should be made ASAP

If your shears are at all damaged or worn, repairs or adjustments should be made immediately. Putting off repairs can be extremely costly, as you will not only have to cover the costs of the repairs, but also the resulting damage. Immediate repairs are also vital to ensure the safety of your workers and prevent catastrophic accidents. Special attention should be paid to safety features such as the clutch and brakes and damaged shears should not be used until repairs are complete.

Cleaning is essential

Shears must be cleaned regularly to ensure full function. This includes thoroughly cleaning the lubrication system (along with continuously refilling and properly filtering it) and maintaining the air system to ensure the air is clean.

It’s important to pay close attention to your shears, and all sheet metal machinery, to ensure they are functioning correctly and efficiently. ACRA stock a range of quality sheet metal machinery including hand shears and punch & shears. If require further maintenance advice, or need help choosing the right shears for your metal fabrication needs, call us today on 03 9794 6675.