Why Do You Need a Mechanical Ironworker?

Posted on Dec 9, 2020

Mechanical Ironworker

Synonymous with the term utilized for structural steelworkers, the term “Ironworker” means a machine for a number of processes necessary in today’s fabrication shops. While not meant for precision or high production needs, a mechanical ironworker can make rapid work of many types of materials and execute many processes necessary in a fab shop.

Introducing Mechanical Ironworker

Mechanical ironworkers, or called ironworkers, offer tooling choices for components to carry out shearing, coping and notching, punching, and bending operations. They are multi-stationed and versatile metal processing machines. An ironworker allows you to carry out these functions with ease without the use of an abrasive cutting tool or drill, which tends to make cleaner cuts, notches, and holes in metal than with the other alternatives. All tooling options can perform vertical movement and the workstations can function simultaneously or on their own. Ironworker machines are normally powered hydraulically. A mechanical ironworker should be one of the first machines a manufacturing shop procures because it is the tool with diversified functions to a metal manufacturer. It is a perfect example of its budget-friendly feature. 

Synonymous with the term utilized for structural steelworkers, the term “Ironworker” means a machine for a number of processes necessary in today's fabrication shops. While not meant for precision or high production needs, a mechanical ironworker can make rapid work of many types of materials and execute many processes necessary in a fab shop. Materials like plate, tube, angle, and rod stock can all be processed on a mechanical ironworker. A mechanical ironworker is an extraordinarily pliable, necessary, and versatile machine in any manufacturing shop or welding store since it's known for its ability to punch, shear, bend, notch, and cope (one sort of shearing operation).

Construction of Ironworker

Powered by a heavy alternating electric motor with the flow of current, contemporary systems employ the technology of hydraulic rams to function. High-strength carbon steel blades and dies of various shapes are utilized to work the metal. The ironworker itself is produced using very hefty steel to cope with the massive energy that can be created during utilization. Mechanical ironworkers are being assessed based on the force and energy they can instantly create measured in tons. 

Mechanical ironworkers are mostly employed in productions with low temperatures in winter (up to −20°C (−4°F)) and are considered to be faster. Another reason to choose the mechanical construction is when the cutting of large profiles is needed. Most hydraulic-powered machines can't cut this size. The disadvantages are the higher power consumption, noise, and safety concerns.

:: Read More: The Hydraulic Ironworker Machine: Steel Powerhouse

Hazard of Using Mechanical Ironworker

Severe crushing injuries or amputations can take place if an operative makes contact with any of the pinch or shear points this machine provides. Flying or ejected parts from either the stock or the tooling can strike operatives and other workers in the spot. In addition, punches are hardened and will not bend as they collide with dies. If a punch is out of alignment, it is more likely to flake or even explode, causing severe harm to the operative. Unprotected foot pedals can also induce the possibility of accidental cycling.

Why Do You Need a Mechanical Ironworker?

Mechanical ironworkers play a vital part in fabrication shops and manufacturing facilities. They typically employ hydraulic systems to generate power but sometimes they are mechanically powered. Their versatility is why many metalworkers count on them. There are some reasons why should you procure a mechanical ironworker:


Ironworkers can increase task efficiency by saving you tons of time. Instead of utilizing a different machine for each function, with a mechanical ironworker, an operator can continue doing multiple processes in the same location. There are multiple tooling options that allow quick tool change and cut down the machine idle time.

Space Saving

Mechanical ironworkers combine the functions of three machines in one: punching, shearing, and notching. Instead of having three machines for three specific tasks, mechanical ironworkers allow you to finish all these processes in one location.

Waste Reducing

A mechanical ironworker will allow the operative to get closer to the work whether it is punching, shearing, notching, or a forming job, thereby improving the accuracy and the quality of the work. Unlike conventional punching, notching, and shearing techniques that yield a lot more waste, a mechanical ironworker can minimize this problem.

Safety First

Mechanical ironworkers offer a safer operation than some of the machines they replace. Most mechanical ironworkers today come with guards around them to prevent accidents.

Cost Saving

Mechanical ironworkers are a cost-saving alternative for a host of reasons. It is less expensive to purchase one mechanical ironworker machine than it is to purchase multiple machines. By reducing the budget, waste, space, ironworkers save general operating costs. The benefits of ironworkers make them perfect for both smaller shops with fewer workers as well as for busy shops aiming for mass production. For manufacturing operations of all sizes, an ironworker is an asset that yields both short and long-term benefits.

How to Use an Ironworker?

Step 1: Using the punch

Utilize the wrench for the machine and lower the safety guard down onto your material once the correct die is installed. Mark on the metal worker where you need the hole to be using a center punch.

Step 2: Using the shear

The shear has the ability to slit up to half the flat stock of steel. There is an adjustable guide for the flat stock that should again be tight enough to prevent the metal from lifting up, but you should be able to still slide your stock freely.  After you have your guide/stops set, depress the pedal to activate the machine. Do double check everything is vivid from the shear and then cast down the pedal slowly and secure it up to the point when the shear is completely activated in order to slit your substance at the correct interval on the flat shear part.

Step 3: Using the notcher

The notcher is just like the other constituents of the ironworker; however, the guide is not adjustable. Simply hold your material securely under the notcher and then depress the pedal to activate the machine.

Step 4: Using the bender

Double-check if you grease your substance in advance first. Once the preparation is done, turn the ironworker on and switch the control box to the bender mode. Control the bender when you are ready. Bend your stock to the desired angle and if the piston is fully extended and you wish for a larger bend let out the tension on your substance, and put in the drive pin again for the drive pin to glide out. Continue this process if required for the third drive hole position. Once you have finished the bend you desire, discharge just enough tension to release your material and then take away the guide die from the bender before you bring the piston in. This will prevent any parts of the machine and die from getting damaged.

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