Figure 1 In CNC bending, commonly known as panel bending, the metal is clamped in place, and upper and lower bending blades form positive and negative flanges. A typical sheet metal job shop might have a combination of bending systems. Press brakes are most common, of course, but some shops also invest in other forming systems like panel bending and folding. All these systems help operations form various parts without the need for dedicated tooling. Sheet metal forming in high-volume production has evolved too. Such factories no longer need to rely on product-specific tools. They now employ modular lines that can meet a variety of forming demands, combining panel bending with numerous variants of automated forming, from corner forming to press braking and roll bending. And nearly all of these modules perform their operations with little if any product-specific tooling. Automated bending lines for sheet metal today use “bending” in the generic sense. That’s because they offer various types of bending beyond what’s popularly known as panel bending, also known as CNC bending. CNC bending (see Figures 1 and 2) remains one of the most common processes on automated lines, mainly becau...