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One Die Does It All

October 2012

Wila Multi-V-Die technology narrows the gap

You can bet that almost as soon as the earliest press brakes arrived on the market, the desire for a single-press-brake die to bend virtually everything came right behind them.

No doubt, sheet-metal fabricators attempted every way imaginable to form their parts while trying to avoid the need to purchase multiple dies, or have to produce their own dies as was often the case. While a single magic die with this capability has yet to come along, those desires are as strong as ever and the proverbial window of opportunity remains open.

Enter the Wila Multi-V-Matic Die, Type I.1

Recently, Wila introduced a completely new CNC motor driven die design that moved us much closer to the realization of the dream of a “one press-brake die does it all” concept. Given the designation, Wila Multi-V-Matic Die, Type I.1, this new die design provides an infinitely variable range of V-openings from 0.236 in. (6.0m) to 2.000 in. (51mm), making it possible to bend a wide range of materials from 0.031 in. (0.8mm) to 0.250 in. (6.3mm) thick including aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel with a single die.

This unit is available with a CNC motor that is driven by the press brake control or with a hand crank with digital readout. Units equipped with a CNC motor make it possible to pre-program the V-openings for specific jobs on the machine’s control and change from one V-opening to another in a matter of seconds, when going from one job or one bend to another. This can be a real advantage in prototype applications, as it can save the need for multiple set-ups and multiple sets of tooling. Changes in V-openings are also very fast on units equipped with a hand crank, while the digital readout makes it easy to set the exact width of the V-opening and record the position for future use.

Obviously, any die that’s subjected to a wide range of material thicknesses and material types will have to be extremely durable, if it’s going to remain in the press brake for long periods of time and replace multiple dies. Die wear alone could defeat the whole concept if it’s not kept in check, as it would compromise both accuracy and long term performance and increase tooling replacement costs.

With this in mind, Wila engineers equipped the shoulders of the Multi-V-Matic Die, Type I.1 with replaceable inserts that are CNC deep hardened. This process, which is the same proprietary process that Wila applies to all of its New Standard and American-Style punches and dies, provides them with the most durable wear surfaces available and minimizes the cost to use the product over several years.

The Wila Multi-V-Matic Die, Type I.1 is also a tough contender when it comes to strength. It’s designed to endure bending pressures up to 33 tons per foot (90 tons per meter), which is far more than adequate for air bending materials within its range of 0.031 in. (0.8mm) to 0.250 in. (6.3mm) aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel.

Finally, it’s ultra flexible and can be used for hemming applications when used in conjunction with Wila’s two-stage New Standard and American-Style hemming and flattening punches, and as a CNC operated die holder when the need calls for a narrow single-V die, offset die, large single-V die for a large radius bending application and countless dies for special bending applications as long as they fall within the unit’s tonnage capacity rating.

Multi-V Dies for bending thick materials

Of course, not all sheet-metal fabricators bend materials in the thickness range of 0.031 in. (0.8mm) to 0.250 in. (6.3mm). Some specialize in bending thicker materials, such as those that are in the range of say 0.118 in. (3.0mm) and thicker. Recognizing the need for an efficient, productive and safe-to-operate solution for bending these materials, Wila recently introduced our full line of Manually Adjustable Multi-V Dies. These dies are available in four different sizes; Models B, D, E and F. They can be changed from one V-opening to another in a matter of minutes by sliding out a simple set of spacer bars and replacing them with another set and then locking them in place with two set screws. That’s all there is to an average set-up!

They come with hardened rollers on the shoulders that provide maximum life and long-term accuracy, reduced part marking and tonnage requirements. The range of V-openings that are available with each model are as follows:

Model B: 0.945 in. – 4.882 in. (24mm – 124mm)
Model D: 2.559 in. – 7.087 in. (65mm – 180mm)
Model E: 4.724 in. – 11.811 in. (120mm – 300mm)
Model F: 5.906 in. – 15.748 in. (150mm – 400mm)

To facilitate fast, safe, and easy loading and unloading, all Wila Manually Adjustable Multi-V Dies are provided in modular lengths. This makes it possible to match them to the length of most press brakes and achieve virtually any bend length desired. The model B and D units are provided in lengths of 41.338 in. (1050mm), 39.370 in. (1000mm), 29.527 in. (750mm), and 19.685 in. (500mm) lengths. Because of their size and weight, models E and F are limited to a length of 23.622 in. (600mm).

Possibly the most desirable features of Wila’s Manually Adjustable Multi-V Dies is that via their adjustability and ability to handle a wide range of plate bending applications, they rarely need to be removed from the press brake. This can virtually eliminate the need for press brake and forklift operators to handle the heavy, awkward and often dangerous large single-V dies and four-way dies that are normally used to bend thick-plate materials. This alone provides for an invaluable measure of safety.

Looking ahead

While that one magic die that is capable of bending every type and thickness of material has yet to be developed, Wila Multi-V Die technology has clearly narrowed the technology gap by a considerable margin and has taken us closer to achieving this goal than ever before.