Sheet metal fabrication technologies are evolving to increase the efficiency of fabrication shops. How sure are you that your shop isn't being left behind? Read on and discover some of the new technologies that are available to owners of metal folding machines and select the upgrades that are most needed for your folding equipment.

Flashcard memory

Older versions of metal folding equipment relied on hard drives on the machine to store all the information that a fabricator considered important, such as sketches of parts that needed to be produced every year for a client. However, such data storage systems are very expensive to expand as the body of the data that needs to be stored expands. The high cost of expanding the internal memory of such machines can easily eat into the narrow profit margins that a fabricator earns on each job. The latest folding equipment now comes equipped with flash card memory. Such a feature makes it very easy and affordable to expand the internal memory of your equipment as the need arises. This can reduce the total cost of ownership of that machine.

Machine programming

Gone are the days when an operator of a folding machine had to input all the parameters of the desired component before loading a sheet of metal onto the folding machine. The current generation of folding machines now only requires operators to draw the finished part that they would like the machine to make. The machine then takes over and works out all the other necessary details, such as the sequence in which the part should be formed. This automation has drastically reduced the chance that products can be formed with defects resulting from incorrect folding parameters entered into the machine by a distracted or exhausted operator.

Remote service capabilities

It is now normal to buy a folding machine that can be monitored remotely for defects. Service technicians can access the control systems of those latest models of metal folding machines remotely in order to troubleshoot any errors or malfunctions that the monitoring system reports through periodic reports that are automatically generated for the technical support personnel. Such capabilities ensure that a technician can reach the fabrication shop quickly in case a problem requires his or her presence to resolve. In this way, downtime can be kept at a minimum during the service life of that equipment.

The discussion above highlights some of the technologies that sheet metal fabricators who have the newest models of metal folding machines are enjoying. Learn more and talk to a fabrication expert in case you would like to retrofit some of those features on the equipment that you currently own.