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Abstract—A sheet folding machine that can be operated through hydraulics by two hydraulic cylinders or manually (with the cylinders disengaged) was designed. The design need emanated from the strained national electrical grid system that has recently seen industrialists and households in Zimbabwe experiencing major power cuts. The machine enables manufacturers to schedule heavier jobs during periods when power supply is up and lighter jobs during power cut periods hence run their workshops throughout the daily production shifts. The two hydraulic cylinders can be disengaged from the machine’s folding beam so that manual operation can be done through a manual clamping lever system. The folding force at full capacity is 294.6 KN (29.46 Ton), total bending length of 1.8 m and working height of 1 m. The folding force decreases significantly in manual operating mode to 500 N, considering that on average an operate can manually exert that force. A student version of Simulation X 3.5 was used to simulate the hydraulic operation of the machine.
Index Terms—Sheet metal folding, Folding machine, Sheet metal bending, Press brake
Cite: Gwangwava N, Mugwagwa L, and Ngoma S, "Design of a Dual Operating Mode Sheet Folding Machine," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 89-101, October 2013.