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Comparison: Swing beam shears - Guillotine shears

Shears are machine tools used for straight cuts on sheet metal. On a swing beam shear the swing beam moves with the upper blade in a circular arc. On a guiottine shear the upper beam moves straight down.

Swing beam: Upper blade penetration

The upper blade penetrates the metal sheet above the lower blade

  • Clean, right-angled cuts with almost no burr

Guillotine: Upper blade penetration

Upper blade penetrates the material with an offset (blade clearance) to the lower blade

  • Oblique fractured cutting line
  • Bigger burr especially when the blades are not sharp

Swing beam: After the cut is made

The cut is made by a pivoting movement of the swing beam. After the cut is made the upper blade moves away from the lower blade.

  • Prevents the blank from jamming between the lower blade and the backstop

Guillotine: After the cut is made

On guillotine shears the cut is made by a linear motion of the upper beam

  • Part may get stuck between the lower blade and backstop
  • Higher wear

Swing beam: Sharp blades

The upper blade moves away from the lower blade after cutting. Upper and lower blade do not rub on each other.

  • Keeps blades sharp for a long time

Guillotine: Sharp blades

Upper and lower blade rub on each other when the blade clearance is low.

  • Blades go dull (burrs)
  • Frequent blade changes required

Swing beam: Blade clearance adjustment

The blade clearance can be easily adjusted by simply turning the cutting gap eccentric.

  • Short setup times
  • Automatic adjustment on higher capacity machines

Guillotine: Blade clearance adjustment

Tedious and costly clearance adjustment by repositioning the shear table

  • Long down times
  • Often compromises in the cutting quality

Swing beam: Twist-free cuts

Swing beam cutting requires a ridig shear design. The reasonis the low rake angle, which is fix for any material thickness.

  • Low rake angle results in twist-free parts starting at about 10-15 x sheet thickness

Guillotine: Twist-free cuts

Guillotine shears use a variable rake angle. Low rake angle for thin materials. High rake angles for thicker materials. Machines can be built lighter.

  • The results are twisted parts with narrow strips