Despite the many advances in the machinery and tools we use for shaping and forming metals over the years, the box and pan folder is a machine that has remained relevant and popular. There are very good reasons for that; the box and pan folder still represents the best option for those individuals and businesses who might not be able to justify investing in a press brake, may have limited space or only work with lightweight materials. For the sheet and plate industry and crafting components for kitchens, ventilation or air conditioning, the box and pan folder is still an important, reliable and very relevant bit of kit.
As you might expect here at Selmach, we offer an impressive range of different folders; manual and hydraulic models, and also treadle styles and even CNC to make sure you have the right options whatever your need. Our range of manual box and pan folders has a weight assisted beam to aid the operator in making folds. Whilst this is harder work than with a hydraulic model, for those who prefer the traditional accuracy of simply folding by eye, or those whose selling points might be handmade crafts based around skill, then a manual box and pan folder is exactly what’s needed.
We also offer hydraulic box and pan folders, they take the strain out of the folding process compared to the manual models and have an electrical limit switch gauge to help with accuracy. Whilst they won’t be able to match a press brake for precision, they do have certain advantages; firstly they have an open frame design, making them a lot more versatile than a (much more expensive) press brake if, for example you need to fold an edge on large components such as ventilation tanks. A box and pan folder also won’t mark your materials as much as a press brake might, which is vital if you are working with highly polished finishes for kitchens and home interiors.
Facet (bump) bending, safe-edge folding and box/tray folding can all be done well with a box and pan folder, with experience and skill. They are as much an important machine today in any workshop as they have always been.
Perhaps the best thing we can say about the box and pan folder is this; in these days of computer numerical control and ever more advanced and automated ways of working. A walk around any college or university metalwork and fabrication department will almost definitely take you past one or two box and pan folders, and there is a really good reason for that. They hark back to the days before automation and programming, before CAD and CNC control; to the days when experience, craft and a skilled eye gave the accuracy that was needed. They’ve been around for a long time and will continue to be for many years to come.
Published 20th September 2018