Understanding the Functions of Metal Guillotine Cutting Machine

03 June 2019

Metal guillotine cutting machines, unlike those used in the French Revolution, are engineering tools. They’re designed to cut metal sheets into smaller, more manageable sheets, which are then further processed so that they can serve as part of some integral machine component or structural asset. Moving down the tool line, let’s see what kind of functions are available on a top-tier guillotine’s control panel. It looks like there’s even a foot plate poking out of the machinery.

Checking Out the Metal Guillotining Controls

That foot pedal controls a direct drive motor. Alternatively, if the equipment is pneumatically powered, it actuates the air drive valves. Nearby, a big red button is easily within reach. That’s the emergency stop. If something goes wrong, such as an operator injury, a press of this large button brings the entire assemblage of heavy-duty parts to a near instant halt. On the upper control panel of a powered metal guillotine, there are controls and dials for adjusting stroke speed and shear angle. Finally, there’s a number of safety guards and rails, many of which are electrically monitored. If those guards are lifted, the cutting machine won’t work. This is an important safety feature.

Breaking Down the Multifunction Cutting Features

The blade gap on a metal guillotining needs to be adjustable if the equipment is to deliver a high degree of precision-shearing accuracy. If the sheet metal passing through the cutting machinery is thicker than average, this value will obviously adjust upwards. It’s the same with blade rake angle. Measured from left to right, the “Rake Angle” decides how much of the sheet material is cut. If that angle is high, then less material is cut. As a result of this adjustment, sheet bowing and bending occurrences are minimized and the resulting cut is applied more accurately. Essentially, the trained fingers of an expert operator, plus a cautiously introduced foot, can adjust stroke pressure, shearing angle and speed, plus the actual angle of the plate, which is typically measured as left to right blade drop.

And the above descriptions only apply to semi-automated Metal Guillotining Cutting Machines. The equipment operator adjusts an angular vector or a stroke control, then there’s maybe up to 3.0° of rake angle to configure if the sheet metal is particularly dense or thick. Buying into the higher echelon equipment rigs, fully automated metal guillotines come with fully configurable control panels, with their LCD monitors offering touchscreen programmability. Why, many of those advanced equipment rigs don’t even need a fulltime tool operator, not when they can be hooked into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) system.

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