In many cases, steel bending can minimize welding and reduce material waste on a component part for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
For example, an OEM was designing a gear cover for pumps. The component part was a 1 x 1 ½ flat bar curved the easy way (against the weak or y-y axis) to form what is kind of an egg shape – small radius on top with some straights and a larger radius on the bottom. They were having them cut by water jet in 6 pieces. The OEM asked whether steel bending of this flat bar could reduce the number of pieces and consequently reduce the number of welds required. The solution was to form just two pieces: one through rotary draw bending (the tight radius with straight tangents) and one through three-roll bending (the larger radius with excess arc to be trimmed by the customer).
The OEM could have created the part by having it cut by water jet in one or two pieces, but that approach would waste a lot of material because the shapes don’t nest well into a larger plate.
The optimal solution then was to bend two flat bars by two different bending methods. The result minimized material waste and eliminated four out of six welds. And the cost savings were significant.