Slitter folders are industrial machines used for manipulating thin sheet metal. They function as the name suggests, with bending and slicing capabilities. Some machines, such as the Jorns slitter folder, are very large and can be up to several meters in width. The machine’s integration with a computerised control screen allows for accurate and lengthy operations on the metal with minimal chance of mistakes.
How does a slitter folder function?
Before using a slitter folder, you will need to measure up the size of the sheet metal, so that it can perform accurate operations. Users start by sliding sheet metal onto the wide flat area (conveyer belt.) Depending on the slitter folder model, sheet metal of varying thickness can be sliced or folded. Most machines will be able to operate on material that is 1.2mm-2mm thick, with some, such as the Jorns Slitter folder, able to operate on increased thicknesses of up to 3mm. The type of material will also affect the pliability of the metal, with stainless steel usually having a thinner maximum than aluminium.
The control panel
To achieve the desired slicing or bending effect, users must input the material measurements accurately into the control panel. From here you can input the instructions for the machine to complete. The control panel has some template selections you can choose from, or you can manually input the selections you would like to make. Some more advanced and modern machines allow users to draw the profile and edit the angle of any bends down to a degree.
Bending begins by sliding the sheet metal out to where the operator wants the fold to occur. For example, they might input a bend of 60 degrees, 15cm out from the edge of the sheet into the control panel. The slitter folder slides the sheet outward by 15cm, and holds the sheet in place with the ‘back gauge’. The arms from the back gauge create a series of arches that connect into a flat, horizontal clamping beam, which drops down to clamp the sheet metal and ensure there is no movement. However, the arches mean that when the beam rises again, sheet metal can be slid and repositioned underneath easily. To create the bend, the front undercarriage will rotate outwards and upwards from underneath the front of the machine and push on the sheet metal until the desired angle is reached. The sheet metal is clamped firmly enough by the back gauge, that when the rotating bar underneath releases, a permanent bend will occur in the metal. If the desired angle is 90 degrees, the underneath bar will rotate until it is vertical and perpendicular to the flat sheet metal behind the stabiliser bar. The Jorns double bending slitter folder has two rotating bars. One is positioned above the sheet metal, the other below. This increases the angular capabilities of the bends and should speed up operations.
This covers the other half of the slitter folders’ name. The machine has a built-in guillotine that can complete precise horizontal slices across the metal. The guillotine is only suitable for straight cuts across the entirety of the piece, for more complicated slices a different machine would be required such as a bandsaw. The steps to slice metal are pretty like bending. The requirements must be input on the control panel. The sheet metal will be slid out to the point where the cut has been programmed. The back gauge clamps the sheet metal. However, this is when the guillotine will run across the machine horizontally, creating the slice from left to right.
After any instructions are input on the control panel, the machine has a foot pedal to turn the machine on, as well as other safety switches and an emergency stop button. A foot pedal ensures that the operator is standing far enough away from the machine’s clamps and guillotine when they start. As always, operating industrial sheet metal machinery can be dangerous and should only be operated with the required training and all safety protocols in place.
ACRA Machinery supplies a variety of industrial sheet metal machinery to cater for all your sheet metal operative needs, from Durma press brakes to Jorns slitter folders. Whether you need slicing, bending, notching or more – ACRA has new and second-hand machinery available for purchase today. Not only that, but we offer maintenance and repair to your industrial machinery as well. Are you looking for a slitter folder for your warehouse, or does your slitter folder require repair or maintenance?