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Shearing machines are multipurpose devices used in the cutting of alloys and other sheet metal. Some shearing machines use a scissor-like, angular shear action to cut metal into sheets or strips. Other, larger machines use a straight shear action with the blade fixed at an angle as opposed to the angular movement.
When specifying and purchasing metal shear equipment, an important consideration is the required dimensions needed to fit your range of workpieces.
Operating a shear requires strict adherence to safety procedures. Machine operators can activate the shear using several methods.
Manual (footswitch/pendant/pushbutton) action is controlled manually through an operator interface device such as a footswitch, pendant, or push-button controls.
Automatic/indexing units automatically load parts into the system and operate without operator intervention. The machine changes or adjusts tooling and other parameters, such as speed or applied load, in a pre-programmed manner. Several automation possibilities include CNC control or a PLC controller, which are used to program and perform a sequence of operations on the press.
The first step in fabricating a sheet metal component is cutting to size. Shearing machines and shearing machinery perform this function. Shearing machines are multipurpose devices used in the cutting of alloys and other sheet metal. Some shearing machines use a scissor-like, angular shear action to cut metal into sheets or strips. Other, larger machines use a straight shear action with the blade fixed at an angle as opposed to the angular movement.
Shearing operations are performed by the action of two blades, one fixed in the shear bed and the other moving vertically with little or no clearance. Shear action moves progressively from one side of the material to the other. The angular configuration of the blades is called the rake. Both rake and clearance are a function of the type and thickness of the material to be cut. In press type shears, the upper blade is inclined in relation to the lower blade, about .5 to 2.5 degrees. The typical shear consists of a fixed bed to which one blade is mounted, a vertically advancing crosshead and a series of hold-down pins or feet that hold the material in place while the cutting occurs. A gauging system with stops is used to produce specific workpiece finish sizes.