Setup to Bending in 10 Seconds

16ga clamshell column flashing to cover a galvanized structural column. This part was completely formed on a press brake in order to continue the radius right to the connection flange.

Bilan Metalworks specializes in fabricating luxury residential products and more. They focus on the design and manufacture of quick turnaround, turnkey solutions that are both unique and highly functional. According to company president and owner Chris Bilan, “On every job, we are challenged to be profitable in the face of low volume projects and frequent, non-stop setups. That includes requests from contractors with an emergency need for a specialized component to complete a job.”

“A dozen components is a big run for us,” stated Mr. Bilan, “so as you can imagine, we’re changing setups constantly. In addition, our press brake is only four feet long with at times three different setups for a typical job. With conventional tooling, it’s practically impossible to seat this many sets of tooling at once without crashing.” As a result, Mr. Bilan constantly looks for better ways of fabricating quality components.

The Perfect Answer

Mate American Precision Style Press Brake Tooling with MaglockTM

When Peter Visser, Mate Precision Technologies’ regional sales manager, introduced the company’s American Precision Style press brake tooling with Maglock™ during a visit, it was the perfect answer to Chris Bilan’s needs. Unlike competing systems, there are no buttons, springs, or pins that can fail. The patented Maglock system uses rare earth magnets to hold the punches in place, making it possible to install even large tools in the forward or rearward direction. Most importantly, Maglock’s design eliminates safety concerns over a punch falling out of the upper holder, damaging the tool and possibly harming the operator.1

Maglock sets up almost instantly with the rare earth magnets attaching and seating the punch to the holder with no separation between the surfaces. Since there is no separation, there’s no need to seat the tooling before use, which is a significant time-saver. How much time is saved? In use, Mr. Bilan says what once took ten minutes is now accomplished in just 10 seconds.2

Seeing the value of the Mate Maglock system, Mr. Bilan set aside thousands of dollars worth of conventional press brake tooling and switched to the patent-pending Mate tooling design. Shelving a huge tooling investment a few months after its purchase would be a difficult decision for any manufacturer, but especially so for a startup company with limited cash flow. “I bought the Mate Maglock tooling a couple of months after the machine. I’d already invested maybe $40,000 in competitive tooling brands, but I won’t use any of it now unless there’s no other choice. Simply put, the Maglock system offers huge advantages. It’s been a real game-changer for Bilan Metalworks.”


Using Bilan’s results, let’s say a fab shop works 252 days per year, works 2 shifts per day and does 3 set-ups per shift. The shop’s loaded labor rate is $50 per hour.

Before Mate American Precision Style with Maglock:

  • 2 shifts x 3 setups x 10 minutes/setup = 60 minutes, or one hour of labor per day
  • 252 days x $50 = $12,600 annual labor just for setups

After Mate American Precision Style with Maglock:

  • 2 shifts x 3 setups x 10 seconds each = 60 seconds, or one minute of labor, saving 59 minutes of labor per day.
  • 252 days x .98 hours (59 minutes saved) x $50 = $12,348 in annual recovered labor
  • In addition, they gained 247 hours of available production time at $120/hour, or $29,640

Combined example savings and production time gain from this example: $41,988

1 It is important to note that the Maglock system does not replace standard press brake clamping systems. Punches must be securely clamped in place prior to press operation.
2 Individual user’s experience. Your actual set-up time may vary.