Press Brake Sheet Follower
A press brake sheet follower or sheet lifter is a device for press brake safety that helps keep operators safe when working with large sheets of metal that may otherwise be difficult to handle. They function by way of hydraulic arms that hold the sheet while it’s being bent by lifting the sheet as the die makes contact, and then lowering after the bend has been made. They aren’t intended to be used with smaller, lighter sheets. For big, heavy sheets however, they protect the operator by allowing them to stand away from the device during operation and activate it with a foot pedal from a safe distance.
Benefits of a Press Brake Sheet Follower
When a bend is made in the metal sheet by the press, the sheet comes up rather abruptly. This creates a danger in addition to the die coming down, because the sheet can come up and make contact with the operator’s face or another part of their body. A press brake sheet follower is not only highly effective for press brake safety purposes, it also helps to limit press brake operator fatigue by supporting the weight of the sheet, thus allowing the operator to work at a steady pace more comfortably.
How a Press Brake Sheet Follower is Set Up
Press brake sheet followers get positioned in front of the machine and can be moved anywhere along the area of contact or can be moved away from the machine quite easily as they are typically on wheels. For use with RPG back gauges, sheet followers may be placed at the interior of the machine for operation.
The rising/lowering platform’s height on a sheet follower may be adjusted to accommodate different jobs and press brakes. Sheet followers may also be accompanied by a slide for easier movement along the area of contact. The slide allows the press brake sheet follower to glide along smoothly, or be moved out of the way with little effort. At the end of this slide may be a “docking” area where the device can be slid and wheeled to, two feet from the die, disconnecting it from the press brake temporarily.