Fabtech brought a wealth of innovation and technology solutions to Chicago recently, where more than 48,000 attendees and over 1,700 exhibiting companies gathered once again to celebrate metal manufacturing at its best.
The event also provided educational sessions and expert-led presentations covering the latest trends and technology in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.
Visitors to the Salvagnini stand found a fully working smart factory run by the company’s OPS software, comprising the L5 high dynamics fibre laser with its newly developed 6 kW fibre source, the P2lean panel bender, and the B3.AU-TO press brake featuring the latest automatic tool change technology.
The third generation P2lean adaptive compact panel bender natively combines productivity and flexibility, guaranteeing precision, repeatability and quality of the finished product, says Salvagnini. Also on the stand, the B3.AU-TO press brake features the latest automatic tool change, the solid expression of a new automated and scalable bending concept that is said to provide greater certainties in terms of processing times, as well as costs and budgets.
Salvagnini’s L5 high dynamics fibre laser features the newly developed, dedicated 6kW source, which is said to perfect its performance. The latest trajectory planner, the new SVS option, and the novel nesting algorithms are claimed to guarantee even higher efficiency.
For further information www.salvagninigroup.com
Environmental and lifestyle changes within the drinks industry have brought fresh challenges and increased business to Preston-based beer pump and cooler specialist, K Coolers.
For instance, the company has had to manage two major changes within the drinks industry, the first being environmental, with the phasing out of certain refrigerants, while the second is the rise in popularity of ‘ice-cold’ beers and lagers. Both changes needed modifications to the stainless steel coils within the cooler, which in turn placed greater demands on K Coolers’ existing tube-bending capacity.
“The new R290 refrigerant required different tubes, so all of these required replacing as a smaller bore was needed for the new gas to be effective,” says Lee Worden, managing director. “Our standard 3.8 to 4.8 m long coils used for standard beers and lagers also needed to increase to 10 m in length to create ice-cold beer delivery; the knock on benefit being the elimination of under-counter chillers in pubs.”
To meet rising demand, the decision was taken to invest in a BLM 4-Runner tube-bending system fitted with motorised coil feed functionality.
“Without investing in the BLM 4-Runner we would struggle to maintain throughput,” says Worden. “The assistance we got, and continue to receive, from BLM both in the UK and in Italy, has been superb, which meant that we were bending tube within a couple of days of the machine being put on the floor. The BLM 4-Runner is being used to produce evaporator coils and other pipework for the refrigeration system on the new coolers, handling the increased demand with ease.”
For further information www.blmgroup.com
At the recent Blechexpo show in Stuttgart, LVD showcased Industry 4.0-ready products designed to help sheet metalworking companies advance their business, including the Dyna-Cell robotic bending cell, ToolCell automated tool-changing press brake, Electra 10 kW high-speed fibre laser cutting machine, and CADMAN software.
Visitors to the company’s stand discovered that Dyna-Cell features LVD’s high-speed Dyna-Press Pro electric press brake and a Kuka robot. Dyna-Press Pro is now available with LVD’s proprietary Easy-Form laser adaptive bending system to ensure bending accuracy. Furthermore, the robot is equipped with LVD’s patent-pending universal gripper, which is able to bend on three sides of a part without re-gripping. As one gripper fits all applications, production is continuous and uninterrupted.
Dyna-Cell automates the bending of small- to medium-sized parts in varying batch sizes, at speeds up to 25 mm/sec, and features an intelligent programming wizard for fast, easy programming. The compact Dyna-Cell follows the 10-10 rule: 10 minutes for CAM generation of the bending and robot program; and 10 minutes for set-up and first-part generation. The cell also allows for unmanned or manned operation, offering a flexible bending solution.
Elsewhere on the stand, the LVD ToolCell automated tool-changing press brake was seen maximising bending productivity through the integrated storage of tooling within the machine. The patented Easy-Form laser adaptive bending system provides in-process angle monitoring, which guarantees the desired angle from the first operation.
For further information www.lvdgroup.com
A prominent manufacturer of tipper bodies, the Thompsons Group, has taken delivery of a Trumpf TruBend 8600-80 press brake at its Blackburn facility. The machine, which is the largest Trumpf bending machine in the UK, is being used to form tipper side panels from 4 mm thick Hardox.
“Due to order volumes rising there is a constant need to keep pace with production and invest in our future,” explains director Neil Griffin. “We recently installed a robotic welding cell, which shifted the bottleneck to bending. In addition, even though our existing press brake offers a capacity of 400 tonnes, we needed more to help us process 4 mm thick Hardox, which is a tough, wear-resistant steel with a hardness of 450 HB.”
Three potential bending machine suppliers were scrutinised, but it was Trumpf that impressed the most. The TruBend 8600-80 offers a large open height, throat depth and 600 tonne press force. Trumpf customised the machine with an additional 8 m bending length option.
“After profiling, the side panels of the tipper bodies each require up to 12 bends, which is where the tonnage of the TruBend 8600-80 really comes into its own,” says Griffin. “Having capability of this type in-house is a real market advantage as we don’t have to rely on subcontractors, and thus avoid all the associated costs and lead-time issues that strategy brings. Moreover, all Thompsons’ tipper bodies are manufactured specifically for each customer.”
Around 25 Hardox tipper bodies are produced at Thompsons on a weekly basis, which means 50 sides to bend, plus floors and tailgates. The TruBend 8600-80 is currently working a single day shift, but a night shift may soon be required to keep up with demand.
For further information www.uk.trumpf.com
Bystronic has introduced a newly developed range of press brakes that can be customised to suit a user’s requirements in terms of process speed and flexibility. Available in the UK through the Swiss manufacturer’s Coventry subsidiary, the modular Xpert Pro series comprises three models, plus a variety of optional extras.
First up is the Classic Edition, which is intended for prototype manufacture and job shops producing small batch sizes. Next is the Performance Edition for medium-sized companies that want to produce parts in larger series, while the third model, the Dynamic Edition, is suitable for companies needing even more speed to handle batch sizes of 1000 parts or more. Bystronic says the machines will be among the fastest on the market, with bend speeds up to 20 mm/sec.
Capacity ranges from 100 to 320 tons, enabling sheet up to 15 mm thick to be processed, while bending length is either 3 or 4 m. Companies that require even more flexibility can connect two machines together to bend longer parts.
Due to the variety of configuration options, application possibilities are extensive and an Xpert Pro can be flexibly adapted to new requirements through straightforward retrofitting of optional modules.
Fabricators that have already invested money in bending tools want to reuse them when they purchase a new press brake, but this is not usually possible when changing supplier as there are almost a dozen different tool systems on the market that are incompatible with each other. However, this problem has
been solved by the Xpert Pro range as the machines have been designed so that tool systems from other suppliers
can be used.
For further information www.bystronic.co.uk