With technology advancing to the point in the metal fabrication industry that we now are cutting metal with plasma and lasers, many people have asked, “Is there still a need for a shear in our shop?” In most cases you will find the answer to be a resounding, “Yes.”
A shear is a staple in many shops for their day-to-day business operations. A shear is a very utilized and productive piece of equipment because of its ease of use, quick set up time and low operating cost. For example, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to use a plasma machine to cut 4″ off of a piece of ¼” material that is four feet wide when you can simply put it on a shear and within a couple minutes make the cut and be done.
There a few different types of shears that are common and widely used in the industry: mechanical, swing beam and guillotine style.
A mechanical shear is just how it sounds – it is operated by mechanical or electrical means, rather than by hydraulics. The advantage of a mechanical shear is the speed at which the machine cycles – these are a very high speed and accurate type of shear. You typically find mechanical shears in production shearing 12 gauge through ¼” thick material.
A swing beam shear is a hydraulic machine. The upper beam hinges on a pivot point in the middle of the side frames. This is a heavy duty, robust machine designed for cutting thicker material. These can be found as manual, NC, or CNC machines. At JMT, for example, we offer this machine in our SBT series (Swing Beam Touchscreen Shear). The SBT is available in cutting capacities of ¼” up to ¾” and in lengths of 10′ up to 13′. The JMT SBT shear boasts the world’s heaviest and most robust swing beam shear construction.
A guillotine-style shear is also a hydraulic machine with a cutting movement similar to a guillotine. This is the most versatile shear in the marketplace. At JMT we offer this machine in the VS series (Variable-rake Shear). The VS comes standard with the D-Touch 7 CNC control. Blade clearance, cut length, and cutting angle are automatically adjusted by the CNC control. The VS is available to cut in capacities of ¼” all the way up to 1″ and in lengths of 10′ up to 30′. There are many options available for this machine to make it as automated as you need, including sheet supports and automatic feeding and conveyor systems.
When considering how they benefit shops with their versatility, speed and set up time, it’s not difficult to see why shears are so prevalent in the marketplace. Call JMT today for your Shear at (855)773-7727