Posted By: Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales | Posted On: March 12, 2020
What Features Do You Need on an Ironworker
If you own a fabrication shop, having the right machines and tools is the most excellent way to enhance your competitive advantage. One machine that you ought to have in your shop is the ironworker. Since their inception in the late 1800s, Ironworkers have revamped and transformed how fabrication shops work by performing integral roles that used to consume a lot of time and resources. They are efficient and reliable when it comes to cutting angles, bars, flats, and rods, as well as punching holes and coping angles.
And since there are several models in the market, there are several things that you should check out to ensure that you get an ironworker machine that resonates and aligns with your needs and purposes. In a previous article entitled Why an Ironworker Should Be your First Fabricating Machine we detailed the importance of having the capabilities an Ironworker brings to your shop. Now we review the important things to look for when buying an Ironworker.
Specific Ironworker Tools and Functions to Look For
Consider the Capacity
Ironworker capacity is measured in tons with the smallest size being 25 tons and the largest one being 250 tons. If you need to know the size and capacity of the ironworker you need in your shop, you need to determine:
- The maximum thickness of the material you are using and the maximum size of the hole you want to punch.
- The machine specifications and the tonnage chart, which shows you the type and size of materials that can be punched with a given machine, are also imperative.
The more capabilities the ironworker has, the better it will be suited to perform a variety of tasks in your fabrication shop. And since tonnage ratings differ from ironworker to the next to be sure to check the thickness of the material and diameter of the hole, it can punch.
Check Out the Type of Shears Utilized by an Ironworker
Although all ironworkers come with flat bar shears, the primary differences are the strength and approach of the blade to the material you are working on. While some ironworkers utilize scissor-type shears, others use fixed-rake-angle shear. For structural fabricators, you need an ironworker with a fixed-rake-angle shear as it is permanently built in to handle a significant amount of the materials you process without any tooling needs. However, if you deal with general fabrication, welding, and a vast array of other activities, you would want a machine that adapts to different needs.
Check the Power
Hydraulic ironworkers are a little bit slower in action, but they are more economical and easier to tool. On the other hand, mechanical ironworkers are fast and deliver quick results but they may do so at a cost of operator safety as the mechanical action must complete a full cycle before it can be stopped. Therefore, depending on the type of work you do, you should be able to determine whether your shop requires a hydraulic or mechanical ironworker
Another crucial aspect to check is the safety of the machine you choose. Ensure that the machine you select meets the ANSI B11-5 standards. It should have ample guarding and should offer adjustable stroke control to reduce machine movements and lower the number of pinch points.
Inspecting a Used Ironworker
Since buying a new ironworker can be costly, you can opt to buy a used ironworker and save some bucks. However, it would be best if you inspected the used machine to ensure that it delivers value for money. For starters, you need to make sure that the machine generates and transfers force efficiently through the pivot points and the beam. You also need to ensure that the ironworker doesn’t produce excess shock when punching. Continuous shock can break your welds, cause the frame to bend or lead to other failures. Lastly, you should check whether ironworker accessories such as shears, urethane hold-downs, and notchers are broken or out of shape.
Where to Get an Ironworker
There are plenty of dealers that sell a variety of Ironworkers but there is only one that can help you select the right one, new or used, for your application AND budget. That place is Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales. Just call us at 1-813-444-4555 for immediate help on your Ironworker needs ofrr visit us on the web at www.southernfabsales.com
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