Alpha remains on track to double turnover

Alpha Manufacturing, one of the UK’s largest precision sheet metal fabricators, has acquired a TruBend Cell 7000 high-speed robotic bending cell from Trumpf. The investment helps keep the company on track to achieve its ‘2020 Vision’ – a five-year plan to double turnover by 2020.

“We have for some time admired the TruBend Cell 7000 from afar, but had resisted as all of our existing bending machines [press brakes] are from another supplier,” explains operations director Paul Clews. “However, with press brake skills becoming increasingly hard to source, we knew it made sense to look closely at more automated solutions. At first we considered press brakes with automatic tool changers, but these did not compare with the TruBend Cell 7000. In my opinion, there is nothing else like it on the market.”
Clews and his team performed due diligence on the TruBend Cell 7000 and found the company would have no problem filling three shifts, 24-7, so the purchase decision was made. The machine is now hard at work bending a multitude of different parts.
“In comparison with a standard press brake, we are achieving 30-40% more efficiency,” says Clews. “However, it’s also about the skill set available on the machine. We now have complete peace-of-mind that no parts will be bent incorrectly. Such has been its impact that in 12 months we may look at taking another. Machines like the TruBend Cell form part of our long-term vision to deskill and automate.”
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Compact hybrid press brake

SafanDarley is adding a new machine to its Hybrid brake press range with a working length of 2050 mm. This model is available with a pressing force of 110 or 170 tonnes. According to the company, the machine is compact, fast and suitable for bending small, complex, thick sheet-metal parts.

Compared with traditional hydraulic brake presses, the introduction of the new machine significantly increases the pressing capacity for each available bending length. In turn, a wide range of possibilities are available for this machine concept. This brake press can, in fact, generate a pressing force of 110 and 170 tonnes across a bending length of approximately 2 m, making it suitable for companies with limited space. Furthermore, smaller, thick sheet-metal parts no longer have to be produced on excessively long brake presses, thus improving the efficiency and usability of the machinery.
The H Brake Hybrid is characterised by its novel hybrid concept; a combination of hydraulics and electronics. A servomotor with direct drive provides efficiency and speed, while hydraulics deliver the force and sustainability. The hybrid drive is only activated when the foot pedal is operated (the pump is stationary during the intervening period). Thanks to its dynamic Y axis, with approach and return speeds of 230 mm/sec, cycle times are achieved some 30% shorter than those of traditional hydraulic brake presses, says the company.
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OKW is OK with Javelin MRP software

“We don’t do anything, anywhere in the business, without it being on Javelin.” Those are the words of Ian Cox, operations director at electronics housing manufacturer, OKW Enclosures Ltd.

“Javelin has played an absolutely vital role in getting the company to where it is today, and will remain crucial as we grow,” he adds. “As there are between 15,000 and 20,000 parts set up on Javelin across our five brands, we couldn’t run a business of this size without the information and control it gives us.”
The Fareham-based company has used Javelin and its forerunner, Jobshop, for more than 20 years, currently running the 2017 release.
“We updated our entire IT system in 2011, and now that we’ve also made a sea change to meet Javelin’s SQL database requirement, our philosophy is to work with the latest releases,” says Cox.
All shop-floor operations for manufacturing the company’s Metcase-brand enclosures are controlled with Javelin. The blanks are cut on two Murata Wiedermann CNC punch presses and then folded on Amada press brakes. Each part has a Javelin job card detailing every operation and drawing records. But before that stage, the software’s MRP system comes into play, providing precise control of all supply operations, addressing minimum stock levels and showing exactly what components need to be made.
Everything is also costed in Javelin, having been created on the system with a bill of materials and routing, which produces the standard costing.
“Modifications can be built
on to that, giving an accurate price for quotations,” says Cox. “And the standard costing is used in end-of-month stock and work-in-progress valuations.”
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CAM suites on show

Vero Software will be demonstrating the 2018 R1 releases of Edgecam, Radan and VISI, on stand G190 at Southern Manufacturing.

The latest Edgecam includes updates to roughing cycles for milling, turning and mill-turn machining. Cited as the most important enhancement is the prevention of unnecessary CAM regeneration. Radan 2018 R1 sheet metal software takes the increasing popularity of automatic bending into consideration, making finger-stops safer by allowing for improved part alignment in the press brake. For the mould and die market, the latest version of VISI provides greater flexibility when constructing supplier and non-standard tool configurations.
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Productive solutions from Gewefa

On stand D210 at Southern Manufacturing, Gewefa will shine the spotlight on a number of innovations introduced over the past year.

These will include the Gewefa HydroPin hydraulic chuck with a fixed stop pin and the new Easy-Fi’ boring bar tool holder. The latter is a hydraulic chuck for holding Sandvik Coromant Easi-Fix boring bars that removes the need for reduction sleeves while eliminating run out and guaranteeing the centre height at the insert tip. Setting time is said to be substantially reduced – by as much as 75% – with the Gewefa design featuring a spring plunger mounted in the tool-holder body.
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