Sheet metal box and pan folders, sheet metal box pan brakes, even sheet metal finger brakes. We’ve heard all these names and more. But why?

Sheet Metal Box and Pan Folders RAS

A sheet metal box and pan folder has many aliases, some of which you may already know. They are terms used by many still today in the industry, but may be new to some of us. We’re going to run through some of these terms, as well as what a sheet metal box and pan folder actually is and why your business could benefit from investing in one.

We’ve also highlighted some common areas to watch out for when it comes to inviting in a box and pan sheet metal folder.

What is a sheet metal box and pan folder?

A sheet metal box and pan folder, also known most often as a box and pan brake or a sheet metal finger brake, is a machine tool used for bending sheet metal. It is designed to allow sheet metal to be bent into boxes and pans, as well as other complex shapes.

These machines normally consist of a flat surface, called the bed, and a clamping bar that is hinged at one end. The clamping bar holds the sheet metal in place as it is being bent, while a series of fingers, or dies, are used to shape the metal.

Many new innovations in bending and folding mean new systems are constantly being released, which improves the efficiency and quality of these bends. It its this reason we advise keeping up to date on the latest news from the industries leading manufacturers. They might just come out with a solution that solves a problem specific to you!

Some box and pan folders also have a backstop that can be adjusted to help ensure accurate and consistent bends. These machines are commonly used in the fabrication of sheet metal enclosures, cabinets, and other components.

Why is a box and pan folder know by other names?

What you call your sheet metal folding machine can depend on the type you own, who trained you and how you use it. A lot of the difference have come over time. For example box and pan was often the description used when talking about the earlier models of the RAS System type of sheet metal folders.

We’ve broken down the common reasons behind some of the most popular names below. In general though they are quite literal. Are you using the right one?

Box and pan brake

It is called a box and pan brake because it is used to bend sheet metal into boxes and pans, as well as other shapes. This logic follows for many of the names, sometimes adding the material used at the beginning or end.

Sheet metal finger brake (or finger brake)

This name came about because the sheet metal folding machines have a series of fingers, or dies, that are used to shape the metal. These fingers are typically mounted on the clamping bar and can be adjusted to create different bends and shapes in the sheet metal. It is worth knowing the term “sheet metal finger brake” is often used to describe a smaller, hand-held version of this machine that is used for making smaller bends and folds in sheet metal. It might be searching this does not bring up the right results for you.

What does the “box and pan” part refer to?

Let’s go one step further and look at the specific types of shapes we mean when referring to a box and pan sheet metal folder.

The term “box” refers to a three-dimensional enclosure with a top, bottom, and sides that is made from sheet metal. A “pan” is a similar type of enclosure, but it has a more shallow depth and is often used for things like trays.

It really is as obvious as it sounds, but due to the variety of terms used in the industry it can leave some people unsure. The important part is ensuring that no matter what you call it, you invest in a machine that its capable for your business. How do you do this?

sheet metal box and pan folder example

What to look out for when investing in a sheet metal box and pan folder

It is important that you make a highly considered decision before choosing your new box and pan folder. We’ve highlighted some key areas to consider below:

  • Cost: Sheet metal box and pan folders can be expensive, especially for high-end models with advanced features. Be sure you are getting the best deal and paying only for the capabilities you business needs. You could also look into pre-used and ex-demonstration machines to save more. We offer a great range of box and pan sheet metal brakes to suit all budgets.
  • Capacity: Some sheet metal box and pan folders have limited capacity and may not be able to bend larger sheets of metal or handle thicker gauges. Ensure the machine you invest in suits you requirements. It also helps to think about what your future capacities might look like to ensure you’re not having to turn away potential jobs.
  • Complexity: These machines can be complex and require training and experience to use effectively. Ensure you are confident in the box and pan sheet metal folder you own, how it works and what to do if it goes wrong. Press and Shear remain on hand to help from installation through to your first bend.
  • Maintenance: Like any machine, a sheet metal box and pan folder will require regular maintenance and may need to be repaired or replaced over time. Regular servicing will increase the productivity and lifecycle of your machine, essentially paying for itself. Press and Shear are on-hand to help with all servicing and spares.

Why should I invest in a sheet metal box and pan folder?

There are several reasons why you might want to invest in a sheet metal box and pan folder:

  1. Increased productivity: A sheet metal box and pan folder can help increase productivity by allowing you to quickly and accurately bend sheet metal into complex shapes. This can save you time and effort compared to using other methods such as hand folding or cutting and welding.
  2. Improved accuracy: A sheet metal box and pan folder can help improve the accuracy of your sheet metal bends. This is because the machine allows you to make precise, repeatable bends using a series of adjustable fingers or dies.
  3. Increased versatility: A sheet metal box and pan folder is a versatile tool that can be used to bend sheet metal into a wide range of shapes and sizes. This can allow you to create a wider variety of products and components.
  4. Cost savings: Investing in a sheet metal box and pan folder can ultimately save you money by reducing the amount of time and effort required to bend sheet metal, as well as reducing the amount of scrap metal generated.

Overall, a sheet metal box and pan folder can be a valuable investment for any business that works with sheet metal and needs to create complex shapes and enclosures.

Are you using the right name for box and pan folder?

Whether you’re in the research phase, ready to grab a new folding machine, or training your team on how to use a machine, getting the right name for your box and pan sheet metal folder and knowing the differences is critical.

It will help you to make the right investment in a capable machine and ensure your team are able to explain clearly to customers your businesses capabilities.

Want to find out more about sheet metal box and pan folders? How about testing one out?

We’re here to help you, whether it’s some reading materials you’re after or getting hands on with a box and pan sheet metal folder. You can download our latest brochure, which contains a full range of box and pan folding machines right now. You can also browse these online where you’ll find plenty of videos of these machines in action.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is get hands on though, and that is where our showroom comes in. You can book a visit to see a sheet metal box pan brake in action and even bring your own sheet metal pieces to test out. We find this is the ultimate way to know you’re making the right investment and get the most from your trip to see us.

Simply choose the best option for you below. Our team also remain on hand to answer any other questions you might have. Contact us online or call 01827 250000