How folding works in ToolBox

How folding times and prices are calculated within ToolBox for your quote

An algorithm built by specialists

ToolBox’s Folding macro has been developed by specialists with decades of experience using brake presses.

We take into account inputs such as

  • Setup time dependent on the longest fold length and number of tools required;

  • Number of folds;

  • The weight and size of the part; and

  • The number of people to handle the part.

Data points calculated include number of tools required, cycle time, setup time, the number of people required to handle the part (weight-based and size-based), and folding processing time.

These then factor in your base folding hourly rates and your hourly rate for any additional people in order to calculate a price, and the setup portion is amortised according to your settings (per line item or for all line items with a shared material).

Our algorithm is complex but accurate. In order to tweak the setup time and folding processing times to suit your needs, we've simplified the inputs into two percentage settings:

  • Setup override %: Increase (or decrease) the setup time for bending. This is the one-off amount of time for any amount of bending. The more parts that require bending, the more this time gets spread out, resulting in higher per-part charges for low quantities of bending and lower per-part charges for higher quantities of bending.

  • Production override %: Increase (or decrease) the production time for bending. This is the time it takes to bend each part. If you find the bending time calculations are too small, you can increase this percentage.

ToolBox folding, how it's calculated.

There are several components to the price calculated by the folding macro within ToolBox, but fundamentally it boils down to first working out how long the process will take, and then what rate to charge that time out at.

Using data we have collected from years of experience for the folding process, for standard tool lengths, handling, repositioning and processing times.

Firstly we will first look at how setup is calculated and then the folding process itself.

Setup times

To calculate the setup times of the folding within ToolBox we first look at the number of standard tools we will need for the longest fold length on a part. This is calculated by looking at the longest length fold on a part and dividing this by the standard tool lengths we have in the background to calculate how many tool lengths will be needed in the press.

As an example, if the largest fold in a part is 2000mm and our standard tool length is 500mm then we need to load 4 sets of tools during the setup.

From there we can work out our total setup time by looking at the average time for loading a tool length into the press brake and multiplying this by how many sets of tools we need for the folding.

Following our example, if we need 4 sets of tools and we have the loading time for a standard tool set to 3 minutes we would allow a minimum of 12 minutes for the setting up of the press. There is a separate minimum for setup in case the [number of tooling sets] x [setup per tool] is not enough time.

Setup is then priced according to your Base hourly rate within your ToolBox settings.

Processing time

We calculate the fold cycle time based on 3 components

  1. Load Time

  2. Repositioning time

  3. Cycle time of a press

To work out load and position times we look at two factors that can affect the folding time

  1. Part weight

  2. Part area

We work out times for both those measures then use the largest of the two to settle on the final time.

To work out the time for each of the scenarios we use the weighted average loading and handling times we have calculated from two data points from which we can construct a sliding scale in which the weight/size affect the times.

Effectively we would have a starting point as a minimum for the loading and repositioning of parts that are considered small in terms of the area. This then scales up in time depending on the overall size of the part, with more time being allowed for loading and handling the larger a part becomes. We would also have a similar scale basis for the mass/weight of a part.

To work out the final load and repositioning times, we take the greater of load time calculated based on either the area or mass of the part.

The total fold time for the part would then be calculated by using the following:

Loading time + (Repositioning time x No of folds - 1) + (Press brake cycle time x No of folds)

folding cost

Now we have calculated the time to fold our parts, we now need to work out how much to charge.

There are two rates we take into account for calculating the prices for folding.

  • Base hourly rate: The base rate you charge for your press brake including one operator.

  • Additional labour hourly rate: The additional rate you would charge for an additional person, when required, to help process a part on the press brake.

So how do we calculate how many people are required for the part?

To calculate this we use the averages we have collected to work out how much one person can safely handle and load a part into a press brake.

For example, we check the area of the part against the average cut off point for one person to handle and process. If the part is less than the cut off then the operator can do it by himself. If the part is bigger than the average cut off then we need one additional person, and so on for a third person if it exceeds an area two people can handle.

We perform the same calculation based on weight and then pick the larger value to work out how many additional people we need.

A few examples. Let’s say it takes 5:00 minutes to fold a part and it is a part that requires one operator then the fee is 5 mins at $60 per hour, the selling price would be $5 for this part.

In the same case but this time with a part that would require an additional person, the price becomes; 5 mins at $60 per hour (base) + $20 per hour (additional labour) = $80 per hour (total). 5 minutes then charged at $80 per hour in total would give you a sell price of $6.66.

Then for a large part which would require two additional people, the price becomes 5 mins at $60 + $20 + $20, which in total is $100 per hour making the sell cost for the part then $8.33.

Please note that if the item you are working on does not have any folding entities, you can select the manual option. Simply choose 'Manual' from the dropdown menu, input the longest length of the fold, followed by the number of folds. Once your quote has been calculated, ToolBox will display the price based on your specific folding configuration.

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