Ultimate Guide to Training a Metal Plate Bending Machine Operator
Updated: Mar 10
Manufacturing utility machines, big factory equipment, rocket shells, oil tanks, ships, and several other metal structures largely depend on metal plate bending/rolling to form the desired shape. Therefore, metal plate-bending machines are a large investment and a critical part of this manufacturing process.
To operate such a machine, you need an expert individual who can bring out the maximum output. Therefore, the industry needs skilled workers driven by the thought of perfection, and such an individual is an ideal choice for operating a plate-bending machine.
Let us tell you the qualifications an operator needs and how to train a metal plate-bending machine operator for the best output.
What Qualifications Should a Metal Plate-Bending Machine Operator have?
To define the qualifications for a metal plate-bending machine operator, you must first understand and define the job role. Let's understand what falls under the key responsibility area of a machine operator.
Job Description of a Plate Bending Machine Operator
To perform metal plate bending/rolling with required angles and radius. The operator must also be able to work on all thicknesses that a machine is made to do the bending job for. Must perform all the duties under the approved work procedure(s).
Qualifications of a Metal Plate-Bending Machine
Minimum Educational Qualifications
NSQF (National Skills Qualification Framework) Level
Optional (Will be provided)
Minimum Age for Working
Mathematical and Problem Solving, Communication, Knowledge-base regarding the industry.
Choosing an operator is a crucial process, but it is still just a start. Training is a process that needs to be as detailed as possible so that the operator gets the most out of it and you get the most out of the operator.
How to Train a Metal Plate-Bending Operator in 5 Easy Steps
You must first know their skill set to train a metal plate-bending operator. Also, you must never assume things while training the operator and communicate openly with them.
It would be best to tell them their responsibilities and the consequences the company has to face when failures occur. They must understand that once a metal plate is bent incorrectly, it is wasted, and that causes significant loss to the company. Here’s how you train an expert plate-bending machine operator.
1) Learn how Metal Plates React During Bending/Rolling
Bending metal plates is no basic or general work. Like any skill-based work, one must learn and understand the process and the material involved. From basic knowledge of the hardness of steel plates, alloy steel, and steel plates of other grades being different to understanding that aging also affects the hardness of the metal plate, knowledge is the key.
2) Teach Pre-Pinching/Pre-Bending Before Starting the Job
Make the trainee understand why pre-pinching and pre-bending are critical parts of the bending process. Moreover, you must ensure they learn from an expert how to perform pre-pinching/pre-bending.
3) To Set Up the Machine for Variable Workload
It is very likely that your workshop would have to bend or roll different types and sizes of metal plates. Thus, an operator must know how to set up the machine for various bending jobs. What’s to be considered is that as accurate the bending parameters are, the wear and tear will be optimized and the machine can have a longer life.
4) The Operator Should Make a Template from the Laser or Plasma Cutting Machine
Taking the metal plate out and measuring its ID or OD according to the requirement to check if it is what you wanted is time-consuming and worthless. Instead, you need to know if the metal plate is being bent on the radius you want to when it is in the machine so that you can stop or change the bending force accordingly.
You want to know if the metal plate is being bent correctly in real time, and making a template using a plasma or laser cutting machine is a go-to option, without a doubt. Make a template and compare the radius of the workpiece in real-time to get accurate bending results. You get minimal bending errors that the machine can rule out by providing final touches.
5) Making a Machine Maintenance Report
As a business owner, you would know that a metal plate-bending machine is not a petty investment. Thus, an operator, who knows the machine inside out, is the best person who can provide a maintenance report for the machine.
A maintenance report helps you figure out how the machine should be used in the future and at what efficiency this machine can work in the future. Moreover, this report also supports the finances by clarifying the maintenance cost.
As mentioned earlier, a metal plate-bending machine is no petty investment. Informing your operator about the safety measures and do’s and don’ts they must take is also a big part of their training.
What are the Safety Measures a Metal Plate Bending Machine Must Know About?
Safety measures should be prioritized then any other process, and one must have no half-hearted approach. Such an approach can lead to severe results from business and human perspectives.
Inspecting all the machine parts before starting the bending job
Determining the capacity of the machine in current working conditions
Pre-pinching/Pre-bending trail and head of the metal plate
Check that the top roll is fitted properly if it was changed recently
What Type of Machine is Ideal for Training an Operator Initially?
If you are going to train a metal plate-bending machine operator from scratch, it is ideal to start with a 3-roll plate-bending machine. This machine is easy to operate, and the trainee will understand things easier than on any other machine.
Yet, it would be best to choose the machine your workshop uses the most to help the trainee understand the machine best when they have an expert around them.
Metal plate-bending operators need to understand that their work is critical. Training of this kind will help them understand more if you involve them practically in the process. We hope this information has helped you get the most out of it. Let us know in the comments below if you have any queries related to 3 or 4-roll plate bending machines and training for operators.